Cognitive Semiotics Seminar: "Expressives, Directives and Informatives: An Analysis of the Evolution of Speech Acts" (Hubert Hågemark)
In this seminar, Hubert Hågermark will present the most important ideas and conclusions from his recent MA thesis on the evolution of human communication, from the original perspective of Speech Act theory. As the abstract, and the attached thesis, show the topic is more than relevant for cognitive semiotics. We look forward to an exciting presentation and lively discussion. Welcome to room H402, or to the zoom link! As usual, we use the first minutes for "breaking the ice", and the talk will start at 15:15.
Although much research is devoted to the origin of human communication, rather limited efforts have been made to convert these findings into a systematic and overall account of the evolution of speech acts. The thesis contributes to this field by mapping out cognitively relevant features associated with expressives, directives and informatives. Based on empirical data on non-human primate communication, I argue that each speech act class involves diverse cognitive capacities related to acquisition, intentionality, intersubjectivity, involvement, detachment, cooperation and natural meaning. Despite exceptions, the overall results suggest that expressives are the least cognitively demanding, followed by directives and then informatives. This cognitive ladder yields an evolutionary understanding of central speech act classes found in human communication.Hubert.Hågemark.Magister.Thesis.pdf