English
 
Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

Primate vocalization, gesture, and the evolution of human language

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons72553

Liebal,  Katja
Evolutionary Roots of Human Social Interaction, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons72904

Pika,  Simone
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts stored in PuRe
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Arbib, M. A., Liebal, K., & Pika, S. (2008). Primate vocalization, gesture, and the evolution of human language. Current Anthropology, 49(6), 1053-1076. doi:10.1086/593015.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-FCBA-9
Abstract
The performance of language is multimodal, not confined to speech. Review of monkey and apecommunication demonstrates greater flexibility in the use of hands and body than for vocalization.Nonetheless, the gestural repertoire of any group of nonhuman primates is small compared with thevocabulary of any human language and thus, presumably, of the transitional form called protolan-guage. We argue that it was the coupling of gestural communication with enhanced capacities forimitation that made possible the emergence of protosign to provide essential scaffolding for pro-tospeech in the evolution of protolanguage. Similarly, we argue against a direct evolutionary pathfrom nonhuman primate vocalization to human speech. The analysis refines aspects of the mirrorsystem hypothesis on the role of the primate brain’s mirror system for manual action in evolutionof the human language-ready brain.