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This paper is an introduction to the special issue entitled Evolving the study of gesture: evaluating and unifying theories of gesture acquisition in great apes. The gestures of great apes have been recorded in scientific literature for over 100 years, but the ways in which apes acquire their...
Comparing the communicative abilities of humans and great apes is a commonly used research strategy to understand the evolutionary foundation of modern human language. The ability to combine signals from different communicative modes (vocal, gestural, facial, etc.) is a universal and important...
It has been argued that variation in gesture usage among apes is influenced either by differential sampling of an innate ‘gesture space’ (Hobaiter and Byrne in Anim Cogn 14:745–767, 2011) or through the ‘mutual shaping of behavior’ (Halina et al. in Anim Cogn 16(4):653–666, 2013) referred to as...
The field of ape gesture research has grown significantly in the past two decades, but progress on the question of gesture development has been limited by methodological and terminological disagreements, small sample sizes, and a lack of fine-grained longitudinal data. The main theories of...
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