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Conference Information

Full Title: Workshop: Perspectives on Complexity

Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Start Date: 22-Jul-2013 - 27-Jul-2013
Contact: Shahin Nematzadeh
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Recently, there has been a growing interest in complexity. Complexity is a cover concept that can unite several different disciplines. On the one hand it is applied in interdisciplinary subdisciplines of linguistics such as psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and computational linguistics and in subfields of linguistics like morphology and syntax, in typology and language acquisition, in second language learning and cognitive linguistics. On the other hand, it is rooted in other disciplines like biology (Changizi, 2001) and communication science (Shannon, 1951). In other words today’s concept of complexity goes beyond the traditional observations that: 1) languages are complex; 2) and some languages are more complex than other ones. The modern version of complexity in linguistics has been introduced in Trudgill (1986), Anderson (1988), Kusters (2003), Dahl (2004), Givon (2008), Miestamo (2008), Givon & Shibatani (2009), