Chaser the Genius Border Collie Understands Grammar

A new study shows that Chaser, who gained fame by learning more than 1,000 words a few years ago, is a lot smarter than any of us knew — he’s maybe even smarter than I. You see, he knows grammar.

In the study, Chaser’s owner, Dr. John Pilley, set out to measure the ability of his genius Border Collie to learn the “syntax and semantics” of sentences consisting of three elements of grammar: a prepositional object, verb, and direct object. Chaser had to give consistent responses to commands containing those three elements (like, “to ball take Frisbee”) were mixed up (“to Frisbee take ball”).





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