Abstract
Language is a cognitively demanding human trait, but it is also a fundamentally cooperative enterprise that rests on the motivation to share information. Great apes possess many of the cognitive prerequisites for language, but largely lack the motivation to share information. Callitrichids are highly vocal monkeys that are more distantly related to humans than great apes are, but like humans, they are cooperative breeders and all group members help raising offspring. Among primates, this rearing system is correlated with proactive prosociality, which can be expressed as motivation to share information. We therefore propose that the unique coincidence of these two components in humans set the stage for language evolution: The cognitive component inherited from our great ape-like ancestors, and the motivational one added convergently as a result of cooperative breeding. We evaluate this scenario based on a review of callitrichd vocal communication and show that furthermore, they possess many of the mechanistic elements emphasized by the mirror system hypothesis of language evolution. We end by highlighting how more systematic phylogenetic comparisons will enable us to further promote our understanding of the role of cooperative breeding during language evolution.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1075/is.17026.bur
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,919
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Evolution of Language: A Comparative Review. [REVIEW]W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):193-203.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Language Origins.Sławomir Wacewicz & Przemysław Żywiczyński - 2018 - Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems 19 (1-2):167-182.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Insights From Ifaluk: Food Sharing Among Cooperative Fishers.Richard Sosis - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):568-569.
Key Variables in Tests of Food Sharing.Margaret Franzen - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):563-563.
Qualities of Sharing and Their Transformations in the Digital Age.Andreas Wittel - 2011 - International Review of Information Ethics 15 (9):2011.
Sharing Food, Sharing Values: Mothering and Empathy in Murik Society.Kathleen Barlow - 2010 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 38 (4):339-353.
Sharing Food, Sharing Values: Mothering and Empathy in Murik Society.Kathleen Barlow - 2010 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 38 (4):339-353.
The Self-Dual Serial Cost-Sharing Rule.M. J. Albizuri - 2010 - Theory and Decision 69 (4):555-567.
What Should Be the Data Sharing Policy of Cognitive Science?Mark A. Pitt & Yun Tang - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (1):214-221.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-09-18

Total views
13 ( #688,157 of 2,343,627 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #514,299 of 2,343,627 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes