Communicative efficiency: Language structure and use

Levshina, N. (2023). Communicative efficiency: Language structure and use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
All living beings try to save effort, and humans are no exception. This groundbreaking book shows how we save time and energy during communication by unconsciously making efficient choices in grammar, lexicon and phonology. It presents a new theory of 'communicative efficiency', the idea that language is designed to be as efficient as possible, as a system of communication. The new framework accounts for the diverse manifestations of communicative efficiency across a typologically broad range of languages, using various corpus-based and statistical approaches to explain speakers' bias towards efficiency. The author's unique interdisciplinary expertise allows her to provide rich evidence from a broad range of language sciences. She integrates diverse insights from over a hundred years of research into this comprehensible new theory, which she presents step-by-step in clear and accessible language. It is essential reading for language scientists, cognitive scientists and anyone interested in language use and communication.
Publication type
Publication date

Share this page