For decades, psychology students have learned about Washoe. She was the female chimpanzee who used sign language. Although some disputed whether it was true linguistic skills, the work with Washoe was innovative research. Earlier this week, Washoe died of natural causes:

link: Chimpanzee famous for using sign language dies

Washoe was an ambassador and she will remain a significant part of the debate about human-to-animal language. In her trying to connect with humans, Washoe was, in every respect, a pioneer.

Catherine Forsythe

[tags]washoe, chimpanzee, sign language, linguistics, debate[/tags]