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Gesture-first, but no gestures?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2005

David McNeill
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
Bennett Bertenthal
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
Jonathan Cole
Affiliation:
Clinical Neurological Sciences, Clinical Neurophysiology, Poole Hospital, Longfleet Road, Poole, BH15 2J, United Kingdom
Shaun Gallagher
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-1352

Abstract:

Although Arbib's extension of the mirror-system hypothesis neatly sidesteps one problem with the “gesture-first” theory of language origins, it overlooks the importance of gestures that occur in current-day human linguistic performance, and this lands it with another problem. We argue that, instead of gesture-first, a system of combined vocalization and gestures would have been a more natural evolutionary unit.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2005

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