Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 18
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Beaton, Alan A. Mutinelli, Sofia and Corr, Philip J. 2016. Fractionating negative and positive affectivity in handedness: Insights from the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, p. 1.

    Bardo, Ameline Pouydebat, Emmanuelle and Meunier, Hélène 2015. Do bimanual coordination, tool use, and body posture contribute equally to hand preferences in bonobos?. Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 82, p. 159.

    Johansson, Sverker 2015. Language Abilities in Neanderthals. Annual Review of Linguistics, Vol. 1, Issue. 1, p. 311.

    Larsson, Matz 2015. Tool-use-associated sound in the evolution of language. Animal Cognition, Vol. 18, Issue. 5, p. 993.

    Laughlin, Charles D. 2015. Neuroarchaeology. Time and Mind, Vol. 8, Issue. 4, p. 335.

    Ruck, Lana Broadfield, Douglas C. and Brown, Clifford T. 2015. DETERMINING HOMINID HANDEDNESS IN LITHIC DEBITAGE: A REVIEW OF CURRENT METHODOLOGIES. Lithic Technology, Vol. 40, Issue. 3, p. 171.

    Verma, Ark and Brysbaert, Marc 2015. A validated set of tool pictures with matched objects and non-objects for laterality research. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 22.

    Clowry, Gavin J. 2014. Seeking clues in brain development to explain the extraordinary evolution of language in humans. Language Sciences, Vol. 46, p. 220.

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh and Braccini, Stephanie N. 2013. Primate laterality and the biology and evolution of human handedness: a review and synthesis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 1288, Issue. 1, p. 70.

    Steele, James Clegg, Margaret and Martelli, Sandra 2013. Comparative Morphology of the Hominin and African Ape Hyoid Bone, a Possible Marker of the Evolution of Speech. Human Biology, Vol. 85, Issue. 5, p. 639.

    Barney, A. Martelli, S. Serrurier, A. and Steele, J. 2012. Articulatory capacity of Neanderthals, a very recent and human-like fossil hominin. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 367, Issue. 1585, p. 88.

    Bongers, Raoul M. Kyberd, Peter J. Bouwsema, Hanneke Kenney, Laurence P.J. Plettenburg, Dick H. and Van der Sluis, Corry K. 2012. Bernstein’s Levels of Construction of Movements Applied to Upper Limb Prosthetics. JPO Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, Vol. 24, Issue. 2, p. 67.

    Bril, B. Smaers, J. Steele, J. Rein, R. Nonaka, T. Dietrich, G. Biryukova, E. Hirata, S. and Roux, V. 2012. Functional mastery of percussive technology in nut-cracking and stone-flaking actions: experimental comparison and implications for the evolution of the human brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 367, Issue. 1585, p. 59.

    Frayer, David W. Lozano, Marina Bermúdez de Castro, José M. Carbonell, Eudald Arsuaga, Juan Luis Radovčić, Jakov Fiore, Ivana and Bondioli, Luca 2012. More than 500,000 years of right-handedness in Europe. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, Vol. 17, Issue. 1, p. 51.

    Roby-Brami, A. Hermsdorfer, J. Roy, A. C. and Jacobs, S. 2012. A neuropsychological perspective on the link between language and praxis in modern humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 367, Issue. 1585, p. 144.

    Steele, J. Ferrari, P. F. and Fogassi, L. 2012. From action to language: comparative perspectives on primate tool use, gesture and the evolution of human language. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 367, Issue. 1585, p. 4.

    Hopkins, William D. Phillips, Kimberley A. Bania, Amanda Calcutt, Sarah E. Gardner, Molly Russell, Jamie Schaeffer, Jennifer Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V. Ross, Stephen R. and Schapiro, Steven J. 2011. Hand preferences for coordinated bimanual actions in 777 great apes: Implications for the evolution of handedness in Hominins. Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 60, Issue. 5, p. 605.

    Braccini, Stephanie Lambeth, Susan Schapiro, Steve and Fitch, W. Tecumseh 2010. Bipedal tool use strengthens chimpanzee hand preferences. Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 58, Issue. 3, p. 234.


Can the Archaeology of Manual Specialization Tell Us Anything About Language Evolution? A Survey of the State of Play

  • James Steele (a1) and Natalie Uomini (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 February 2009

In this review and position paper we explore the neural substrates for manual specialization and their possible connection with language and speech. We focus on two contrasting hypotheses of the origins of language and manual specialization: the language-first scenario and the tool-use-first scenario. Each one makes specific predictions about hand-use in non-human primates, as well as about the necessity of an association between speech adaptations and population-level right-handedness in the archaeological and fossil records. The concept of handedness is reformulated for archaeologists in terms of manual role specialization, using Guiard's model of asymmetric bimanual coordination. This focuses our attention on skilled bimanual tasks in which both upper limbs play complementary roles. We review work eliciting non-human primate hand preferences in co-ordinated bimanual tasks, and relevant archaeological data for estimating the presence or absence of a population-level bias to the right hand as the manipulator in extinct hominin species and in the early prehistory of our own species.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *