02Dec

Approaches to language origins: The past, the present, and the future in animal communication studies

CRESIDA,

16:00 - 17:15

This week in the CRESIDA seminar series, Dr Simone Pika from the University of Osnabrück will be delivering a vritual seminar titled 'Approaches to language origins: The past, the present, and the future in animal communication studies'.

The lecture will be livestreamed via Zoom on December 2nd at 4pm:

 

Abstract

Language, one of humans’ most distinctive traits, still remains a ‘mystery’ for evolutionary theory. Recently, Levinson proposed that it is not language that makes human communication possible, but a special capacity for social interaction. This capacity is a layered assemblage of different social cognitive skills including joint attention, common ground, collaboration and reasoning about communicative intent. It involves the specific characteristics of face-to-face interaction, frequent employment of mutual gaze, and the exchange of rapid communicative turns. Surprisingly, this hypothesis has received relatively little research attention in the fields of Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology. The planned presentation will draw attention to this promising research avenue by (i) providing an overview of the state of the art in animal communication studies, and (ii) introducing elements and possible prerequisites of human social interaction which may be shared across species and taxa.