Have you anything unexpected to say? The human propensity to communicate surprise and its role in the emergence of language - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2010

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

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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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Dates and versions

hal-00581835 , version 1 (31-03-2011)

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  • HAL Id : hal-00581835 , version 1

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Jean-Louis 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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