Les chimpanzés sauvages (Pan troglodytes) produisent-ils des gestes déictiques?

Translated title of the contribution: Do wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) produce deictic gestures?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Referential pointing is important in a child's development of language, and has been argued to be a uniquely human capacity. While nonhuman great apes regularly point in captivity, this has been seen as an interaction pattern learned from the humans they interact with on a daily basis, and not as indicating any natural referential capacity. In the wild, spontaneous pointing between apes is almost unknown, lending support for the argument that the capacity for reference represents a boundary between human and nonhuman ape cognition. During a longterm study of gestural communication in the wild Sonso chimpanzee community in the Budongo Forest, Uganda we investigated whether any of these gestures met a series of strict requirements for referential use. Here we describe four cases by juvenile chimpanzees that may, at some level, be deictic and referential. We discuss the possibile resons why chimpanzees, if they have a capacity for referential communication, do not use it more frequently.

Translated title of the contributionDo wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) produce deictic gestures?
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Pointing
  • Referential communication
  • Wild chimpanzees


Dive into the research topics of 'Do wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) produce deictic gestures?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this