53 found
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  1. Presumptive meanings: the theory of generalized conversational implicature.Stephen C. Levinson - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
    When we speak, we mean more than we say. In this book Stephen C. Levinson explains some general processes that underlie presumptions in communication.
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  2. The myth of language universals: Language diversity and its importance for cognitive science.Nicholas Evans & Stephen C. Levinson - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (5):429-448.
    Talk of linguistic universals has given cognitive scientists the impression that languages are all built to a common pattern. In fact, there are vanishingly few universals of language in the direct sense that all languages exhibit them. Instead, diversity can be found at almost every level of linguistic organization. This fundamentally changes the object of enquiry from a cognitive science perspective. This target article summarizes decades of cross-linguistic work by typologists and descriptive linguists, showing just how few and unprofound the (...)
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  3. Pragmatics.Stephen C. Levinson - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    Those aspects of language use that are crucial to an understanding of language as a system, and especially to an understanding of meaning, are the acknowledged concern of linguistic pragmatics. Yet until now much of the work in this field has not been easily accessible to the student, and was often written at an intimidating level of technicality. In this textbook, however, Dr Levinson has provided a lucid and integrative analysis of the central topics in pragmatics - deixis, implicature, presupposition, (...)
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  4. Can language restructure cognition? The case for space.Asifa Majid, Melissa Bowerman, Sotaro Kita, Daniel B. M. Haun & Stephen C. Levinson - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (3):108-114.
  5.  25
    Timing in turn-taking and its implications for processing models of language.Stephen C. Levinson & Francisco Torreira - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:136034.
    The core niche for language use is in verbal interaction, involving the rapid exchange of turns at talking. This paper reviews the extensive literature about this system, adding new statistical analyses of behavioral data where they have been missing, demonstrating that turn-taking has the systematic properties originally noted by Sacks et al. (1974 ; hereafter SSJ). This system poses some significant puzzles for current theories of language processing: the gaps between turns are short (of the order of 200 ms), but (...)
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  6. On the human ‘interactional engine.Stephen C. Levinson - 2006 - In N. J. Enfield and S. C. Levinson , Roots Of.
    My goal in this paper 1 is, first, to collect together a number of themes and observations that have usually been kept apart, locked up in their respective disciplines. When these are brought together, some general and far reaching implications become really rather clear. In particular, I want to make a case for the implicit coherence of these themes in the idea that.
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  7. Differential Ineffability and the Senses.Stephen C. Levinson & Asifa Majid - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (4):407-427.
    Ineffability, the degree to which percepts or concepts resist linguistic coding, is a fairly unexplored nook of cognitive science. Although philosophical preoccupations with qualia or nonconceptual content certainly touch upon the area, there has been little systematic thought and hardly any empirical work in recent years on the subject. We argue that ineffability is an important domain for the cognitive sciences. For examining differential ineffability across the senses may be able to tell us important things about how the mind works, (...)
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  8. The Original Sin of Cognitive Science.Stephen C. Levinson - 2012 - Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (3):396-403.
    Classical cognitive science was launched on the premise that the architecture of human cognition is uniform and universal across the species. This premise is biologically impossible and is being actively undermined by, for example, imaging genomics. Anthropology (including archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology) is, in contrast, largely concerned with the diversification of human culture, language, and biology across time and space—it belongs fundamentally to the evolutionary sciences. The new cognitive sciences that will emerge from the interactions with the (...)
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  9.  46
    Plasticity of human spatial cognition: Spatial language and cognition covary across cultures.Daniel B. M. Haun, Christian J. Rapold, Gabriele Janzen & Stephen C. Levinson - 2011 - Cognition 119 (1):70-80.
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  10.  47
    Returning the tables: language affects spatial reasoning.Stephen C. Levinson, Sotaro Kita, Daniel B. M. Haun & Björn H. Rasch - 2002 - Cognition 84 (2):155-188.
  11. Interactional biases in human thinking.Stephen C. Levinson - 1995 - Social Intelligence and Interaction.
     
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  12.  57
    Relativity in spatial conception and description.Stephen C. Levinson - 1996 - In J. Gumperz & S. Levinson (eds.), Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 177--202.
  13.  46
    Oscillatory Brain Responses Reflect Anticipation during Comprehension of Speech Acts in Spoken Dialog.Rosa S. Gisladottir, Sara Bögels & Stephen C. Levinson - 2018 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 12:309932.
    Everyday conversation requires listeners to quickly recognize verbal actions, so-called speech acts, from the underspecified linguistic code and prepare a relevant response within the tight time constraints of turn-taking. The goal of this study was to determine the time-course of speech act recognition by investigating oscillatory EEG activity during comprehension of spoken dialog. Participants listened to short, spoken dialogs with target utterances that delivered three distinct speech acts (Answers, Declinations, Pre-offers). The targets were identical across conditions at lexico-syntactic and phonetic/prosodic (...)
