A call for conformity

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Many advances in the study of gesture have been accomplished; however idiosyncratic methodologies and definitions have been applied for different subject pools in human and non-human animals. Since gesture use in our phylogeny dates back at least to other primates, a useful framework for furthering this study should accommodate all gesture forms regardless of species membership. Such a framework would allow for in depth comparisons also if gesture is a product of convergent evolution. The current chapter (i) provides an overview of the state of the art of gesture studies in humans and other primates, (ii) adjusts McNeill’s Gesture Continuum to accommodate all gesture types by implementing Tinbergen’s four “why’s” and (iii) creates a comprehensive definition of gesture that satisfies studies of any animal species.


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