Supplementary material from "Social tolerance and interactional opportunities as drivers of gestural redoings in orang-utans"

Posted on 23.06.2022 - 15:05
Communicative repair is a fundamental and universal element of interactive language use. It has been suggested that the persistence and elaboration after communicative breakdown in nonhuman primates constitute two evolutionary building blocks of this capacity, but the conditions favouring it are poorly understood. Because zoo-housed individuals of some species are more social and more terrestrial than in the wild, they should be more likely to show gestural redoings (i.e. both repetition and elaboration) after communicative failure in the coordination of their joint activities. Using a large comparative sample of wild and zoo-housed orang-utans of two different species, we could confirm this prediction for elaboration, the more flexible form of redoings. Specifically, results showed that gestural redoings in general were best predicted by the specific joint action context (i.e. social play) and interaction dyad (i.e. beyond mother–offspring), although were least frequent in captive Bornean orang-utans. For gestural elaboration, we found the expected differences between captive and wild research settings in Borneans, but not in Sumatrans (the more socially tolerant species). Moreover, we found that the effectiveness of elaboration in eliciting responses was higher in Sumatrans, especially the captive ones, whereas effectiveness of mere repetition was influenced by neither species nor setting. We conclude that the socio-ecological environment plays a central role in the emergence of communicative repair strategies in great apes.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Revisiting the human ‘interaction engine’: comparative approaches to social action coordination’.

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Fröhlich, Marlen; van Schaik, Carel P. (2022): Supplementary material from "Social tolerance and interactional opportunities as drivers of gestural redoings in orang-utans". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6038197.v2
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