Stephen C. Levinson

Stephen C. Levinson is Director of the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands.

  • Language, Thought, and Reality, Second Edition

    Language, Thought, and Reality, Second Edition

    Selected Writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf

    Benjamin Lee Whorf, John B. Carroll, Stephen C. Levinson, and Penny Lee

    Writings by a pioneering linguist, including his famous work on the Hopi language, general reflections on language and meaning, and the "Yale Report."

    The pioneering linguist Benjamin Whorf (1897–1941) grasped the relationship between human language and human thinking: how language can shape our innermost thoughts. His basic thesis is that our perception of the world and our ways of thinking about it are deeply influenced by the structure of the languages we speak. The writings collected in this volume include important papers on the Maya, Hopi, and Shawnee languages, as well as more general reflections on language and meaning.

    Whorf's ideas about the relation of language and thought have always appealed to a wide audience, but their reception in expert circles has alternated between dismissal and applause. Recently the language sciences have headed in directions that give Whorf's thinking a renewed relevance. Hence this new edition of Whorf's classic work is especially timely.

    The second edition includes all the writings from the first edition as well as John Carroll's original introduction, a new foreword by Stephen Levinson of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics that puts Whorf's work in historical and contemporary context, and new indexes. In addition, this edition offers Whorf's "Yale Report," an important work from Whorf's mature oeuvre.

    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00
  • Evolution and Culture

    Evolution and Culture

    A Fyssen Foundation Symposium

    Stephen C. Levinson and Pierre Jaisson

    Biological and cultural processes have evolved together, in a symbiotic spiral; they are now indissolubly linked, with human survival unlikely without such culturally produced aids as clothing, cooked food, and tools. The twelve original essays collected in this volume take an evolutionary perspective on human culture, examining the emergence of culture in evolution and the underlying role of brain and cognition. The essay authors, all internationally prominent researchers in their fields, draw on the cognitive sciences—including linguistics, developmental psychology, and cognition—to develop conceptual and methodological tools for understanding the interaction of culture and genome. They go beyond the "how"—the questions of behavioral mechanisms—to address the "why"—the evolutionary origin of our psychological functioning. What was the "X-factor," the magic ingredient of culture—the element that took humans out of the general run of mammals and other highly social organisms?

    Several essays identify specific behavioral and functional factors that could account for human culture, including the capacity for "mind reading" that underlies social and cultural learning and the nature of morality and inhibitions, while others emphasize multiple partially independent factors—planning, technology, learning, and language. The X-factor, these essays suggest, is a set of cognitive adaptations for culture.

    • Hardcover $16.75 £13.99
    • Paperback $8.75 £6.99
  • Presumptive Meanings

    Presumptive Meanings

    The Theory of Generalized Conversational Implicature

    Stephen C. Levinson

    This is the first extended discussion of preferred interpretation in language understanding, integrating much of the best research in linguistic pragmatics from the last two decades.

    When we speak, we mean more than we say. In this book Stephen C. Levinson explains some general processes that underlie presumptions in communication. This is the first extended discussion of preferred interpretation in language understanding, integrating much of the best research in linguistic pragmatics from the last two decades. Levinson outlines a theory of presumptive meanings, or preferred interpretations, governing the use of language, building on the idea of implicature developed by the philosopher H.P. Grice. Some of the indirect information carried by speech is presumed by default because it is carried by general principles, rather than inferred from specific assumptions about intention and context. Levinson examines this class of general pragmatic inferences in detail, showing how they apply to a wide range of linguistic constructions. This approach has radical consequences for how we think about language and communication.

    • Hardcover $112.50 £92.00
    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00

Contributor

  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Sixth Edition

    David Poeppel, George R. Mangun, and Michael S. Gazzaniga

    The sixth edition of the foundational reference on cognitive neuroscience, with entirely new material that covers the latest research, experimental approaches, and measurement methodologies.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The sixth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. It offers entirely new material, reflecting recent advances in the field, covering the latest research, experimental approaches, and measurement methodologies.

