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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The repertoire and intentionality of gestural communication in wild chimpanzees
Authors: Roberts, Anna
Roberts, Sam George Bradley
Vick, Sarah-Jane
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Keywords: Gestural communication
Gestural repertoire
Communicative persistence - Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes
Issue Date: Mar-2014
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Roberts A, Roberts SGB & Vick S (2014) The repertoire and intentionality of gestural communication in wild chimpanzees, Animal Cognition, 17 (2), pp. 317-336.
Abstract: A growing body of evidence suggests that human language may have emerged primarily in the gestural rather than vocal domain, and that studying gestural communication in great apes is crucial to understanding language evolution. Although manual and bodily gestures are considered distinct at a neural level, there has been very limited consideration of potential differences at a behavioural level. In this study, we conducted naturalistic observations of adult wild East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in order to establish a repertoire of gestures, and examine gesture use and comprehension, comparing across manual and bodily gestures. At the population level, 120 distinct gesture types were identified, consisting of 65 manual gestures and 55 bodily gestures. Both bodily and manual gestures were used intentionally and effectively to attain specific goals, by signallers who are sensitive to recipient attention. However, manual gestures differed from bodily gestures in terms of communicative persistence, indicating a qualitatively different form of behavioural flexibility in achieving goals. Both repertoire size and frequency of manual gesturing were more affiliative than bodily gestures, while bodily gestures were more antagonistic. These results indicate that manual gestures may have played a significant role in the emergence of increased flexibility in great ape communication and social bonding.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Chester
University of Chester

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