An analysis of semiotic and mimetic processes in Australopithecus afarensis
The underlying semiotic structures of communicative processes involving spoken language vocalizations and gesturing are analyzed in order to contribute to the interdisciplinary discussion on human cognitive-semiotic evolution. Peircean semiotics and mimesis theory are used as tools in the analysis of evidence from comparative neuroscience and primatology. Based on this, I propose the presence of indexical, iconic and possibly even (proto)symbolic communication in the cultures occupied by Australopithecus afarensis, preceding the evolution of the first species in our genus. The discussion shows the potentials of a cognitive semiotics to integrate concepts and methods from the Natural Sciences and the Humanities.