Turn-taking in human and animal communication
The evolution of language still remains a mystery. Recently, scholars suggested that turn-taking may bridge the gap between human and animal communication. However, lack of comparative data and methodological shortcomings hamper an in-depth understanding of similarities and differences in human and animal turn-taking. The EU-funded TURNTAKING project will investigate turn-taking production and comprehension in four primate model systems: human children, chimpanzees (one of humans' closest living relatives), geladas (an Old World monkey species) and common marmosets ( a New World monkey species). It will combine paradigms and measures from conversational analysis and primatology to test whether turn-taking is uniquely human, evolved independently, or represents an ancient mechanism in the primate lineage.
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