"Within weeks of birth, human infants can imitate the emotional gestures of their caretakers, particularly variants of such primary emotions as anger, fear, sadness, and happiness. In contrast, it takes around two years of progressive babbling for infants to acquire the capacity to communicate efficiently with spoken words. It can be speculated that this developmental sequence in the human life cycle at the beginning of human life reflects evolutionary sequences in the long-term evolution of humans. Whatever the merits of this speculation, one important way to understand human development is to understand how emotions, large brains, speech, and culture evolved in the first place, over millions of years of hominin (those ancestors on the human clade) evolution...."
This article by Jonathan H. Turner is a selection from The Oxford Handbook of Emotional Development, edited by Daniel Dukes, Andrea C. Samson, and Eric A. Walle.
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