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Timothy McDougald



Posts: 1011
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 15 2012,19:42   

Stirling researcher links wild chimpanzee gestures to language evolution:

Quote
“We now know that these gestures must have been in the repertoire of our common ancestor and might have been the starting point for language evolution. Manual gesture in chimpanzees is controlled by the same brain structures as speech in the human brain.”

Dr Roberts discovered that chimpanzees not only communicate using manual gestures, but they are able to work out what the signaller means from both gesture and accompanying context.

“Chimpanzees not only use similar manual gestures to humans,” says Dr Roberts, “but the way they use these gestures is also very similar to the way humans gesture and use language. The defining way that people understand communication with others is by figuring out what someone really means by ‘mind-reading’ their intentions and we have discovered that chimpanzees may have a similar ability.


An interesting press release marred by two things. First, it doesn't mention if, or where, a paper is forthcoming on this. Second:

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Dr Roberts said: “Chimpanzees use these gestures intentionally to elicit a desired response from other chimpanzees and they may be the missing link between ape and human communication”.
(bolding mine). Leaving aside the use of "missing link", since chimps are apes the statement makes no sense...

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Church burning ebola boy

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