|gestural theory of language origins|
| Definition -
A theory of language origins that claims that proto-language emerged from gestures that were used for simple communication.
According to the Wikipedia, "Two types of evidence support this theory:
(1) Gestural language and vocal language depend on similar neural systems, and the regions on the cortex that are responsible for mouth and hand movements border each other.
(2) Nonhuman primates can use gestures or symbols for at least primitive communication, and some of their gestures resemble those of humans, such as the 'begging posture.'"
Example Usages -
1. "This chapter discusses another of [Bill] Stokoe’s grand ideas: the idea that language began as gesture. Stokoe would be the first to point out that the gestural theory of language origins is not his unique creation. Centuries ago, philosophers such as Condillac, Herder, and Vico expounded gestural theories of language origins. Many of Stokoe’s colleagues, including Adam Kendon, David Armstrong, and Frank Wilson, have contributed to modern gestural theory."
(Source: Sign Language Studies 01/2009; 9(4):398-409. DOI: 10.1353/sls.0.0028 )