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  14.  93
    Tools from evolutionary biology shed new light on the diversification of languages.Stephen C. Levinson & Russell D. Gray - 2012 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16 (3):167-173.
  15.  19
    Breathing for answering: the time course of response planning in conversation.Francisco Torreira, Sara Bögels & Stephen C. Levinson - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:127426.
    We investigate the timing of pre-answer inbreaths in order to shed light on the time course of response planning and execution in conversational turn-taking. Using acoustic and inductive plethysmography recordings of seven dyadic conversations in Dutch, we show that pre-answer inbreaths in conversation typically begin briefly after the end of questions. We also show that the presence of a pre-answer inbreath usually co-occurs with substantially delayed answers, with a modal latency of 576 vs. 100 ms for answers not preceded by (...)
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  16.  33
    Next Speakers Plan Their Turn Early and Speak after Turn-Final “Go-Signals”.Mathias Barthel, Antje S. Meyer & Stephen C. Levinson - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
  17.  14
    Temporal Preparation for Speaking in Question-Answer Sequences.Lilla Magyari, Jan P. De Ruiter & Stephen C. Levinson - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
  18.  33
    Early developmental changes in the timing of turn-taking: a longitudinal study of mother–infant interaction.Elma E. Hilbrink, Merideth Gattis & Stephen C. Levinson - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
  19.  21
    Cut and break verbs in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island.Stephen C. Levinson - 2007 - Cognitive Linguistics 18 (2).
  20.  12
    Turn-timing in signed conversations: coordinating stroke-to-stroke turn boundaries.Connie de Vos, Francisco Torreira & Stephen C. Levinson - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:127361.
    In spoken interactions, interlocutors carefully plan and time their utterances, minimising gaps and overlaps between consecutive turns. Cross-linguistic comparison has indicated that spoken languages vary only minimally in terms of turn-timing, and language acquisition research has shown pre-linguistic vocal turn-taking in the first half year of life. These observations suggest that the turn-taking system may provide a fundamental basis for our linguistic capacities. The question remains however to what extent our capacity for rapid turn-taking is determined by modality constraints. The (...)
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  21. WEIRD languages have misled us, too.Asifa Majid & Stephen C. Levinson - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):103-103.
    The linguistic and cognitive sciences have severely underestimated the degree of linguistic diversity in the world. Part of the reason for this is that we have projected assumptions based on English and familiar languages onto the rest. We focus on some distortions this has introduced, especially in the study of semantics.
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  22.  39
    Immanuel Kant among the Tenejapans: Anthropology as Empirical Philosophy.Stephen C. Levinson & Penelope Brown - 1994 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 22 (1):3-41.
  23.  37
    Studying Spatial Conceptualization across Cultures: Anthropology and Cognitive Science.Stephen C. Levinson - 1998 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 26 (1):7-24.
  24.  27
    Exploring the cognitive infrastructure of communication.Jan Peter de Ruiter, Matthijs L. Noordzij, Sarah Newman-Norlund, Roger Newman-Norlund, Peter Hagoort, Stephen C. Levinson & Ivan Toni - 2010 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 11 (1):51-77.
    Human communication is often thought about in terms of transmitted messages in a conventional code like a language. But communication requires a specialized interactive intelligence. Senders have to be able to perform recipient design, while receivers need to be able to do intention recognition, knowing that recipient design has taken place. To study this interactive intelligence in the lab, we developed a new task that taps directly into the underlying abilities to communicate in the absence of a conventional code. We (...)
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  25.  27
    First Encounters: Repair Sequences in Cross‐Signing.Kang-Suk Byun, Connie de Vos, Anastasia Bradford, Ulrike Zeshan & Stephen C. Levinson - 2018 - Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (2):314-334.
    Byun et al. describe how deaf signers deal with communication problems in first encounters with signers of different languages. They show that the basic Conversation Analytic repair mechanisms for dealing with verbal troubles are largely reproduced in gesture and sign, including details of turn‐taking structure, timing and form. This underlines the role of repair as a basic resource for linguistic and interactional creativity across modalities.
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  26.  36
    First Encounters: Repair Sequences in Cross‐Signing.Kang‐Suk Byun, Connie Vos, Anastasia Bradford, Ulrike Zeshan & Stephen C. Levinson - 2018 - Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (2):314-334.
    Byun et al. describe how deaf signers deal with communication problems in first encounters with signers of different languages. They show that the basic Conversation Analytic repair mechanisms for dealing with verbal troubles are largely reproduced in gesture and sign, including details of turn‐taking structure, timing and form. This underlines the role of repair as a basic resource for linguistic and interactional creativity across modalities.
