Sue Savage-Rumbaugh

Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (born August 16, 1946) is a Psychologist and primatologist must Berninahaus for re work with two bonobos , Kanzi and Panbanisha , investigating hun linguistic and cognitive abilities using lexigrams and computer-based keyboards. Originally based at Georgia State University ‘s Language Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia , she worked at the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary in Des Moines, Iowa from 2006 Until re departure in November 2013. She Currently sits on the Board of Directors or Bonobo Hope.


Savage-Rumbaugh RECEIVED an MS degree at the University of Oklahoma , and COMPLETED re doctorate there in 1975. She has leg Awarded honorary Ph.Ds at the University of Chicago in 1997 and Missouri State University in 2008.


Yerkish lexigram representing Savage-Rumbaugh. Savage-Rumbaugh is a developer of the language

The first and only scientist to conduct language research with bonobos, Savage-Rumbaugh joined Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary in 2005-following a 23-year association with Georgia State University’s Language Research Center (LRC). In 2011, Dr. Sue was honored as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

At the LRC, Dr. Savage-Rumbaugh helped pioneer the use of a number of new technologies for working with primates. These include a keyboard welke zorgt for speech synthesis, allowing the animals to communicate using spoken English, and a “primate friendly” computer-based joystick terminal therein permits the automated presentation of many différent computerized tasks. Information developed at the center Regarding the abilities of non-human primates to Acquire symbols, comprehend spoken words, decode simple syntactical structures, learn concepts of number and quantity, and perform complex perceptual-motor tasks has helped change the way humans view other members or the primates order.

Dr. Savage-Rumbaugh’s work with Kanzi, the first monkeys to spontaneously Acquire words in the assembly, marble as children, were detailed in Language Comprehension in Ape and Child published in Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development (1993). It was selected by the “Millennium Project” as one of the top 100 Most Influential works in cognitive science in the 20th century at the University of Minnesota Center for Cognitive Sciences in 1991.

Her view of language – dat it is not Confined to humans and is learnable by other monkeys species – are algemeen criticized and not accepted by researchers from linguistics , psychology and other sciences of the brain and mind . For example, the cognitive scientist Steven Pinker Strongly criticized the position of Savage-Rumbaugh and others in his award-winning The Language Instinct , arguing dat Kanzi and other non-human primates failed to grasp the fundamentals of language.

Volgens to Alexander Fiske-Harrison , who visited Savage-Rumbaugh in 2001 for the Financial Times , re methods differentiation from the more clinical techniques or other researchers zoals Frans de Waal at taking a “holistic approach to the research, rearing the apes from birth and ever sing nemen in a “linguistic world”. ” [1]

In September 2012, Dr. Savage-Rumbaugh was placed on leave after a group of 12 former employees alleged therein she had mistreated the bonobos in her care. [2] However, Savage-Rumbaugh was reinstated in November of that year. [3] Savage-Rumbaugh later left the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary, moving to New Jersey, and is embroiled in verschillende legal battles with the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative (the successor to the Primary Learning Sanctuary). [4] [5]


