Deictic gesturing in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)? Some possible cases

Hobaiter, Catherine, Leavens, David A and Byrne, Richard W (2014) Deictic gesturing in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)? Some possible cases. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 128 (1). pp. 82-87. ISSN 0735-7036

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Referential pointing is important in the development of language comprehension in the child, and is often considered a uniquely human capacity. Non-human great apes do point in captivity, usually for a human audience; but this has been interpreted as an interaction pattern learned from human caretakers, not indicative of natural deictic ability. In contrast, spontaneous pointing for other apes is almost unknown among wild ape populations, supporting doubts as to whether apes naturally have any capacity to point referentially. Here we describe and illustrate four cases of gestures by juvenile chimpanzees in the Sonso chimpanzee community, Budongo, Uganda, that, at some level, may appear to be deictic and referential. We discuss the possible reasons why chimpanzees, if they possess a capacity for referential pointing, do not use it more frequently.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition Including learning, attention, comprehension, memory, imagination, genius, intelligence, thought and thinking, psycholinguistics, mental fatigue
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN049 Physical anthropology. Somatology > GN280.7 Man as an animal. Simian traits versus human traits
Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: David Leavens
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2013 13:28
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 11:42

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