Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

I argue that speech and language evolved through a series of stages individually designed to break through successive glass ceilings on group size. Language was simply the last of these (and hence evolved late in hominin evolution), but its precursors (laughter and singing) each played a crucial role in preparing the way for speech production.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychon Bull Rev

Publication Date



Grooming, Language, Laughter, Singing