Sign language has been used successfully for communication between human beings and captive chimpanzees. Sign language research has shown that some chimpanzees are able to create their own symbols for communication when none has been given for a specific object. Other studies of the use of language by chimps suggest that they understand the syntax of language, that is, the relationship of words to action and to the actor. Chimpanzees also have pre-mathematical skills, and are able to differentiate and categorize. For example, they can learn the difference between fruits and vegetables, and to divide sundry things into piles of similar objects.
Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Chimaeras to ClusterChimpanzees - Chimpanzee Species And Habitat, Physical Characteristics, Behavior, Parenting, Eating Habits, Communication, Jane Goodall's Observations