Aborted Gesture of Appropriation

From Generative Anthropology

The aborted gesture of appropriation was the gesture issued by the participants on the originary scene, aborting appropriation of the central object.


On the originary scene, the mimetic crisis had escalated to a point where it had overridden the existing animal pecking order. As the members of the group symmetrically converged on the central object of desire, they observed the imminent threat of violence, and issued the aborted gesture of appropriation, deferring the appropriation of the central object. At first, the aborted gesture was only instinctual, issued out of fear of incurring the aggression of others in the group. It did not become the originary sign until it was repeated deliberately and collectively, as a voluntary gesture of communication signaling to others in the group that they have nothing to fear or to defend against, while designating the central object as the cause of this deferral.


The first issuance of aborted gesture of appropriation is not a sign - it only becomes the originary sign after being repeated deliberately and collectively.


Gans, E. L., Katz, A. L. (2019). The Origin of Language: A New Edition