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Understanding communicative intentions and semiotic vehicles by children and chimpanzees

Zlatev, Jordan LU ; Madsen, Elainie LU ; Lenninger, Sara LU ; Persson, Tomas LU ; Sayehli, Susan LU ; van de Weijer, Joost LU and Sonesson, Göran LU (2013) In Cognitive Development 28(3). p.312-329
Abstract
Developmental and comparative studies of the ability to understand communicative intentions using object-choice tasks raise questions concerning the semiotic properties of the communicative signals, and the roles of rearing histories, language and familiarity. We adapted a study by Tomasello, Call, and Gluckman (1997), in which a “helper” indicated the location of a hidden reward to children of three ages (18, 24, and 30 months) and to four chimpanzees, by means of one of four cues: Pointing, Marker, Picture and Replica. For the chimpanzees, we controlled for familiarity by using two helpers, one unfamiliar and one highly familiar. Even 18-months performed well on Pointing and Marker, while only the oldest group clearly succeeded with... (More)
Developmental and comparative studies of the ability to understand communicative intentions using object-choice tasks raise questions concerning the semiotic properties of the communicative signals, and the roles of rearing histories, language and familiarity. We adapted a study by Tomasello, Call, and Gluckman (1997), in which a “helper” indicated the location of a hidden reward to children of three ages (18, 24, and 30 months) and to four chimpanzees, by means of one of four cues: Pointing, Marker, Picture and Replica. For the chimpanzees, we controlled for familiarity by using two helpers, one unfamiliar and one highly familiar. Even 18-months performed well on Pointing and Marker, while only the oldest group clearly succeeded with Picture and Replica. Performance did not correlate with scores for the Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory (SECDI). While there were no positive results for the chimpanzees on the group level, and no effect of familiarity, two chimpanzees succeeded on Pointing and Marker. Results support proposals of a species difference in understanding communicative intentions, but also highlight the need to distinguish these from the complexity of semiotic vehicles and to consider both factors. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Pointing, Object-choice, Indexicality, Conventionality, Familiarity, Iconicity
in
Cognitive Development
volume
28
issue
3
pages
312 - 329
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000324964800011
  • scopus:84881017991
ISSN
0885-2014
DOI
10.1016/j.cogdev.2013.05.001
project
Precursors of Sign Use in Intersubjectivity and Imitation (PSUII)
Centre for Cognitive Semiotics (CCS)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
10d4848b-7b96-4fe4-91ee-c742ba3a83e0 (old id 3798880)
alternative location
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885201413000348#
date added to LUP
2013-05-22 16:26:01
date last changed
2017-03-19 03:42:14
@article{10d4848b-7b96-4fe4-91ee-c742ba3a83e0,
  abstract     = {Developmental and comparative studies of the ability to understand communicative intentions using object-choice tasks raise questions concerning the semiotic properties of the communicative signals, and the roles of rearing histories, language and familiarity. We adapted a study by Tomasello, Call, and Gluckman (1997), in which a “helper” indicated the location of a hidden reward to children of three ages (18, 24, and 30 months) and to four chimpanzees, by means of one of four cues: Pointing, Marker, Picture and Replica. For the chimpanzees, we controlled for familiarity by using two helpers, one unfamiliar and one highly familiar. Even 18-months performed well on Pointing and Marker, while only the oldest group clearly succeeded with Picture and Replica. Performance did not correlate with scores for the Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory (SECDI). While there were no positive results for the chimpanzees on the group level, and no effect of familiarity, two chimpanzees succeeded on Pointing and Marker. Results support proposals of a species difference in understanding communicative intentions, but also highlight the need to distinguish these from the complexity of semiotic vehicles and to consider both factors.},
  author       = {Zlatev, Jordan and Madsen, Elainie and Lenninger, Sara and Persson, Tomas and Sayehli, Susan and van de Weijer, Joost and Sonesson, Göran},
  issn         = {0885-2014},
  keyword      = {Pointing,Object-choice,Indexicality,Conventionality,Familiarity,Iconicity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {312--329},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Cognitive Development},
  title        = {Understanding communicative intentions and semiotic vehicles by children and chimpanzees},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2013.05.001},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2013},
}