Taking turns : bridging the gap between human and animal communication
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Language, humans' most distinctive trait, still remains a 'mystery' for evolutionary theory. It is underpinned by a universal infrastructure-cooperative turn-taking-which has been suggested as an ancient mechanism bridging the existing gap between the articulate human species and their inarticulate primate cousins. However, we know remarkably little about turn-taking systems of non-human animals, and methodological confounds have often prevented meaningful cross-species comparisons. Thus, the extent to which cooperative turn-taking is uniquely human or represents a homologous and/or analogous trait is currently unknown. The present paper draws attention to this promising research avenue by providing an overview of the state of the art of turn-taking in four animal taxa-birds, mammals, insects and anurans. It concludes with a new comparative framework to spur more research into this research domain and to test which elements of the human turn-taking system are shared across species and taxa.
Pika , S , Wilkinson , R , Kendrick , K H & Vernes , S C 2018 , ' Taking turns : bridging the gap between human and animal communication ' , Proceedings. Biological sciences , vol. 285 , no. 1880 , 20180598 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.0598
Proceedings. Biological sciences
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
DescriptionFunding: a Sofja Kovalevskaja-Award of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation awarded to S.P. generously supported the project, as did a Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Levelt Innovation Award awarded to K.H.K. and S.C.V., and a Max Planck Research Group awarded to S.C.V.
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