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  27.  36
    First Encounters: Repair Sequences in Cross‐Signing.Kang-Suk Byun, Connie de Vos, Anastasia Bradford, Ulrike Zeshan & Stephen C. Levinson - 2018 - Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (2):314-334.
    Byun et al. describe how deaf signers deal with communication problems in first encounters with signers of different languages. They show that the basic Conversation Analytic repair mechanisms for dealing with verbal troubles are largely reproduced in gesture and sign, including details of turn‐taking structure, timing and form. This underlines the role of repair as a basic resource for linguistic and interactional creativity across modalities.
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  28.  95
    Exploring the cognitive infrastructure of communication.Jan Peter de Ruiter, Matthijs L. Noordzij, Sarah Newman-Norlund, Roger Newman-Norlund, Peter Hagoort, Stephen C. Levinson & Ivan Toni - 2010 - Interaction Studies 11 (1):51-77.
    Human communication is often thought about in terms of transmitted messages in a conventional code like a language. But communication requires a specialized interactive intelligence. Senders have to be able to perform recipient design, while receivers need to be able to do intention recognition, knowing that recipient design has taken place. To study this interactive intelligence in the lab, we developed a new task that taps directly into the underlying abilities to communicate in the absence of a conventional code. We (...)
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  29.  48
    A biological infrastructure for communication underlies the cultural evolution of languages.J. P. de Ruiter & Stephen C. Levinson - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):518-518.
    Universal Grammar (UG) is indeed evolutionarily implausible. But if languages are just to a large primate brain, it is hard to see why other primates do not have complex languages. The answer is that humans have evolved a specialized and uniquely human cognitive architecture, whose main function is to compute mappings between arbitrary signals and communicative intentions. This underlies the development of language in the human species.
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  30.  29
    Introduction to part I.John J. Gumperz & Stephen C. Levinson - 1996 - In J. Gumperz & S. Levinson (eds.), Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 21--36.
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  31.  34
    Implicature explicated?Stephen C. Levinson - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):722.
  32.  39
    Editorial: Turn-Taking in Human Communicative Interaction.Judith Holler, Kobin H. Kendrick, Marisa Casillas & Stephen C. Levinson - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
  33. Introduction: Linguistic relativity re-examined.John J. Gumperz & Stephen C. Levinson - 1996 - In J. Gumperz & S. Levinson (eds.), Rethinking Linguistic Relativity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1--18.
     
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  34.  8
    Visual bodily signals and conversational context benefit the anticipation of turn ends.Marlijn ter Bekke, Stephen C. Levinson, Lina van Otterdijk, Michelle Kühn & Judith Holler - 2024 - Cognition 248 (C):105806.
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  35.  34
    Anticipatory Processing in a Verb‐Initial Mayan Language: Eye‐Tracking Evidence During Sentence Comprehension in Tseltal.Gabriela Garrido Rodriguez, Elisabeth Norcliffe, Penelope Brown, Falk Huettig & Stephen C. Levinson - 2023 - Cognitive Science 47 (1):e13292.
    We present a visual world eye-tracking study on Tseltal (a Mayan language) and investigate whether verbal information can be used to anticipate an upcoming referent. Basic word order in transitive sentences in Tseltal is Verb–Object–Subject (VOS). The verb is usually encountered first, making argument structure and syntactic information available at the outset, which should facilitate anticipation of the post-verbal arguments. Tseltal speakers listened to verb-initial sentences with either an object-predictive verb (e.g., “eat”) or a general verb (e.g., “look for”) (e.g., (...)
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  36.  29
    Conversation, cognition and cultural evolution.Seán G. Roberts & Stephen C. Levinson - 2017 - Interaction Studies 18 (3):402-442.
    This paper outlines a first attempt to model the special constraints that arise in language processing in conversation, and to explore the implications such functional considerations may have on language typology and language change. In particular, we focus on processing pressures imposed by conversational turn-taking and their consequences for the cultural evolution of the structural properties of language. We present an agent-based model of cultural evolution where agents take turns at talk in conversation. When the start of planning for the (...)
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  37. Universals in cognitive theories of language.Paul Smolensky, Emmanuel Dupoux, Nicholas Evans & Stephen C. Levinson - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (5):468.
    Generative linguistics' search for linguistic universals (1) is not comparable to the vague explanatory suggestions of the article; (2) clearly merits a more central place than linguistic typology in cognitive science; (3) is fundamentally untouched by the article's empirical arguments; (4) best explains the important facts of linguistic diversity; and (5) illuminates the dominant component of language's nature: biology.
