Philip Lieberman

Philip Lieberman (born 1934)[1] is a cognitive scientist at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Originally trained in phonetics, he wrote a dissertation on intonation. His career has focused on topics in the evolution of language, and particularly the relationship between the evolution of the vocal tract, the human brain, and the evolution of speech, cognition and language.[2]

Philip Lieberman
New York City, New York
Academic background
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.)
Academic work
InstitutionsBrown University


Lieberman initially studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received his doctorate in linguistics from MIT, completing his dissertation in 1966. In the late 1950s and 1960s he worked as a research assistant before serving in the United States Air Force, carrying out research at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories (AFCRL) and Hanscom Air Force Base as well as working at Haskins Laboratories.

From 1967 to 1974 he worked at the University of Connecticut.[3][4]

In 1974 he was appointed to the faculty at Brown University, where he was George Hazard Crooker Professor from 1992 to 1997. Since 1997 he has been the Fred M. Seed Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, and since 1999 he has been Professor of Anthropology, both at Brown University. Since 2012, when he retired from teaching, he has been The George Hazard Crooker University Professor, emeritus[4]

Lieberman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in psychology in 1987.[5] In 1990, Lieberman gave the Nijmegen Lectures of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics under the title 'The evolution of language and cognition'.[6] He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the American Anthropological Association.[2]

Lieberman's interests include photography and mountaineering.[2] A collection of over 400 photographs of Nepal by Lieberman is held at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.[7] Lieberman's photographs have also been exhibited at and are in the collections at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum.[8] His photographs of life in remote Himalayan regions can be viewed on the website of the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library.[9]

Partial list of worksEdit

  • Lieberman, Philip (June 1975). On the Origins of Language. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-02-370690-2.
  • Lieberman, Philip (1984). The Biology and Evolution of Language. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-07413-0.
  • Lieberman, Philip (1998). Eve Spoke: Human Language and Human Evolution. Cambridge: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-04089-0.
  • Lieberman, Philip (2000). Human Language and Our Reptilian Brain. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-00793-2.
  • Lieberman, Philip (2006). Towards an Evolutionary Biology of Language. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-02184-3.
  • Lieberman, Philip (2013). The Unpredictable Species. Princeton University Press.
  • Lieberman, Philip (2017). The Theory That Changed Everything: "On the Origin of Species" as a Work in Progress. Cambridge: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-17808-2.


  1. ^ 'Philip Lieberman' in the contributors list (page 490) for Organization of Behavior in Face-to-face Interaction. Walter de Gruyter. 1975.
  2. ^ a b c "Philip Lieberman". Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  3. ^ 'Philip Lieberman' in the contributors list (page xxviii) for Companion Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Taylor & Francis. 1994.
  4. ^ a b "Curriculum Vitae - Philip Lieberman" (pdf). Brown University (Research at Brown). Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Philip Lieberman". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Complete list of Nijmegen Lectures 1982 - 2010". Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology". South Asia at Brown, Brown University. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  8. ^ 'About the Author' and 'About the Photographer' in Marcia Lieberman (1994). Walking the Alpine Parks of France & Northwest Italy. The Mountaineers Books.
  9. ^ "The Tibetan and Himalayan Library". Retrieved 2013-03-21.

External linksEdit