Stephen C. Levinson

Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 150
  • Levinson, S. C. (2019). Natural forms of purposeful interaction among humans: What makes interaction effective? In K. A. Gluck, & J. E. Laird (Eds.), Interactive task learning: Humans, robots, and agents acquiring new tasks through natural interactions (pp. 111-126). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Toni, I. (2019). Key issues and future directions: Interactional foundations of language. In P. Hagoort (Ed.), Human language: From genes and brain to behavior (pp. 257-261). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2019). Interactional foundations of language: The interaction engine hypothesis. In P. Hagoort (Ed.), Human language: From genes and brain to behavior (pp. 189-200). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Thomaz, A. L., Lieven, E., Cakmak, M., Chai, J. Y., Garrod, S., Gray, W. D., Levinson, S. C., Paiva, A., & Russwinkel, N. (2019). Interaction for task instruction and learning. In K. A. Gluck, & J. E. Laird (Eds.), Interactive task learning: Humans, robots, and agents acquiring new tasks through natural interactions (pp. 91-110). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Tzeltal: The demonstrative system. In S. C. Levinson, S. Cutfield, M. Dunn, N. J. Enfield, & S. Meira (Eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 150-177). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2018). Introduction: Demonstratives: Patterns in diversity. In S. C. Levinson, S. Cutfield, M. Dunn, N. J. Enfield, & S. Meira (Eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 1-42). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2018). Yélî Dnye: Demonstratives in the language of Rossel Island, Papua New Guinea. In S. C. Levinson, S. Cutfield, M. Dunn, N. J. Enfield, & S. Meira (Eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 318-342). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2017). Living with Manny's dangerous idea. In G. Raymond, G. H. Lerner, & J. Heritage (Eds.), Enabling human conduct: Studies of talk-in-interaction in honor of Emanuel A. Schegloff (pp. 327-349). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2017). Speech acts. In Y. Huang (Ed.), Oxford handbook of pragmatics (pp. 199-216). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697960.013.22.

    Abstract

    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 is drawn to the role of conversation structure, probabilistic linguistic cues, and plan or sequence inference in speech act recognition, and to the centrality of deep recursive structures in sequences of speech acts in conversation

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  • Levinson, S. C. (2016). Language and mind: Let's get the issues straight! In S. D. Blum (Ed.), Making sense of language: Readings in culture and communication [3rd ed.] (pp. 68-80). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2016). The countable singulare tantum. In A. Reuneker, R. Boogaart, & S. Lensink (Eds.), Aries netwerk: Een constructicon (pp. 145-146). Leiden: Leiden University.
  • Dediu, D., & Levinson, S. C. (2014). The time frame of the emergence of modern language and its implications. In D. Dor, C. Knight, & J. Lewis (Eds.), The social origins of language (pp. 184-195). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hagoort, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2014). Neuropragmatics. In M. S. Gazzaniga, & G. R. Mangun (Eds.), The cognitive neurosciences (5th ed., pp. 667-674). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2014). Pragmatics as the origin of recursion. In F. Lowenthal, & L. Lefebvre (Eds.), Language and recursion (pp. 3-13). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-9414-0_1.