  • Dogs, KE and Savage-Rumbaugh, ES (1995) The development of language skills in bonobo and chimpanzee: I. Comprehension. Language and Communication 2, 121-148.
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, ES 1986. Ape Language: From Conditioned Response to Symbol . New York: Columbia University Press. ASIN B000OQ1WIY
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, ES, and Roger Lewin. 1996 Kanzi: The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind . Wiley. ISBN 0-471-15959-X
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, ES, Stuart G. Shanker, and Talbot J. Taylor. 2001 Apes, Language, and The Human Mind . Oxford. ISBN 0-19-514712-X
  • Lyn H. Greenfield, PM, Savage-Rumbaugh, S. Gillespie-Lynch, K., & Hopkins, WD (2011). Nonhuman primates do déclaré! A comparison of declarative symbol and gesture use in two children, two bonobos, and a chimpanzee. Language and Communication, 31, 63-74. doi : 10.1016 / j.langcom.2010.11.001
  • “The Foundations of Primate Intelligence and Language,” Duane M. Rumbaugh, E. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, James E. King and Jared P. Taglialatela. The Human Brain Evolving: Paleoneurological Studies in Honor of Ralph L. Holloway, Stone Age Institute Press (2011).
  • Gillespie-Lynch, K. Greenfield, PM, Line, H., & Savage-Rumbaugh, S. (in press). The role of dialogue in the Ontogeny and phylogeny of early is Combinations. First Language.
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, S. (2010) Human Language-Human Consciousness, On the Human, a project of the National Humanities Center
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, ES, Rumbaugh, DM, & Fields, WM (2009) “Empirical Kanzi: The monkeys language debate revisited” .The Skeptic.
  • Lyn H. Franks, B, and Savage-Rumbaugh, ES (2008) Precursors or morality in the use of the symbols “good” and “bad” two bonobos (Pan paniscus) and a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Language and Communication, 28 (3) 213-224 doi : 10.1016 / j.langcom.2008.01.006 .
  • Greenfield, PM, Line, H., & Savage-Rumbaugh, ES (2008). Protolanguage in Ontogeny and phylogeny: combine Deixis and representation. Interaction Studies, 9 (1), 34-50.
  • Rumbaugh, DM, Washburn, DA King, JE, Beran, MJ Gould, K., & Savage-Rumbaugh, ES (2008). Why some apes imitate and / or emulation Observed behavior and others do not: Fact, theory, and implications for our child. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 7 (1), 101 -110.
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, S. & Fields, WM (2007) Rules and Tools: Beyond Anthropomorphism: A kwalitatief report on the stone tool Manufacture and use in captive bonobos Kanzi and Panbanisha. ?? In N. Toth’s Craft Institute Oldowan Technologies 1 (1).
  • Fields, WM, Segerdahl, P., & Savage-Rumbaugh, ES (2007) “The Material Practices of Ape Language.” ?? In J. Valsiner & Alberto Rosa (Eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Socio-Cultural Psychology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rumbaugh, DM, ES Savage-Rumbaugh, & Taglialatela, J. (2007). (L. Squire, ed.) Language nonhuman Animals. The New Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. New York: Elsevier.
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, S. Rumbaugh, DM & WM Fields. (2006) “Language as a Window on the Cultural Mind.” ?? In S. Hurley (Ed.) Rational Animals, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Lyn H. Greenfield, PG, and Savage-Rumbaugh, ES (2006) The development of pretend play in chimpanzees and bonobos: evolutionary implications, pretense, and the role of interspecies communication, Cognitive Development, 21, 199-213.
  • Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Kanzi Wamba, Panbanisha Wamba Wamba and Nyota. (2007) “Welfare or Apes in Captive Environments: Comments On and On, a Specific Group of Apes.” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, S. Fields, WM, Segerdahl, P., & DM Rumbaugh. (2005) “Culture prefigures Cognition in Pan / Homo Bonobos.” Theoria 20 (3).
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, ES, Segerdahl, P. Fields, WM (2005) “Individual Differences in Language Competencies in Apes resulting from Unique Rearing Conditions Imposed by Different First Epistemological.” LL Namy & SR Waxman (Eds.)
  • Segerdahl, P. Fields, WM, & Savage-Rumbaugh, ES (2005) Kanzi’s Primal Language: The Cultural Initiation or Apes Into Language. London: Palgrave / Macmillan.
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, S. Fields, WM, & T. Spircu. (2004). The Emergence of Knapping and Vocal Expression Embedded in a Pan / Homo Culture.J. or Biology and Philosophy (19).
  • Fields, WM, & Savage-Rumbaugh, S. (2003). [Review of the book A Mind So Rare: The Evolution of Human Consciousness]. Contemporary Psychology 48 (8).
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, S. Fields, W. (2002) “Hacias el control the Nuevas realidades,” Quark (25), 20-26.
  • Savage-Rumbaugh, S. Fields, WM & Taglialetela, J. (2001) “Language, Speech, Tools and Writing: A cultural imperative.” In Thompson, E. (ed.), Between Ourselves: Second-person issues in the study of consciousness (pp. 273-292) Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic.
  • Savage-Rumbuagh, ES & Fields, WM (2000) “Linguistic, Cultural and Cognitive Capabilities of Bonobos (Pan paniscus).” Culture & Psychology 6 (2), 131-153.
  • “Perception of Personality Traits and Semantic Learning in Evolving Hominids.” The Descent of Mind: Psychological Perspectives on Hominid Evolution “(pages 98-115), Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • “Ape Communication: Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” Origins of Language: What Non-Human Primates Can Tell Us “School of American Research Press, 1999.
  • “Continuing Investigations into tje Stone Tool Making and Using Tool Capabilities or bonobo (Pan paniscus)” in the Journal of Archaeological Science, 26 (pages 821-832), 1999.
  • “Language, Comprehension in Ape and Child” (Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development) Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Jeannine Murphy, Rose A. Sevcik, Karen E. Dogs, Shelly L. Williams and Duane M. Rumbaugh; University Of Chicago Press (July 1993)


  1. Jump up^ Fiske-Harrison, Alexander. “Talking With Apes’,Financial Times, Weekend section, Nov. 24-25 2001
  2. Jump up^ Beeman, Perry. ‘Apes scientist placed on leave after mental health is questioned “,Des Moines Register, September 12, 2012
  3. Jump up^ Wong, Kate. “Troubled Ape Facility Reinstates Controversial Researcher”,Scientific American, November 21, 2012
  4. Jump up^ Meinch, Timothy. “Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary announces new lead scientists’,Des Moines Register, January 30, 2014
  5. Jump up^ Hu, Jane C. (2014-08-20). “What Do Talking Apes Really Tell Us?” . Slate . ISSN  1091-2339 . Retrieved 2016-08-31 .