I am currently a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, where I am part of the Language Evolution Group. In September I will be joining the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham.
My research is driven by two big questions. What is language? and Where did it come from? I'm particularly interested in iconicity and its role in the evolution of human communication. I'm also really interested in gorillas.
Massaro, D.W. & Perlman, M. (2017). Quantifying iconicity’s contribution during language acquisition: Implications for vocabulary learning. Frontiers in Communication, 2: 4. doi:10.3389/fcomm.2017.00004.
Perlman, M., & Salmi, R. (2017). Gorillas may use their laryngeal air sacs for whinny-type vocalizations and male display. Journal of Language Evolution, Advance online publication. doi:10.1093/jole/lzx012.
Perlman, M., Dale, R., & Lupyan, G. (2014). "Iterative vocal charades: The emergence of conventions in vocal communication," in Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (EVOLANG10), eds E.A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, & H. Cornish (Vienna), 236-243.
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.
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., 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.
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.
Washington Post, January 19, 2017.
Science, March 31, 2016.
Scienceline, February 29, 2016
BBC (Earth Blog), August 21, 2015.
Washington Post, August 18, 2015
Science, August 12, 2015.
New Scientist, August 7, 2015
Vice (Motherboard), January 10, 2015.
NPR (13.7 Cosmos & Culture blog), February 2, 2012.