Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Unbalanced human apes and syntax

Roger S. Fouts a1 and Gabriel Waters a2

a1 Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7573
a2 Department of Linguistics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1196


We propose that the fine discrete movements of the tongue as used in speech are what account for the extreme lateralization in humans, and that handedness is a mere byproduct of tongue use. With regard to syntax, we support the Armstrong et al. (1995) proposition that syntax derives directly from gestural motor movements as opposed to facial expressions.