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Evolution of Communicative FlexibilityComplexity, Creativity, and Adaptability in Human and Animal Communication$
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D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262151214

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262151214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

How Apes Use Gestures: The Issue of Flexibility

How Apes Use Gestures: The Issue of Flexibility

(p.235) 11 How Apes Use Gestures: The Issue of Flexibility
Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

Josep Call

The MIT Press

This chapter presents a summary of the results on gestural communication in apes, and provides an important empirical base for speculations about the role of manual dexterity in language evolution. It concentrates on intentional gestures of the great apes, and considers the use of the pointing gesture and sign language. The chapter suggests that the apes do not use gestures to direct the attention of others to objects or events with the purpose of sharing social attention and emotion about external entities. It shows that apes assess the attentional state of the recipient and select gestures accordingly, or change position to alter the attentional state and then use gestures.

Keywords:   gestural communication, apes, intentional gestures, pointing gesture, sign language, social attention, emotion

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