Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Gesture and Speech: André Leroi-Gourhan’s theory of the co-evolution of manual and intellectual activities

Buy Article:

$29.01 + tax (Refund Policy)

The role of gesture in Leroi-Gourhan’s theory of the origin of language is portrayed in its historical context and in view of recent research to allow a balanced appraisal of his contribution to the debate. Written in the mid-1960s, his Gesture and Speech offers a vivid contrast to Chomsky’s contemporary mentalist view of language that espoused Cartesian rationalism with its barriers between man and beast, and between body and mind. On the contrary, Leroi-Gourhan takes an integrated approach to human evolution: gesture (conceived of as ‘material action’) and speech are seen as twin products of an embodied mind that engendered our technical and social achievements. His explanation of the evolutionary association between the hand and the face provides a biological basis for cognitive as well as communicational aspects of gesture, with culture emerging as an extension of our zoological foundation. He asserts that the liberating of the hand from locomotion led to the liberating of the face from prehension, thus creating the duality of instrument and symbol whereby human beings physically and mentally grasp the world in which they live.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: gesture; human evolution; manual action; mind; paleontology; speech

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Free University, Berlin

Publication date: January 1, 2003

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more