The aim of this paper is twofold: to propose that conversation is the distinctive feature of Homo sapiens’ communication; to show that the emergence of modern language is tied to the transition from pantomime to verbal and grammatically complex forms of narrative. It is suggested that (animal and human) communication is a form of persuasion and that storytelling was the best tool invented by humans to convince others. In the early stage of communication, archaic hominins used forms of pantomimic storytelling to persuade others. Although pantomime is a powerful tool for persuasive communication, it is proposed that it is not an effective tool for persuasive conversation: conversation is characterized by a form of reciprocal persuasion among peers; instead, pantomime has a mainly asymmetrical character. The selective pressure towards persuasive reciprocity of the conversational level is the evolutionary reason that allowed the transition from pantomime to grammatically complex codes in Homo sapiens, which favored the evolution of speech.

Ferretti, F., Adornetti, I. (2021). Persuasive conversation as a new form of communication in Homo sapiens. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 376(1824), 1-9 [10.1098/rstb.2020.0196].

Persuasive conversation as a new form of communication in Homo sapiens

Ferretti F.
;
Adornetti I.
2021

Abstract

The aim of this paper is twofold: to propose that conversation is the distinctive feature of Homo sapiens’ communication; to show that the emergence of modern language is tied to the transition from pantomime to verbal and grammatically complex forms of narrative. It is suggested that (animal and human) communication is a form of persuasion and that storytelling was the best tool invented by humans to convince others. In the early stage of communication, archaic hominins used forms of pantomimic storytelling to persuade others. Although pantomime is a powerful tool for persuasive communication, it is proposed that it is not an effective tool for persuasive conversation: conversation is characterized by a form of reciprocal persuasion among peers; instead, pantomime has a mainly asymmetrical character. The selective pressure towards persuasive reciprocity of the conversational level is the evolutionary reason that allowed the transition from pantomime to grammatically complex codes in Homo sapiens, which favored the evolution of speech.
Ferretti, F., Adornetti, I. (2021). Persuasive conversation as a new form of communication in Homo sapiens. PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS - ROYAL SOCIETY. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 376(1824), 1-9 [10.1098/rstb.2020.0196].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/378622
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