The evolution of language from social cognition.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Seyfarth, Robert M; Cheney, Dorothy L
Year of Publication: 2014
Journal: Curr Opin Neurobiol
Volume: 28
Pagination: 5-9
Date Published: 2014 Oct
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1873-6882
Keywords: Animal communication, Animals, Biological Evolution, Cognition, Humans, Language, Social Behavior

Despite their differences, human language and the vocal communication of nonhuman primates share many features. Both constitute a form of joint action, rely on similar neural mechanisms, and involve discrete, combinatorial cognition. These shared features suggest that during evolution the ancestors of modern primates faced similar social problems and responded by evolving similar systems of perception, communication and cognition. When language later evolved from this common foundation, many of its distinctive features were already in place.

DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.04.003
Alternate Journal: Curr. Opin. Neurobiol.