Human Language Versus Animal Communication

MON, APR 26, 2021 (39:10)

Dr. Lieberman is a leading authority on the evolution of human language. In this discussion, he explains how the cognitive and physical apparatus for language evolved. He addresses the distinction between human language and the communication systems of diverse animals. He also discusses the issue of whether Neanderthals developed real language.

Image: Belmont Media Center

+ BIO: Philip Lieberman, PhD

Philip Lieberman is the George Hazard Crooker University Professor Emeritus at Brown University.

Lieberman’s central interest is the nature and evolution of the biological bases of human language and cognition. In essence, his work centers on the evolution of modern human beings since these are among the central attributes that differentiate us from apes. His outlook, therefore, is shaped by principles and procedures of Evolutionary Biology. As Theodosius Dobzhansky noted, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.” Conversely, the mark of evolution is evidence in the anatomy and physiology of the human brain and body.

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