In a new paper Cat Hobaiter asks: Are ape gestures like words? Not really. Talk is based on words and parts of words in order. Words are based on sounds. And the sounds have features like where they are said in the mouth and the relation in time between the gestures in different parts of the mouth in one sound. When babies babble, they sometimes experiment with the features. There are corresponding features in the sign languages of the deaf. But there is no evidence of these features in apes’ signing. So in response to Hobaiter: Chimpanzees are nowhere near human language.