    This sixth edition treats such foundational topics as memory, attention, and language, as well as other areas, including computational models of cognition, reward and decision making, social neuroscience, scientific ethics, and methods advances. Over the last twenty-five years, the cognitive neurosciences have seen the development of sophisticated tools and methods, including computational approaches that generate enormous data sets. This volume deploys these exciting new instruments but also emphasizes the value of theory, behavior, observation, and other time-tested scientific habits.

    Section editors Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Ulman Lindenberger, Kalanit Grill-Spector and Maria Chait, Tomás Ryan and Charan Ranganath, Sabine Kastner and Steven Luck, Stanislas Dehaene and Josh McDermott, Rich Ivry and John Krakauer, Daphna Shohamy and Wolfram Schultz, Danielle Bassett and Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, Marina Bedny and Alfonso Caramazza, Liina Pylkkänen and Karen Emmorey, Mauricio Delgado and Elizabeth Phelps, Anjan Chatterjee and Adina Roskies

    • Hardcover $225.00 £185.00
  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fifth Edition

    The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fifth Edition

    Michael S. Gazzaniga and George R. Mangun

    The fifth edition of a work that defines the field of cognitive neuroscience, with entirely new material that reflects recent advances in the field.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fifth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. It offers entirely new material, reflecting recent advances in the field.

    Many of the developments in cognitive neuroscience have been shaped by the introduction of novel tools and methodologies, and a new section is devoted to methods that promise to guide the field into the future—from sophisticated models of causality in brain function to the application of network theory to massive data sets. Another new section treats neuroscience and society, considering some of the moral and political quandaries posed by current neuroscientific methods.

    Other sections describe, among other things, new research that draws on developmental imaging to study the changing structure and function of the brain over the lifespan; progress in establishing increasingly precise models of memory; research that confirms the study of emotion and social cognition as a core area in cognitive neuroscience; and new findings that cast doubt on the so-called neural correlates of consciousness.

    • Hardcover $200.00 £165.00
  • Language, Music, and the Brain

    Language, Music, and the Brain

    A Mysterious Relationship

    Michael A. Arbib

    A presentation of music and language within an integrative, embodied perspective of brain mechanisms for action, emotion, and social coordination.

    This book explores the relationships between language, music, and the brain by pursuing four key themes and the crosstalk among them: song and dance as a bridge between music and language; multiple levels of structure from brain to behavior to culture; the semantics of internal and external worlds and the role of emotion; and the evolution and development of language. The book offers specially commissioned expositions of current research accessible both to experts across disciplines and to non-experts. These chapters provide the background for reports by groups of specialists that chart current controversies and future directions of research on each theme.

    The book looks beyond mere auditory experience, probing the embodiment that links speech to gesture and music to dance. The study of the brains of monkeys and songbirds illuminates hypotheses on the evolution of brain mechanisms that support music and language, while the study of infants calibrates the developmental timetable of their capacities. The result is a unique book that will interest any reader seeking to learn more about language or music and will appeal especially to readers intrigued by the relationships of language and music with each other and with the brain.

    Contributors Francisco Aboitiz, Michael A. Arbib, Annabel J. Cohen, Ian Cross, Peter Ford Dominey, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Leonardo Fogassi, Jonathan Fritz, Thomas Fritz, Peter Hagoort, John Halle, Henkjan Honing, Atsushi Iriki, Petr Janata, Erich Jarvis, Stefan Koelsch, Gina Kuperberg, D. Robert Ladd, Fred Lerdahl, Stephen C. Levinson, Jerome Lewis, Katja Liebal, Jônatas Manzolli, Bjorn Merker, Lawrence M. Parsons, Aniruddh D. Patel, Isabelle Peretz, David Poeppel, Josef P. Rauschecker, Nikki Rickard, Klaus Scherer, Gottfried Schlaug, Uwe Seifert, Mark Steedman, Dietrich Stout, Francesca Stregapede, Sharon Thompson-Schill, Laurel Trainor, Sandra E. Trehub, Paul Verschure

    • Hardcover $60.00 £50.00