Coordinating social action: A primer for the cross-species investigation of communicative repair
Heesen, R., Fröhlich, M., Sievers, C., Woensdregt, M., & Dingemanse, M.
Coordinating social action: A primer for the cross-species investigation of communicative repair. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 377
(1859): 20210110. doi:10.1098/rstb.2021.0110.
Human joint action is inherently cooperative, manifested in the collaborative efforts of participants to minimize communicative trouble through interactive repair. Although interactive repair requires sophisticated cognitive abilities,
it can be dissected into basic building blocks shared with non-human animal species. A review of the primate literature shows that interactionally contingent signal sequences are at least common among species of nonhuman great apes, suggesting a gradual evolution of repair. To pioneer a cross-species assessment of repair this paper aims at (i) identifying necessary precursors of human interactive repair; (ii) proposing a coding framework for its comparative study in humans and non-human species; and (iii) using this framework to analyse examples of interactions of humans (adults/children) and non-human great apes. We hope this paper will serve as a primer for cross-species comparisons of communicative breakdowns and how they are repaired.