Beyond prosody and infant-directed speech: Affective, social construction of meaning in the origins of language
Barbara J. King a1andStuart Shanker a2 a1 Department of Anthropology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 23187
[email protected] a2 Departments of Psychology and Philosophy, Atkinson College, York University, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3 Canada
Our starting point for the origins of language goes beyond prosody or infant-directed speech to highlight the affective, multimodal, and co-constructed nature of meaning-making that was likely present before the split between African great apes and hominins. Analysis of vocal and gestural caregiving practices in hominins, and of meaning-making via gestural interaction in African great apes, supports our thesis.