Stephen Levinson


  • Anthropological linguistics

Research Interests

  • Linguistics, anthropology, cognitive anthropology

Notable Ideas



  • Levinson's work on politeness (Brown and Levinson 1987) has had a wide influence across many sub-disciplines of linguistics, psychology, interactional sociology and communications.
  • Brown and Levinson's work on spatial language and cognition in Tzeltal has had an impact on the research topic of language and space, and more broadly, on cognitive scientists interested in the relationship between language and thought.

Academic Life

Stephen C. Levinson has taught and conducted research at Cambridge University, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, etc. Levinson is currently a leading scientist at The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (an institution concentrating on fundamental research).

Main Publications

Professor Levinson is a prolific author and has published widely. His latest works consists of Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature (MIT Press, 1998). For a complete list of Levinson's publications and numerous articles in pdf click here.

Categories: People