Evolution of conventional communication: A cross-cultural study of pantomimic re-enactments of transitive events

Przemyslaw Zywiczynski, Marta Sibierska, Slawomir Wacewicz, Joost van de Weijer, Francesco Ferretti, Ines Adornetti, Alessandra Chiera, Valentina Deriu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study addresses the postulate of non-conventionality of pantomime, inherent in pantomimic scenarios of language origin. Since lack of semiotic conventions does not preclude micro-conventions resulting from cultural differences, pantomimes should be easier to interpret when the actor and recipient share the same culture than between two different cultures. In the study, Italian and Polish amateur “actors” re-enacted transitive events from a matrix of cartoon-like drawings. Randomly selected clips were matched by Polish and Italian participants to the corresponding drawings. We found no difference in the number of correct guesses when the actors and matchers were from the same versus from different cultures. We discuss this result in the context of the core assumptions of pantomimic scenarios of language origin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage and Communication
Volume80
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 31

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics

Keywords

  • Communicative conventions
  • Cultural difference
  • iconicity
  • Language origins
  • Pantomime

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