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Simone Pika, Thursday June 23

THE EVOLUTION OF COOPERATIVE COMMUNICATION: CAN GESTURES BRIDGE THE GAP?

Simone Pika
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
http://www.orn.mpg.de/cgs

Human language is a fundamentally cooperative enterprise, embodying fast-paced and extended social interactions. It has been suggested that it evolved as part of a larger adaptation of humans’ species-unique forms of cooperation. Although our closest living relatives, great apes, show general cooperative abilities, their communicative interactions seem to lack the cooperative nature of human conversation. Here, I will revisit this claim by (i) providing an overview of the state of the art and (ii) presenting data of a recent comparative study on communicative complexity and development in bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) living in four different communities in their natural environments (bonobos: LuiKotale, DRC; Wamba, DRC; chimpanzees: Taï South, Côte d’Ivoire; Kanyawara, Uganda). Results strengthen the hypothesis that interactional intelligence paved the way to the cooperative endeavour of human language and suggest that social matrices highly impact upon communication styles.

 

Where and when:
15:45-17:00 Jun 23, 2016
MPI Conference room 163
Organizers:
Shiri Lev-Ari
Julia Udden

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