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Mark Feinstein

Professor of Linguistics

Mark H. Feinstein, professor of linguistics, holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York (1977).

His original training was in linguistics, and his early research and publication was in phonology, the study of the sound systems of human languages. He later turned his attention to the evolution of speech and language, and his research and teaching focus is now on the comparative study of vocalization, cognition, and behavior in non-human animals.

Currently he is working on the vocal behavior of domesticated animals, especially sheep. Much of his field research has been conducted in the west of Ireland with free-ranging hill sheep. He works as well with livestock at the Hampshire College Farm Center. He has also studied domestic dogs and wild canids such as the New Guinea Singing Dog, and he is now engaged in a research project on the structure of song in robins.

He is deeply interested in the general theory of evolution, and also hopes to learn more about the brain; computational modeling of evolution and cognition; molecular biology; environmental science; and sustainable agriculture. His work has been published in journals ranging from Linguistic Inquiry to the Journal of Zoology.

He is also a co-author, with several Hampshire colleagues, of the first cognitive science textbook for undergraduates, and his work has been presented to a wide range of professional and general audiences.

Mark's teaching areas include bioacoustics, animal communication, general animal behavior, linguistic theory, language change, biological evolution, and general cognitive science.

School of Cognitive Science

Recent and Upcoming Courses
CS-0330: Cognition and Behavior in Domesticated Animals (Spring 2014)
CS-0146/NS-0146: The Future of Food (Spring 2014)
CS-242S: The West of Ireland: Land and Culture (January 2014)
CS-0138: Endangered Languages (Fall 2013)


Contact Us

Mark Feinstein
Professor of Linguistics
Adele Simmons Hall 206
Mail Code CS
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002

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