Stephen C. Levinson


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  • Cutler, A., Klein, W., & Levinson, S. C. (2005). The cornerstones of twenty-first century psycholinguistics. In A. Cutler (Ed.), Twenty-first century psycholinguistics: Four cornerstones (pp. 1-20). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Dunn, M., Terrill, A., Reesink, G., Foley, R. A., & Levinson, S. C. (2005). Structural phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancient language history. Science, 309(5743), 2072-2075. doi:10.1126/science.1114615.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2005). [Comment on: Cultural constraints on grammar and cognition in Piraha by Daniel L. Everett]. Current Anthropology, 46, 637-638.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2005). Languages: Europe puts it's money where its mouth is [Letter to the editor]. Nature, 438, 914-914. doi:doi:10.1038/438914c.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2005). Living with Manny's dangerous idea. Discourse Studies, 7(4-5), 431-453. doi:10.1177/1461445605054401.


    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 (Manny) Schegloff (1987) in ‘Between Micro and Macro: Context and Other Connections’ opposes the importation of ‘macro’ (sociological/sociolinguistic) factors into the ‘micro’ (interaction analysis), 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 interactional reductionism. I will argue against interactional reductionism on methodological grounds: Don't bite off more than you can chew! Instead I'll support the good old Durkheimian strategy of looking for intermediate variables between systems of different orders. I try and make the case with data from Rossel Island, Papua New Guinea.

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