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mar. 14/05/2019 Atelier Histoire et Ecologie des Langues, Elisa Demuru: COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL PLAY IN BONOBOS AND CHIMPANZEES
14h00-15h30
MSH-Ennat Leger

Human communication is evolutionarily stratified, composed of layers of abilities of different antiquity. It is a system of systems. Within the debate on the origin on human language, growing attention is being devoted to the social cognitive capacities underpinning the “human interaction engine”, such as mimicry and imitation, empathy, theory of mind, cooperation, conversational turn-taking and shared intentionality. Although language in its full form sets Homo sapiens apart from our closest living relatives, one of the most promising means to shed light on its biological roots is the investigation of great apes’ natural communication and social cognition in search of those abilities that are shared between us and them and that might constitute the evolutionary layers or “building blocks” of the human interaction engine. The aim of this talk is to give an introduction on great apes’ communication, with a particular focus on gestural communication, and to show how the study of social play could contribute to the understanding of some debated aspects of primate communication and social cognition that are strictly related to the evolution of human language.




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