    Abstract

    There has been a recent spate of work on recursion as a central design feature of language and specifically of syntax. This short report points out that there is little evidence that unlimited recursion, understood as centre embedding, is typical of natural language syntax. Nevertheless, embedded pragmatic construals seem available in every language. Further, much deeper centre embedding can be found in dialogue or conversation structure than can be found in syntax. Existing accounts for the ‘performance’ limitations on centre embedding are thus thrown in doubt. Dialogue materials suggest that centre embedding is perhaps a core part of the human interaction system and is for some reason much more highly restricted in syntax than in other aspects of cognition
  • Levinson, S. C. (2014). Language evolution. In N. J. Enfield, P. Kockelman, & J. Sidnell (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of linguistic anthropology (pp. 309-324). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dediu, D., Cysouw, M., Levinson, S. C., Baronchelli, A., Christiansen, M. H., Croft, W., Evans, N., Garrod, S., Gray, R., Kandler, A., & Lieven, E. (2013). Cultural evolution of language. In P. J. Richerson, & M. H. Christiansen (Eds.), Cultural evolution: Society, technology, language, and religion. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 12 (pp. 303-332). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter argues that an evolutionary cultural approach to language not only has already proven fruitful, but it probably holds the key to understand many puzzling aspects of language, its change and origins. The chapter begins by highlighting several still common misconceptions about language that might seem to call into question a cultural evolutionary approach. It explores the antiquity of language and sketches a general evolutionary approach discussing the aspects of function, fi tness, replication, and selection, as well the relevant units of linguistic evolution. In this context, the chapter looks at some fundamental aspects of linguistic diversity such as the nature of the design space, the mechanisms generating it, and the shape and fabric of language. Given that biology is another evolutionary system, its complex coevolution with language needs to be understood in order to have a proper theory of language. Throughout the chapter, various challenges are identifi ed and discussed, sketching promising directions for future research. The chapter ends by listing the necessary data, methods, and theoretical developments required for a grounded evolutionary approach to language.
  • Enfield, N. J., Dingemanse, M., Baranova, J., Blythe, J., Brown, P., Dirksmeyer, T., Drew, P., Floyd, S., Gipper, S., Gisladottir, R. S., Hoymann, G., Kendrick, K. H., Levinson, S. C., Magyari, L., Manrique, E., Rossi, G., San Roque, L., & Torreira, F. (2013). Huh? What? – A first survey in 21 languages. In M. Hayashi, G. Raymond, & J. Sidnell (Eds.), Conversational repair and human understanding (pp. 343-380). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    Introduction A comparison of conversation in twenty-one languages from around the world reveals commonalities and differences in the way that people do open-class other-initiation of repair (Schegloff, Jefferson, and Sacks, 1977; Drew, 1997). We find that speakers of all of the spoken languages in the sample make use of a primary interjection strategy (in English it is Huh?), where the phonetic form of the interjection is strikingly similar across the languages: a monosyllable featuring an open non-back vowel [a, æ, ə, ʌ], often nasalized, usually with rising intonation and sometimes an [h-] onset. We also find that most of the languages have another strategy for open-class other-initiation of repair, namely the use of a question word (usually “what”). Here we find significantly more variation across the languages. The phonetic form of the question word involved is completely different from language to language: e.g., English [wɑt] versus Cha'palaa [ti] versus Duna [aki]. Furthermore, the grammatical structure in which the repair-initiating question word can or must be expressed varies within and across languages. In this chapter we present data on these two strategies – primary interjections like Huh? and question words like What? – with discussion of possible reasons for the similarities and differences across the languages. We explore some implications for the notion of repair as a system, in the context of research on the typology of language use. The general outline of this chapter is as follows. We first discuss repair as a system across languages and then introduce the focus of the chapter: open-class other-initiation of repair. A discussion of the main findings follows, where we identify two alternative strategies in the data: an interjection strategy (Huh?) and a question word strategy (What?). Formal features and possible motivations are discussed for the interjection strategy and the question word strategy in order. A final section discusses bodily behavior including posture, eyebrow movements and eye gaze, both in spoken languages and in a sign language.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2013). Action formation and ascription. In T. Stivers, & J. Sidnell (Eds.), The handbook of conversation analysis (pp. 103-130). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781118325001.ch6.

    Abstract

    Since the core matrix for language use is interaction, the main job of language is not to express propositions or abstract meanings, but to deliver actions. For in order to respond in interaction we have to ascribe to the prior turn a primary ‘action’ – variously thought of as an ‘illocution’, ‘speech act’, ‘move’, etc. – to which we then respond. The analysis of interaction also relies heavily on attributing actions to turns, so that, e.g., sequences can be characterized in terms of actions and responses. Yet the process of action ascription remains way understudied. We don’t know much about how it is done, when it is done, nor even what kind of inventory of possible actions might exist, or the degree to which they are culturally variable. The study of action ascription remains perhaps the primary unfulfilled task in the study of language use, and it needs to be tackled from conversationanalytic, psycholinguistic, cross-linguistic and anthropological perspectives. In this talk I try to take stock of what we know, and derive a set of goals for and constraints on an adequate theory. Such a theory is likely to employ, I will suggest, a top-down plus bottom-up account of action perception, and a multi-level notion of action which may resolve some of the puzzles that have repeatedly arisen.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2013). Cross-cultural universals and communication structures. In M. A. Arbib (Ed.), Language, music, and the brain: A mysterious relationship (pp. 67-80). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Abstract

    Given the diversity of languages, it is unlikely that the human capacity for language resides in rich universal syntactic machinery. More likely, it resides centrally in the capacity for vocal learning combined with a distinctive ethology for communicative interaction, which together (no doubt with other capacities) make diverse languages learnable. This chapter focuses on face-to-face communication, which is characterized by the mapping of sounds and multimodal signals onto speech acts and which can be deeply recursively embedded in interaction structure, suggesting an interactive origin for complex syntax. These actions are recognized through Gricean intention recognition, which is a kind of “ mirroring” or simulation distinct from the classic mirror neuron system. The multimodality of conversational interaction makes evident the involvement of body, hand, and mouth, where the burden on these can be shifted, as in the use of speech and gesture, or hands and face in sign languages. Such shifts having taken place during the course of human evolution. All this suggests a slightly different approach to the mystery of music, whose origins should also be sought in joint action, albeit with a shift from turn-taking to simultaneous expression, and with an affective quality that may tap ancient sources residual in primate vocalization. The deep connection of language to music can best be seen in the only universal form of music, namely song.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Dediu, D. (2013). The interplay of genetic and cultural factors in ongoing language evolution. In P. J. Richerson, & M. H. Christiansen (Eds.), Cultural evolution: Society, technology, language, and religion. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 12 (pp. 219-232). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  • Thompson-Schill, S., Hagoort, P., Dominey, P. F., Honing, H., Koelsch, S., Ladd, D. R., Lerdahl, F., Levinson, S. C., & Steedman, M. (2013). Multiple levels of structure in language and music. In M. A. Arbib (Ed.), Language, music, and the brain: A mysterious relationship (pp. 289-303). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Abstract

