Have you anything unexpected to say? The human propensity to communicate surprise and its role in the emergence of language

Abstract :

Individuals devote one third of their language time to mentioning unexpected events. We try to make sense of this universal behaviour within the Costly Signalling framework. By systematically using language to point to the unexpected, individuals send a signal that advertises their ability to anticipate danger. This shift in display behaviour, as compared with typical displays in primate species, may result from the use by hominins of artefacts to kill.

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Conference papers
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 7:22:15 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-00581835, version 1

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J.-L. Dessalles. Have you anything unexpected to say? The human propensity to communicate surprise and its role in the emergence of language. 8th International conference on the evolution of language, 2010, Utrecht, Netherlands Antilles. pp.99-106. ⟨hal-00581835⟩

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