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  38.  88
    Returning language to culture by way of biology.Bjorn Merker, Nicholas Evans & Stephen C. Levinson - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (5):460-461.
    Conflation of our unique human endowment for language with innate, so-called universal, grammar has banished language from its biological home. The facts reviewed by Evans & Levinson (E&L) fit the biology of cultural transmission. My commentary highlights our dedicated learning capacity for vocal production learning as the form of our language endowment compatible with those facts.
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  39. With diversity in mind: Freeing the language sciences from Universal Grammar.Nicholas Evans & Stephen C. Levinson - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (5):472-492.
    Our response takes advantage of the wide-ranging commentary to clarify some aspects of our original proposal and augment others. We argue against the generative critics of our coevolutionary program for the language sciences, defend the use of close-to-surface models as minimizing cross-linguistic data distortion, and stress the growing role of stochastic simulations in making generalized historical accounts testable. These methods lead the search for general principles away from idealized representations and towards selective processes. Putting cultural evolution central in understanding language (...)
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  40.  11
    “Process and perish” or multiple buffers with push-down stacks?Stephen C. Levinson - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39.
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  41.  66
    Language does provide support for basic tastes.Asifa Majid & Stephen C. Levinson - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (1):86-87.
    Recurrent lexicalization patterns across widely different cultural contexts can provide a window onto common conceptualizations. The cross-linguistic data support the idea that sweet, salt, sour, and bitter are basic tastes. In addition, umami and fatty are likely basic tastes, as well.
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  42.  12
    Living with Manny's dangerous idea.Stephen C. Levinson - 2005 - Discourse Studies 7 (4-5):431-453.
    Daniel Dennett, in Darwin's Dangerous Idea, argues that natural selection is a universal acid that eats through other theories, because it can explain just about everything, even the structure of the mind. Emanuel Schegloff in ‘Between Micro and Macro: Context and Other Connections’ opposes the importation of ‘macro’ factors into the ‘micro’, suggesting that one might reverse the strategy instead. Like Darwin, he is coy about whether he just wants his own turf, but the idea opens up the possibility of (...)
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  43. What's embodied in a smile?Disa A. Sauter & Stephen C. Levinson - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (6):457-458.
    Differentiation of the forms and functions of different smiles is needed, but they should be based on the empirical data on distinctions that senders and receivers make and on the physical cues that are employed. Such data would allow for a test of whether smiles can be differentiated using perceptual cues alone or whether mimicry or simulation are necessary.
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  44.  36
    Commentary/Christiansen & Chater: Language as shaped A biological infrastructure for communication underlies the cultural evolution of languages.J. P. De Ruiter & Stephen C. Levinson - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):5.
  45. Roots of Human Sociality.Nicholas J. Enfield & Stephen C. Levinson (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford: Berg Publishers.
    Exploring the underlying properties of social interaction viewed from across many disciplines, this work examines their origin in infant development and in human evolution.
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  46.  17
    Advancing our grasp of constrained variation in a crucial cognitive domain.Stephen C. Levinson - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (5):391-392.
    Jones's system of constraints promises interesting insights into the typology of kin term systems. Three problems arise: (1) the conflation of categories with algorithms that assign them threatens to weaken the typological predictions; (2) OT-type constraints have little psychological plausibility; (3) the conflation of kin-term systems and kinship systems may underplay the “utility function” character of real kinship in action.
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  47.  39
    Gesichtsbedrohende Akte.Stephen C. Levinson & Penelope Brown - 2015 - In Hannes Kuch, Sybille Krämer & Steffen K. Herrmann (eds.), Verletzende Worte: Die Grammatik Sprachlicher Missachtung. Transcript Verlag. pp. 59-88.
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  48.  23
    Put and Take in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island.Stephen C. Levinson & Penelope Brown - 2012 - In Anetta Kopecka & Bhuvana Narasimhan (eds.), Events of Putting and Taking: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. John Benjamins. pp. 100--273.
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  49.  25
    Reciprocals in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island.Stephen C. Levinson - 2011 - In Nicholas Evans (ed.), Reciprocals and Semantic Typology. John Benjamins Pub. Company. pp. 98--177.
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  50.  2
    Speech Acts.Stephen C. Levinson - 2016 - In Yan Huang (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford University Press UK.
    The essential insight of speech act theory was that when we use language, we perform actions—in a more modern parlance, core language use in interaction is a form of joint action. Over the last thirty years, speech acts have been relatively neglected in linguistic pragmatics, although important work has been done especially in conversation analysis. Here we review the core issues—the identifying characteristics, the degree of universality, the problem of multiple functions, and the puzzle of speech act recognition. Special attention (...)
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