    A forum devoted to the relationship between music and language begins with an implicit assumption: There is at least one common principle that is central to all human musical systems and all languages, but that is not characteristic of (most) other domains. Why else should these two categories be paired together for analysis? We propose that one candidate for a common principle is their structure. In this chapter, we explore the nature of that structure—and its consequences for psychological and neurological processing mechanisms—within and across these two domains.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2012). Preface. In A. Kopecka, & B. Narasimhan (Eds.), Events of putting and taking: A crosslinguistic perspective (pp. xi-xv). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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  • Levinson, S. C., & Brown, P. (2012). Put and Take in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island. In A. Kopecka, & B. Narasimhan (Eds.), Events of putting and taking: A crosslinguistic perspective (pp. 273-296). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the linguistic treatment of placement events in the Rossel Island (Papua New Guinea) language Yélî Dnye. Yélî Dnye is unusual in treating PUT and TAKE events symmetrically with a remarkable consistency. In what follows, we first provide a brief background for the language, then describe the six core PUT/TAKE verbs that were drawn upon by Yélî Dnye speakers to describe the great majority of the PUT/TAKE stimuli clips, along with some of their grammatical properties. In Section 5 we describe alternative verbs usable in particular circumstances and give an indication of the basis for variability in responses across speakers. Section 6 presents some reasons why the Yélî verb pattern for expressing PUT and TAKE events is of broad interest.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2012). Interrogative intimations: On a possible social economics of interrogatives. In J. P. De Ruiter (Ed.), Questions: Formal, functional and interactional perspectives (pp. 11-32). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2012). Foreword. In J. B. Carroll, S. C. Levinson, & P. Lee (Eds.), Language, thought, and reality: selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf (2nd ed.) (pp. vii-xxiii). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • De Ruiter, J. P., Noordzij, M. L., Newman-Norlund, S., Newman-Norlund, R., Hagoort, P., Levinson, S. C., & Toni, I. (2012). Exploring the cognitive infrastructure of communication. In B. Galantucci, & S. Garrod (Eds.), Experimental Semiotics: Studies on the emergence and evolution of human communication (pp. 51-78). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    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 show that subjects are remarkably successful communicators under these conditions, especially when senders get feedback from receivers. Signaling is accomplished by the manner in which an instrumental action is performed, such that instrumentally dysfunctional components of an action are used to convey communicative intentions. The findings have important implications for the nature of the human communicative infrastructure, and the task opens up a line of experimentation on human communication.

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  • Bohnemeyer, J., Burenhult, N., Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2011). Landscape terms and place names questionnaire. In K. Kendrick, & A. Majid (Eds.), Field manual volume 14 (pp. 19-23). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.1005606.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2011). Politeness: Some universals in language use [Reprint]. In D. Archer, & P. Grundy (Eds.), The pragmatics reader (pp. 283-304). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Reprinted with permission of Cambridge University Press from: Brown, P. and Levinson, S. E. (1987) Politeness, (©) 1978, 1987, CUP.
  • Enfield, N. J., Kendrick, K. H., De Ruiter, J. P., Stivers, T., & Levinson, S. C. (2011). Building a corpus of spontaneous interaction. In Field manual volume 14 (pp. 29-32). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.1005610.

    Abstract

    This revised version supersedes all previous versions (e.g., Field Manual 2010).
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2011). Metalanguage for speech acts. In K. Kendrick, & A. Majid (Eds.), Field manual volume 14 (pp. 33-35). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.1005611.

    Abstract

    This version is reprinted from the 2010 Field Manual
  • Evans, N., Levinson, S. C., Gaby, A., & Majid, A. (2011). Introduction: Reciprocals and semantic typology. In N. Evans, A. Gaby, S. C. Levinson, & A. Majid (Eds.), Reciprocals and semantic typology (pp. 1-28). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Reciprocity lies at the heart of social cognition, and with it so does the encoding of reciprocity in language via reciprocal constructions. Despite the prominence of strong universal claims about the semantics of reciprocal constructions, there is considerable descriptive literature on the semantics of reciprocals that seems to indicate variable coding and subtle cross-linguistic differences in meaning of reciprocals, both of which would make it impossible to formulate a single, essentialising definition of reciprocal semantics. These problems make it vital for studies in the semantic typology of reciprocals to employ methodologies that allow the relevant categories to emerge objectively from cross-linguistic comparison of standardised stimulus materials. We situate the rationale for the 20-language study that forms the basis for this book within this empirical approach to semantic typology, and summarise some of the findings.

