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Table of Contents
Vol. 40, No. 1, 1997
Issue release date: 1997
Section title: Original Paper
Human Development 1997;40:7–24
(DOI:10.1159/000278540)

A Comparison of the Gestural Communication of Apes and Human Infants

Tomasello M.a · Camaioni L.b
aEmory University, Atlanta, Ga., USA, bUniversità di Roma ‘La Sapienza’, Roma. Italia

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Published online: January 21, 2010
Issue release date: 1997

Number of Print Pages: 18
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0018-716X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0054 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/HDE

Abstract

The naturally occurring gestures of chimpanzees and prelinguistic human infants are compared. Considered as special cases are apes raised by humans as they gesture to humans, and children with autism. Overall, the most important differences between the gestures of typically developing children and the gestures of individuals from the other three groups concern: (1) their predominant use of triadic, distal gestures; (2) their extensive use of declarative gestures, and (3) their use of imitative learning in acquiring some gestures (symbolic or referential), which implies that the gestures are understood as bi-directional communicative conventions. These differences all derive from the uniquely human form of social cognition (i.e., knowledge of other minds) that first emerges during the 2nd year of life and that enables human infants to understand other persons as intentional agents with whom they may share experience. Implications for the origins and evolution of human culture and language are discussed.

© 1997 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Published online: January 21, 2010
Issue release date: 1997

Number of Print Pages: 18
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0018-716X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0054 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/HDE


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