Language in the Wild

David F. Armstrong and Sherman E. Wilcox

in The Gestural Origin of Language

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780195163483
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199867523 | DOI:
 Language in the Wild

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This chapter discusses current knowledge about the linguistic or language-like behaviour of modern great apes, especially chimpanzees (including bonobos) and gorillas. Evidence supports the idea that gesture-based language might have preceded speech in human phylogeny: (1) paleontological evidence for human anatomical evolution; (2) primatological evidence concerning the behaviour of the closest living relatives of human beings; and (3) neurological evidence concerning the organization of the substrates for linguistic behaviour in the brain.

Keywords: language; great apes; chimpanzees; gorillas; gestures; primates; evolution; linguistic behaviour

Chapter.  6705 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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