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  • Levinson, S. C. (2011). Presumptive meanings [Reprint]. In D. Archer, & P. Grundy (Eds.), The pragmatics reader (pp. 86-98). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Reprinted with permission of The MIT Press from Levinson (2000) Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature, pp. 112-118, 116-167, 170-173, 177-180. MIT Press
  • Levinson, S. C. (2011). Deixis [Reprint]. In D. Archer, & P. Grundy (Eds.), The pragmatics reader (pp. 163-185). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Reproduced with permission of Blackwell Publishing from: Levinson, S. C. (2004) 'Deixis'. In: Horn, L.R. and Ward, G. (Eds.) The Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 100-121
  • Levinson, S. C. (2011). Foreword. In D. M. Mark, A. G. Turk, N. Burenhult, & D. Stea (Eds.), Landscape in language: Transdisciplinary perspectives (pp. ix-x). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2011). Three levels of meaning: Essays in honor of Sir John Lyons [Reprint]. In A. Kasher (Ed.), Pragmatics II. London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Reprint from Stephen C. Levinson, ‘Three Levels of Meaning’, in Frank Palmer (ed.), Grammar and Meaning: Essays in Honor of Sir John Lyons (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 90–115
  • Levinson, S. C. (2011). Universals in pragmatics. In P. C. Hogan (Ed.), The Cambridge encyclopedia of the language sciences (pp. 654-657). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    Changing Prospects for Universals in Pragmatics The term PRAGMATICS has come to denote the study of general principles of language use. It is usually understood to contrast with SEMANTICS, the study of encoded meaning, and also, by some authors, to contrast with SOCIOLINGUISTICS and the ethnography of speaking, which are more concerned with local sociocultural practices. Given that pragmaticists come from disciplines as varied as philosophy, sociology, linguistics, communication studies, psychology, and anthropology, it is not surprising that definitions of pragmatics vary. Nevertheless, most authors agree on a list of topics that come under the rubric, including DEIXIS, PRESUPPOSITION, implicature (see CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE), SPEECH-ACTS, and conversational organization (see CONVERSATIONAL ANALYSIS). Here, we can use this extensional definition as a starting point (Levinson 1988; Huang 2007).
  • Levinson, S. C. (2011). Reciprocals in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island. In N. Evans, A. Gaby, S. C. Levinson, & A. Majid (Eds.), Reciprocals and semantic typology (pp. 177-194). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Yélî Dnye has two discernable dedicated constructions for reciprocal marking. The first and main construction uses a dedicated reciprocal pronoun numo, somewhat like English each other. We can recognise two subconstructions. First, the ‘numo-construction’, where the reciprocal pronoun is a patient of the verb, and where the invariant pronoun numo is obligatorily incorporated, triggering intransitivisation (e.g. A-NPs become absolutive). This subconstruction has complexities, for example in the punctual aspect only, the verb is inflected like a transitive, but with enclitics mismatching actual person/number. In the second variant or subconstruction, the ‘noko-construction’, the same reciprocal pronoun (sometimes case-marked as noko) occurs but now in oblique positions with either transitive or intransitive verbs. The reciprocal element here has some peculiar binding properties. Finally, the second independent construction is a dedicated periphrastic (or woni…woni) construction, glossing ‘the one did X to the other, and the other did X to the one’. It is one of the rare cross-serial dependencies that show that natural languages cannot be modelled by context-free phrase-structure grammars. Finally, the usage of these two distinct constructions is discussed.
  • Majid, A., Evans, N., Gaby, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2011). The semantics of reciprocal constructions across languages: An extensional approach. In N. Evans, A. Gaby, S. C. Levinson, & A. Majid (Eds.), Reciprocals and semantic typology (pp. 29-60). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    How similar are reciprocal constructions in the semantic parameters they encode? We investigate this question by using an extensional approach, which examines similarity of meaning by examining how constructions are applied over a set of 64 videoclips depicting reciprocal events (Evans et al. 2004). We apply statistical modelling to descriptions from speakers of 20 languages elicited using the videoclips. We show that there are substantial differences in meaning between constructions of different languages.

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  • Norcliffe, E., Enfield, N. J., Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2011). The grammar of perception. In K. Kendrick, & A. Majid (Eds.), Field manual volume 14 (pp. 1-10). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Burenhult, N., & Levinson, S. C. (2010). Semplates: A guide to identification and elicitation. In E. Norcliffe, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Field manual volume 13 (pp. 17-23). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., De Ruiter, J. P., & Stivers, T. (2010). Building a corpus of multimodal interaction in your field site. In E. Norcliffe, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Field manual volume 13 (pp. 30-33). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2010). Metalanguage for speech acts. In Field manual volume 13 (pp. 34-36). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

    Abstract

    People of all cultures have some degree of concern with categorizing types of communicative social action. All languages have words with meanings like speak, say, talk, complain, curse, promise, accuse, nod, wink, point and chant. But the exact distinctions they make will differ in both quantity and quality. How is communicative social action categorised across languages and cultures? The goal of this task is to establish a basis for cross-linguistic comparison of native metalanguages for social action.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2010). Generalized conversational implicature. In L. Cummings (Ed.), The pragmatics encyclopedia (pp. 201-203). London: Routledge.
  • Norcliffe, E., Enfield, N. J., Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2010). The grammar of perception. In E. Norcliffe, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Field manual volume 13 (pp. 7-16). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Politeness: Some universals in language usage [chapter 1, reprint]. In N. Coupland, & A. Jaworski (Eds.), Sociolinguistics: critical concepts [volume III: Interactional sociolinguistics] (pp. 311-323). London: Routledge.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Language as mind tools: Learning how to think through speaking. In J. Guo, E. V. Lieven, N. Budwig, S. Ervin-Tripp, K. Nakamura, & S. Ozcaliskan (Eds.), Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the traditions of Dan Slobin (pp. 451-464). New York: Psychology Press.

