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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

The Role of Play in the Evolution and Ontogeny of Contextually Flexible Communication

The Role of Play in the Evolution and Ontogeny of Contextually Flexible Communication

Chapter:
(p.253) 12 The Role of Play in the Evolution and Ontogeny of Contextually Flexible Communication
Source:
Evolution of Communicative Flexibility
Author(s):

Stan Kuczaj

Radhika Makecha

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262151214.003.0012

This chapter presents a theoretical perspective on the role of play in a variety of species, and how their evolution may have affected the emergence of language. It highlights the ways that flexibility of vocal control in humans may be in part a reflection of tendencies to play, tendencies which exist widely in mammals, concentrating specifically on the possible roles of play in the evolution and ontogeny of flexible communication systems. The chapter suggests that it is important to determine the extent to which some animals play with signals. Although human language play involves the manipulation of sounds, the chapter shows that the “language” play of other species will incorporate signals from the modality used in their communication system.

Keywords:   language play, flexibility, vocal control, communication systems, human language, sounds, ontogeny, evolution

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