Dr. Marcus Perlman
Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences
University of California, Merced
Email: mperlman at ucmerced.edu
I am currently a lecturer in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Merced. Previously I was a postdoc with Gary Lupyan in the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I also did postdoctoral research at the Gorilla Foundation, where I studied the gorilla Koko. In September, I am moving to Nijmegen for a year to research language evolution as a visitor at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
My research is driven by two big questions. What is language? And where did it come from? My focus in these questions is primarily through the study of iconicity in human communication. I also study the gesturing and vocal behavior of great apes. Some of my research on vocal iconicity was recently featured in Science news, and I also wrote this for the Conversation. My work on Koko's impressive vocal repertoire was recently reported in the Washington Post.
We are in the process of analyzing the results of the Vocal Iconicity Challenge!, a scholarly contest that was sufficiently silly-sounding to be written up in Vice. Email me if you are interested in collaborating to test the resulting vocalizations with listeners from different (non-English) language and cultural backgrounds.
Perry, L.K., Perlman, M., & Lupyan, G. (2015). Iconicity in English and Spanish, and its relation to lexical category and age of acquisition. PLoS ONE, 10, e0137147.
Perlman, M., Dale, R., & Lupyan, G. (2015). Iconicity can ground the creation of vocal symbols. Royal Society Open Science, 2: 150152.
Perlman, M. & Clark, N. (2015). Learned vocal and breathing behavior in an enculturated gorilla. Animal Cognition, 18, 1165-1179.
Fusaroli, R., Perlman, M., Mislove, A., Paxton, A., Matlock, T. & Dale, R. (2015). Timescales of massive human entrainment. PLoS ONE, 10, e0122742.
Blackwell, N.L., Perlman, M., & Fox Tree, J.E. (2015). Quotation as a multimodal construction. Journal of Pragmatics, 81, 1-7.
Perlman, M., Clark, N., & Johansson Falck, M. (2015). Iconic prosody in story reading. Cognitive Science, 6, 1348-1368.
Perlman, M. & Cain, A. (2014). Iconicity in vocalization, comparisons with gesture, and implications for the evolution of language. Gesture, 14, 320-350.
de Boer, B. & Perlman, M. (2014). Physical mechanisms may be as important as brain mechanisms in evolution of speech. Behavioral and Brain Sciences [commentary], 37, 552-553.
Perlman, M., Clark, N., & Tanner, J.E. (2014). Iconicity and ape gesture. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn & H. Cornish (Eds.). The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (EVOLANG10). New Jersey: World Scientific.
Perlman, M. & Gibbs, R.W. Jr. (2013). Pantomimic gestures reveal the sensorimotor imagery of a human-fostered gorilla. Journal of Mental Imagery, 37, 73-96.
Winter, B., Perlman, M., & Matlock, T. (2013). Using space to talk and gesture about numbers: Evidence from the TV News Archive. Gesture, 13, 377-408.
Clark, N., Perlman, M., & Johansson Falck, M. (2013). The iconic use of pitch to express vertical space. In B. Dancygier, M. Borkent, and J. Hinnell (Eds.) Language and the Creative Mind. Stanford: SCLI publications.
Perlman, M., Patterson, F.G, & Cohn, R.H. (2012). The human-fostered gorilla Koko shows breath control in play with wind instruments. Biolinguistics, 6, 433-444.
Perlman, M., Tanner, J.E., & King, B.J. (2012). A mother gorilla's variable use of touch to guide her infant: Insights into iconicity and the relationship between gesture and action. In S. Pika & K. Liebal (Eds.) Developments in non-human primate gesture research (pp. 55-72). John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Perlman, M. (2010). Talking fast: The use of speech rate as iconic gesture. In F. Perrill, V. Tobin, & M. Turner (Eds.) Meaning, form, and body. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
Gibbs, R. W. Jr. & Perlman, M. (2010). Language understanding is grounded in experiential simulations: A response to Weiskopf. Studies in history and philosophy of science, 41, 305-308.
Gibbs, R. W. Jr. & Perlman, M. (2006). The contested impact of cognitive linguistic research on the psycholinguistics of metaphor understanding. In G. Kristiansen, M. Achard, R. Dirven, & F. J. Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez (Eds.). Cognitive linguistics: Current applications and future perspectives (pp. 211-228). New York: Mouton.