Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):242-250 (2003)

Many commentators have raised issues concerning the idea that language evolved from manual gestures. I deal with these first, reiterating the points that speech is very different from animal vocal calls, and that cortical control over manual action provided the best platform for the evolution of intentional communication and language. I then deal with commentaries on the origins of handedness. The critical questions are whether there is indeed an evolutionary coupling between handedness and lateralized control of speech, and if there is, whether a prior lateralization of vocal control provided the nudge that gave most of us left-sided speech and right-handedness.
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X03590069
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