Disentangling Pantomime From Early Sign in a New Sign Language: Window Into Language Evolution Research

Autor/a: MINEIRO, Ana; BAEZ MONTERO, Inmaculada C.; MOITA, Mara; GALHANO-RODRIGUES, Isabel
Año: 2021
Editorial: Frontiers in Psychology, 12 (2021)
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital




In this study, we aim to disentangle pantomime from early signs in a newly-born sign language: Sao Tome and Principe Sign Language. Our results show that within 2 years of their first contact with one another, a community of 100 participants interacting everyday was able to build a shared language. The growth of linguistic systematicity, which included a decrease in use of pantomime, reduction of the amplitude of signs and an increase in articulation economy, showcases a learning, and social interaction process that constitutes a continuum and not a cutoff system. The human cognitive system is endowed with mechanisms for symbolization that allow the process of arbitrariness to unfold and the expansion of linguistic complexity. Our study helps to clarify the role of pantomime in a new sign language and how this role might be linked with language itself, showing implications for language evolution research.