Mark Liberman

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Mark Liberman
Born Mark Yoffe Liberman
Nationality American
Alma mater MIT
Scientific career
Fields Linguistics
Institutions University of Pennsylvania
Thesis The intonational system of English (PhD) (1975)
Influences Alvin Liberman (father)
Isabelle Liberman (mother)

Mark Yoffe Liberman /ˈlɪbərmən/[1] is an American linguist. He has a dual appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, as Trustee Professor of Phonetics in the Department of Linguistics, and as a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He is the founder and director of the Linguistic Data Consortium. Liberman is the Faculty Director of Ware College House at the University of Pennsylvania.

Early life[edit]

Liberman is the son of the late Alvin Liberman and Isabelle Liberman. Both were psychologists.

Mark Liberman attended Harvard College but did not graduate. After two years' service in the US Army in Vietnam,[2] he enrolled in graduate school in linguistics at MIT, from which he received a Master of Arts and, in 1975, a PhD.[3][4]


From 1975 to 1990, he was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories.


Liberman's main research interests lie in phonetics, prosody, and other aspects of speech communication. His early research established the linguistic subfield of metrical phonology. Much of his current research is conducted through computational analyses of linguistic corpora. In 2017, Liberman was the recipient of the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award.

Liberman is also the founder of (and frequent contributor to) Language Log, a blog with a broad cast of dozens of professional linguists. The concept of the eggcorn was first proposed in one of his posts there.

Mobile phones and endangered languages[edit]

In 2012, Liberman and Steven Bird began a US$101,501 project "to use mobile telephones to collect larger amounts of data on undocumented endangered languages than would ever be possible through usual fieldwork."[5] The project resulted in the mobile app Aikuma.[6]



  1. ^ Mark Liberman (2014-09-17). "UM / UH map in the media". Language Log. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  2. ^ normblog: The normblog profile 196: Mark Liberman
  3. ^ "UPenn Linguistics: faculty". 
  4. ^ Liberman, Mark Yoffe (1975). The intonational system of English (pdf) (Ph.D thesis). MIT (reproduced by the Indiana University Linguistics Club). OCLC 60569027. 
  5. ^ "NEH and NSF Award $4.5 Million to Preserve Languages Threatened With Extinction". National Endowment for the Humanities. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  6. ^ Steven Bird; Florian R. Hanke; Oliver Adams; Haejoong Lee (2014). Aikuma: A Mobile App for Collaborative Language Documentation (PDF). Workshop on the Use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages. Association for Computational Linguistics. pp. 1–5. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 

External links[edit]