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:

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This concluding chapter presents a summary of the main argument of the book, which is that signed languages are in an important sense not unique, that they are merely manifestations of the human language ability, unfamiliar only because language scientists of the time were not familiar with deaf people and their natural languages. It has been proposed that transformation of gesture into language lies at the heart of the origin of language, that just as grammaticization-as-ritualization accounts for the change from lexical to grammatical, it also accounts for the transformation of gesture into language. Ritualization is implicated in the phylogenetic evolution of language from nonlinguistic behaviours, with visible gestures playing a key role.

Keywords: signed language; communication; unity; ritualization; human language; grammaticization

Chapter.  1160 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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