CANCELLED: Friday seminar: The search for semantic universals: explorations in non-human primates

By Pritty Patel-Grosz, from the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies (ILN), UiO

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, this seminar has been postponed. A new date and time will be announced later.


Super Linguistics is at the forefront of a current development in linguistic theory that is based on the premise that scientific disciplines gain insight from expanding their domain of investigation beyond traditional objects of inquiry. An expansion of formal linguistic methodology and methodology inspired by formal linguistics beyond natural language will yield precise insights into the question of which properties natural language shares with other communicative devices, and where the differences lie. Body movement (including – but not limited to – gesture, facial expression, and dance) is among the diverse non-standard objects of study that are central to this enterprise. In this talk we present preliminary results which attempt to identify universals in meaningful components of body movement, by pursuing an evolutionary angle using phylogenetic comparison between humans and our closest non-human relatives that have the ability to gesture or dance (non-human primates). We start by presenting recent results on human body movement, and then present preliminary results which attempt to probe for atomic components and potential universals in meaningful body movement by exploring the origins of gesture and dance in non-human primates.

Pritty Patel-Grosz
Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, Faculty of Humanities, UiO

Published Jan. 27, 2020 2:33 PM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2021 10:23 AM