Beginning with uncoded communication…

[H]uman communication could not have originated with a code, since this would assume what it attempts to explain … Thus, establishing an explicit code requires some preexisting form of communication that is at least as rich as that code … If we want to understand human communication, therefore, we cannot begin with language. Rather, we must begin with unconventionalized, uncoded communication, and other forms of mental attunement, as foundational.

Michael Tomasello, Origins of Human Communication, pp. 58-9.

[Remarkably, Habermas seems to endorse this view in Between Naturalism and Religion, pp. 170-3]