    Abstract

    Speakers of the Mayan language Tzeltal use two frames of reference for spatial reckoning: an absolute system (based on the south/north axis abstracted from the overall slope of the land) and an intrinsic system utilizing spatial axes of the reference object to establish body parts. This paper examines the use of absolute, intrinsic, and landmark cues in descriptions of spatial relations by 22 pairs of Tzeltal children aged between 5 and 17. The data are drawn from interactive space games, where a Director describes a spatial layout in a photo and the Matcher reproduces it with toys. The paper distinguishes use of ad hoc landmarks ('Red Cliffs', 'the electricity post') from genuine absolute reference points ('uphill'/'downhill'/’across’), and shows that adults in this task use absolute ('cow uphill of horse'), intrinsic ('at the tree's side') and landmark ('cow facing Red Cliffs') descriptions to communicate the spatial relations depicted. The youngest children, however, do not use landmark cues at all but rely instead on deictics and on the absolute 'uphill/downhill' terms; landmark terms are still rare at age 8-10. Despite arguments that landmarks are a simpler, more natural, basis for spatial reckoning than absolute terms, there is no evidence for a developmental progression from landmark-based to absolute-based strategies. We relate these observations to Slobin’s ‘thinking for speaking’ argument.
  • Burenhult, N., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Semplates: A guide to identification and elicitation. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 44-50). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.883556.

    Abstract

    Semplates are a new descriptive and theoretical concept in lexical semantics, borne out of recent L&C work in several domains. A semplate can be defined as a configuration consisting of distinct layers of lexemes, each layer drawn from a different form class, mapped onto the same abstract semantic template. Within such a lexical layer, the sense relations between the lexical items are inherited from the underlying template. Thus, the whole set of lexical layers and the underlying template form a cross-categorial configuration in the lexicon. The goal of this task is to find new kinds of macrostructure in the lexicon, with a view to cross-linguistic comparison.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Metalanguage for speech acts. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 51-53). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.883559.

    Abstract

    People of all cultures have some degree of concern with categorizing types of communicative social action. All languages have words with meanings like speak, say, talk, complain, curse, promise, accuse, nod, wink, point and chant. But the exact distinctions they make will differ in both quantity and quality. How is communicative social action categorised across languages and cultures? The goal of this task is to establish a basis for cross-linguistic comparison of native metalanguages for social action.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., & Stivers, T. (2009). Social action formulation: A "10-minutes" task. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 54-55). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.883564.

    Abstract

    Human actions in the social world – like greeting, requesting, complaining, accusing, asking, confirming, etc. – are recognised through the interpretation of signs. Language is where much of the action is, but gesture, facial expression and other bodily actions matter as well. The goal of this task is to establish a maximally rich description of a representative, good quality piece of conversational interaction, which will serve as a reference point for comparative exploration of the status of social actions and their formulation across language
  • Levinson, S. C. (2009). Cognitive anthropology. In G. Senft, J. O. Östman, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Culture and language use (pp. 50-57). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Majid, A. (2009). Preface and priorities. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. III). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2009). Language and mind: Let's get the issues straight! In S. D. Blum (Ed.), Making sense of language: Readings in culture and communication (pp. 95-104). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2009). Foreword. In J. Liep (Ed.), A Papuan plutocracy: Ranked exchange on Rossel Island (pp. ix-xxiii). Copenhagen: Aarhus University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Majid, A. (2009). The role of language in mind. In S. Nolen-Hoeksema, B. Fredrickson, G. Loftus, & W. Wagenaar (Eds.), Atkinson and Hilgard's introduction to psychology (15th ed., pp. 352). London: Cengage learning.
  • Rossano, F., Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Gaze, questioning and culture. In J. Sidnell (Ed.), Conversation analysis: Comparative perspectives (pp. 187-249). Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    Relatively little work has examined the function of gaze in interaction. Previous research has mainly addressed issues such as next speaker selection (e.g. Lerner 2003) or engagement and disengagement in the conversation (Goodwin 1981). It has looked for gaze behavior in relation to the roles participants are enacting locally, (e.g., speaker or hearer) and in relation to the unit “turn” in the turn taking system (Goodwin 1980, 1981; Kendon 1967). In his seminal work Kendon (1967) claimed that “there is a very clear and quite consistent pattern, namely, that [the speaker] tends to look away as he begins a long utterance, and in many cases somewhat in advance of it; and that he looks up at his interlocutor as the end of the long utterance approaches, usually during the last phase, and he continues to look thereafter.” Goodwin (Goodwin 1980) introducing the listener into the picture proposed the following two rules: Rule1: A speaker should obtain the gaze of his recipient during the course of a turn of talk. Rule2: a recipient should be gazing at the speaker when the speaker is gazing at the hearer. Rossano’s work (2005) has suggested the possibility of a different level of order for gaze in interaction: the sequential level. In particular he found that gaze withdrawal after sustained mutual gaze tends to occur at sequence possible completion and if both participants withdraw the sequence is complete. By sequence here we refer to a unit that is structured around the notion of adjacency pair. The latter refers to two turns uttered by different speakers orderly organized (first part and second part) and pair type related (greeting-greeting, question-answer). These two turns are related by conditional relevance (Schegloff 1968) that is to say that the first part requires the production of the second and the absence of the latter is noticeable and accountable. Question-anwers are very typical examples of adjacency pairs. In this paper we compare the use of gaze in question-answer sequences in three different populations: Italians, speakers of Mayan Tzeltal (Mexico) and speakers of Yeli Ndye (Russel Island, Papua New Guinea). Relying mainly on dyadic interactions and ordinary conversation we will provide a comparison of the occurrence of gaze in each turn (to compare with the claims of Goodwin and Kendon) and we will describe whether gaze has any effect on the other participant response and whether it persists also during the answer. The three languages and cultures that will be compared here belong to three different continents and have been previously described as potentially following opposite rules: for speakers of Italian and Yeli Ndye unproblematic and preferred engagement of mutual gaze while for speakers of Tzeltal strong mutual gaze avoidance. This paper tries to provide an accurate description of their gaze behavior in this specific type of sequential conversation.
  • Sicoli, M. A., Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). The language of sound: II. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 14-19). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.446294.

