The gestural communication of apes
Katja Liebal |
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, GERMANY
Gestural communication of nonhuman primates may allow insight into the evolutionary scenario of human communication given the flexible use and learning of gestures as opposed to vocalizations. This paper provides an overview of the work on the gestural communication of apes with the focus on their repertoire, learning mechanisms, and the flexibility of gesture use during interactions with conspecifics. Although there is a variation between the species in the types and numbers of gestures performed, the influence of ecology, social structure and cognitive skills on their gestural repertoires is relatively restricted. As opposed to humans, apes do not use their gestures referentially nor do their gestures show the symbolic or conventionalized features of human gestural communication. However, since the gestural repertoires of apes are characterized by a high degree of individual variability and flexibility of use as opposed to their vocalizations it seems plausible that the gestures were the modality within which symbolic communication first evolved.
Cited by 1 other publications
. Gestures of apes and pre-linguistic human children: Similar or different?
. First Language
pp. 116 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 24 january 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.