Baby apes and humans teach lessons about evolution of language

June 6, 2013 10:56 PM

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Baby apes and humans teach lessons about evolution of language

A chimpanzee named Panpanzee (left) and a child known as GN (right) give the gesture for "go," which involves reaching and pointing when there is no object indicated. Researchers found that young humans and apes drew upon a similar repertoire of gestures.

When it comes to communication, a human infant starts out with hand gestures, much as baby chimps and bonobos do, and all three of those species shift to using more symbols as they grow up. But the shift to symbols is more pronounced for the human and relies more on vocalization. That pattern may we...

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