    Abstract

    The task is designed to elicit vocabulary for simple sounds. The primary goal is to establish how people describe sound and what resources the language provides generally for encoding this domain. More specifically: (1) whether there is dedicated vocabulary for encoding simple sound contrasts and (2) how much consistency there is within a community in descriptions. This develops on materials used in The language of sound
  • Boroditsky, L., Gaby, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Time in space. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 11 (pp. 52-76). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492932.

    Abstract

    How do different languages and cultures conceptualise time? This question is part of a broader set of questions about how humans come to represent and reason about abstract entities – things we cannot see or touch. For example, how do we come to represent and reason about abstract domains like justice, ideas, kinship, morality, or politics? There are two aspects of this project: (1) Time arrangement tasks to assess the way people arrange time either as temporal progressions expressed in picture cards or done using small tokens or points in space. (2) A time & space language inventory to discover and document the linguistic coding of time and its relation to space, as well as the cultural knowledge structures related to time.

    Supplementary material

    2008_Time_in_space_stimuli.zip
  • Dingemanse, M., Hill, C., Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Ethnography of the senses. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. 18-28). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492935.

    Abstract

    This entry provides some orientation and task suggestions on how to explore the perceptual world of your field site and the interaction between the cultural world and the sensory lexicon in your community. The material consists of procedural texts; soundscapes; other documentary and observational tasks. The goal of this task is to explore the perceptual world of your field site and the interaction between the cultural world and the sensory lexicon in your community.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Metalanguage for speech acts. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. 77-79). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492937.

    Abstract

    People of all cultures have some degree of concern with categorizing types of communicative social action. All languages have words with meanings like speak, say, talk, complain, curse, promise, accuse, nod, wink, point and chant. But the exact distinctions they make will differ in both quantity and quality. How is communicative social action categorised across languages and cultures? The goal of this task is to establish a basis for cross-linguistic comparison of native metalanguages for social action.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., & Stivers, T. (2008). Social action formulation: A "10-minutes" task. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. 80-81). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492939.

    Abstract

    This Field Manual entry has been superceded by the 2009 version: https://doi.org/10.17617/2.883564

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  • Levinson, S. C., & Majid, A. (2008). Preface and priorities. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. iii-iv). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Levinson, S. C., Bohnemeyer, J., & Enfield, N. J. (2008). Time and space questionnaire. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 11 (pp. 42-49). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492955.

    Abstract

    This entry contains: 1. An invitation to think about to what extent the grammar of space and time share lexical and morphosyntactic resources − the suggestions here are only prompts, since it would take a long questionnaire to fully explore this; 2. A suggestion about how to collect gestural data that might show us to what extent the spatial and temporal domains, have a psychological continuity. This is really the goal − but you need to do the linguistic work first or in addition. The goal of this task is to explore the extent to which time is conceptualised on a spatial basis.
  • Boroditsky, L., Gaby, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Time in space. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 10 (pp. 59-80). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468721.

    Abstract

    This Field Manual entry has been superceded by the 2008 version: https://doi.org/10.17617/2.492932

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  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Gesichtsbedrohende Akte [reprint: Face-threatening acts, 1987]. In S. K. Herrmann, S. Kraemer, & H. Kuch (Eds.), Verletzende Worte: Die Grammatik sprachlicher Missachtung (pp. 59-88). Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.

    Abstract

    This article is a reprint of parts of chapters 2 and 3 from Brown and Levinson (1987) discussing the concept of 'Face Threatening Acts'.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., De Ruiter, J. P., & Stivers, T. (2007). Building a corpus of multimodal interaction in your field site. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 96-99). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468728.

