Functional Dimensions of Ape-Human Discourse - James D. Benson

Functional Dimensions of Ape-Human Discourse - James D. Benson

The interpersonal dimension: confrontation and support in bonobo-human discourse

Functional Dimensions of Ape-Human Discourse - James D. Benson

James D. Benson [+-]
York University, Toronto
James D. Benson is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar in the English at Glendon College, York University, Toronto. He is co-author (with William S. Greaves) of You and Your Language: The Kinds of English you Use (Pergamon Press, 1984).
Peter H. Fries
Central Michigan University
William S. Greaves † [+-]
York University, Toronto
William S. Greaves, who died in September, 2014, was Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Department of English, Glendon College, York University, Toronto.
Kazuyoshi Iwamoto [+-]
Kyorin University, Tokyo
Kazuyoshi Iwamoto is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyorin University in Tokyo, Japan. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in English language from Kyorin University, he went to Central Michigan University to study TESOL for his Master’s degree. There, while completing his degree, he became interested in the relationship between grammar and phonology, and he later obtained his PhD from York University, Canada. His research interests include the relationship between systemic phonology, thematic development in English texts, paragraphing from a systemic functional perspective, and human–bonobo discourse.
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh [+-]
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh is a psychologist and primatologist most known for her work with two bonobos, Kanzi and Panbanisha, investigating their linguistic and cognitive abilities using lexigrams and computer-based keyboards.
Jared P. Taglialatela [+-]
View Website
RESEARCH INTERESTS: • The evolutionary origins of human language • Nonhuman animal communicative behavior (esp. primate vocal and gestural communication) and the biological substrates that mediate these behaviors • Animal cognition and its biological basis • The evolution of neuroanatomical asymmetries as well as their behavioral relevance


As part of a program to explore the communicative abilities of bonobo apes within the human-ape culture at the Language Research Center at Georgia State University, this chapter offers two complementary analyses of a conversation between Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Kanzi. Both a conversation analysis and a lexicogrammatical analysis of their interaction are provided.

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Benson, James D. ; Fries, Peter; Greaves, William S.; Iwamoto, Kazuyoshi; Savage-Rumbaugh, Sue; Taglialatela, Jared P.. The interpersonal dimension: confrontation and support in bonobo-human discourse. Functional Dimensions of Ape-Human Discourse. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 4-45 Nov 2005. ISBN 9781845536534. Date accessed: 24 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.22016. Nov 2005

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