Article published in:Developments in Primate Gesture Research
Edited by Simone Pika and Katja Liebal
[Gesture Studies 6] 2012
► pp. 13–32
Facial-vocal displays, gestures and language
Animals possess nonverbal displays consisting of chemical signals, postures, gestures, calls, and, in mammals, of facial-vocal expressions, essentially reflecting intentions and attitudes of the sender. Humans, in addition, possess a verbal language with an ‘unlimited’ repertoire of referential and representational symbols, syntactically combined into meaningful complexes. Because of the vital role of speech the emancipation of vocal utterances in primates is seen as the beginning of linguistic evolution. However, in humans gesturing is closely associated with linguistic expression, favouring a gestural origin. Here I compare features of gesturing and facial-vocal expression in our primate relatives, e.g. referentiality and intentionality, contrasting these with linguistic performance. The conclusion is that a choice between one of the former as the main precursor of language cannot as yet be made.
Published online: 12 June 2012
Cited by 3 other publications
Beresin, Anna R. & Kristen Farley-Rambo
Luef, Eva Maria, Ter Maat, Andries, Jäger, Manuela & Pika, Simone
Pika, Simone & Marlen Fröhlich
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 05 april 2021. 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.