    Abstract

    Research on video- and audio-recordings of spontaneous naturally-occurring conversation in English has shown that conversation is a rule-guided, practice-oriented domain that can be investigated for its underlying mechanics or structure. Systematic study could yield something like a grammar for conversation. The goal of this task is to acquire a corpus of video-data, for investigating the underlying structure(s) of interaction cross-linguistically and cross-culturally.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2007). Optimizing person reference - perspectives from usage on Rossel Island. In N. Enfield, & T. Stivers (Eds.), Person reference in interaction: Linguistic, cultural, and social perspectives (pp. 29-72). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter explicates the requirement in person–reference for balancing demands for recognition, minimalization, explicitness and indirection. This is illustrated with reference to data from repair of failures of person–reference within a particular linguistic/cultural context, namely casual interaction among Rossel Islanders. Rossel Island (PNG) offers a ‘natural experiment’ for studying aspects of person reference, because of a number of special properties: 1. It is a closed universe of 4000 souls, sharing one kinship network, so in principle anyone could be recognizable from a reference. As a result no (complex) descriptions (cf. ‘ the author of Waverly’) are employed. 2. Names, however, are never uniquely referring, since they are drawn from a fixed pool. They are only used for about 25% of initial references, another 25% of initial references being done by kinship triangulation (‘that man’s father–in–law’). Nearly 50% of initial references are semantically underspecified or vague (e.g. ‘that girl’). 3. There are systematic motivations for oblique reference, e.g. kinship–based taboos and other constraints, which partly account for the underspecified references. The ‘natural experiment’ thus reveals some gneral lessons about how person–reference requires optimizing multiple conflicting constraints. Comparison with Sacks and Schegloff’s (1979) treatment of English person reference suggests a way to tease apart the universal and the culturally–particular.
  • Levinson, S. C., Majid, A., & Enfield, N. J. (2007). Language of perception: The view from language and culture. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 10-21). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468738.
  • Levinson, S. C., Senft, G., & Majid, A. (2007). Emotion categories in language and thought. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 46-52). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492892.

    Supplementary material

    French_emotion_questionnaire.pdf
  • Levinson, S. C., & Majid, A. (2007). The language of sound. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 29-31). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468735.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Majid, A. (2007). The language of vision II: Shape. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 26-28). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468732.
  • Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Language of perception: Overview of field tasks. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 8-9). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492898.
  • Majid, A., Senft, G., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). The language of olfaction. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 36-41). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492910.
  • Majid, A., Senft, G., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). The language of touch. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 32-35). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492907.
  • Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). The language of vision I: colour. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 22-25). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492901.
  • Senft, G., Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). The language of taste. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 42-45). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492913.
  • Stivers, T., Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Person reference in interaction. In N. J. Enfield, & T. Stivers (Eds.), Person reference in interaction: Linguistic, cultural, and social perspectives (pp. 1-20). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Wilkins, D. P. (2006). Patterns in the data: Towards a semantic typology of spatial description. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 512-552). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). Introduction: The evolution of culture in a microcosm. In S. C. Levinson, & P. Jaisson (Eds.), Evolution and culture: A Fyssen Foundation Symposium (pp. 1-41). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Wilkins, D. P. (2006). The background to the study of the language of space. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 1-23). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). The language of space in Yélî Dnye. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 157-203). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 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.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., Burenhult, N., Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2004). Landscape terms and place names elicitation guide. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 75-79). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492904.

    Abstract

    Landscape terms reflect the relationship between geographic reality and human cognition. Are ‘mountains’, ‘rivers, ‘lakes’ and the like universally recognised in languages as naturally salient objects to be named? The landscape subproject is concerned with the interrelation between language, cognition and geography. Specifically, it investigates issues relating to how landforms are categorised cross-linguistically as well as the characteristics of place naming.
  • Brown, P., Levinson, S. C., & Senft, G. (2004). Initial references to persons and places. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 37-44). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492929.

    Abstract

    This task has two parts: (i) video-taped elicitation of the range of possibilities for referring to persons and places, and (ii) observations of (first) references to persons and places in video-taped natural interaction. The goal of this task is to establish the repertoires of referential terms (and other practices) used for referring to persons and to places in particular languages and cultures, and provide examples of situated use of these kinds of referential practices in natural conversation. This data will form the basis for cross-language comparison, and for formulating hypotheses about general principles underlying the deployment of such referential terms in natural language usage.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2004). Frames of spatial reference and their acquisition in Tenejapan Tzeltal. In A. Assmann, U. Gaier, & G. Trommsdorff (Eds.), Zwischen Literatur und Anthropologie: Diskurse, Medien, Performanzen (pp. 285-314). Tübingen: Gunter Narr.

    Abstract

    This is a reprint of the Brown and Levinson 2000 article.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., De Ruiter, J. P., & Stivers, T. (2004). Building a corpus of multimodal interaction in your field site. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 32-36). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.506951.

