Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Short Communication

Prosody as an intermediary evolutionary stage between a manual communication system and a fully developed language faculty


Andreas Rogalewski a1, Caterina Breitenstein a1, Agnes Floel a2 and Stefan Knecht a1
a1 Department of Neurology, University of Muenster, 48129 Muenster, Germany rogalewski@uni-muenster.de caterina.breitenstein@uni-muenster.de knecht@uni-muenster.de http://neurologie.unimuenster.de/ger/mitarbeiter/rogalewski
a2 Human Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 floela@ninds.nih.gov

Abstract

Based on the motor theory of language, which asserts an evolution from gestures along several stages to today's speech and language, we suggest that speech ontogeny may partly reflect speech phylogeny, in that perception of prosodic contours is an intermediary stage between a manual communication system and a fully developed language faculty.



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