    Abstract

    This Field Manual entry has been superceded by the 2007 version: https://doi.org/10.17617/2.468728

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  • Evans, N., Levinson, S. C., Enfield, N. J., Gaby, A., & Majid, A. (2004). Reciprocal constructions and situation type. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 25-30). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.506955.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2004). Deixis. In L. Horn (Ed.), The handbook of pragmatics (pp. 97-121). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., Burenhult, N., Levinson, S. C., & Enfield, N. J. (2003). Landscape terms and place names questionnaire. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 60-63). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877604.

    Abstract

    Landscape terms reflect the relationship between geographic reality and human cognition. Are ‘mountains’, ‘rivers, ‘lakes’ and the like universally recognised in languages as naturally salient objects to be named? The landscape subproject is concerned with the interrelation between language, cognition and geography. Specifically, it investigates issues relating to how landforms are categorised cross-linguistically as well as the characteristics of place naming.
  • Enfield, N. J., De Ruiter, J. P., Levinson, S. C., & Stivers, T. (2003). Multimodal interaction in your field site: A preliminary investigation. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 10-16). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877638.

    Abstract

    Research on video- and audio-recordings of spontaneous naturally-occurring conversation in English has shown that conversation is a rule-guided, practice-oriented domain that can be investigated for its underlying mechanics or structure. Systematic study could yield something like a grammar for conversation. The goal of this task is to acquire a corpus of video-data, for investigating the underlying structure(s) of interaction cross-linguistically and cross-culturally
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2003). Interview on kinship. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 64-65). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877629.

    Abstract

    We want to know how people think about their field of kin, on the supposition that it is quasi-spatial. To get some insights here, we need to video a discussion about kinship reckoning, the kinship system, marriage rules and so on, with a view to looking at both the linguistic expressions involved, and the gestures people use to indicate kinship groups and relations. Unlike the task in the 2001 manual, this task is a direct interview method.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2003). Language and cognition. In W. Frawley (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (pp. 459-463). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2003). Language and mind: Let's get the issues straight! In D. Gentner, & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind: Advances in the study of language and cognition (pp. 25-46). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2003). Contextualizing 'contextualization cues'. In S. Eerdmans, C. Prevignano, & P. Thibault (Eds.), Language and interaction: Discussions with John J. Gumperz (pp. 31-39). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2003). Spatial language. In L. Nadel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cognitive science (pp. 131-137). London: Nature Publishing Group.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2002). Appendix to the 2002 Supplement, version 1, for the “Manual” for the field season 2001. In S. Kita (Ed.), 2002 Supplement (version 3) for the “Manual” for the field season 2001 (pp. 62-64). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2002). Landscape terms and place names in Yélî Dnye, the language of Rossel Island, PNG. In S. Kita (Ed.), 2002 Supplement (version 3) for the “Manual” for the field season 2001 (pp. 8-13). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., & Meria, S. (2001). Recognitional deixis. In S. C. Levinson, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Manual for the field season 2001 (pp. 78-81). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874641.

    Abstract

    “Recognitional” words and constructions enshrine our systematic reliance on shared knowledge in dedicated morphological forms and usage patterns. For example, English has a large range of terms for use when a speaker cannot locate the word or name for something or someone (e.g., whatsit, what’s-his-name), but thinks that the interlocutor knows, or can easily work out, what the speaker is talking about. This task aims to identify and investigate these kinds of expressions in the research language, including their grammaticalised status, meaning, distribution, and productivity. The task consists of a questionnaire with examples of relevant hypothetical scenarios that can be used in eliciting the relevant terms. The researcher is then encouraged to pursue further questions in regard to these items.
  • Levinson, S. C., Bohnemeyer, J., & Enfield, N. J. (2001). “Time and space” questionnaire for “space in thinking” subproject. In S. C. Levinson, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Manual for the field season 2001 (pp. 14-20). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

    Abstract

    This entry contains: 1. An invitation to think about to what extent the grammar of space and time share lexical and morphosyntactic resources − the suggestions here are only prompts, since it would take a long questionnaire to fully explore this; 2. A suggestion about how to collect gestural data that might show us to what extent the spatial and temporal domains, have a psychological continuity. This is really the goal − but you need to do the linguistic work first or in addition. The goal of this task is to explore the extent to which time is conceptualised on a spatial basis.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2001). Motion verb stimulus, version 2. In S. C. Levinson, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Manual for the field season 2001 (pp. 9-13). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874650.

    Abstract

    How do languages express ideas of movement, and how do they package different components of this domain, such as manner and path of motion? This task uses one large set of stimuli to gain knowledge of certain key aspects of motion verb meanings in the target language, and expands the investigation beyond simple verbs (e.g., go) to include the semantics of motion predications complete with adjuncts (e.g., go across something). Consultants are asked to view and briefly describe 96 animations of a few seconds each. The task is designed to get linguistic elicitations of motion predications under contrastive comparison with other animations in the same set. Unlike earlier tasks, the stimuli focus on inanimate moving items or “figures” (in this case, a ball).
  • Levinson, S. C. (2001). Place and space in the sculpture of Anthony Gormley - An anthropological perspective. In S. D. McElroy (Ed.), Some of the facts (pp. 68-109). St Ives: Tate Gallery.

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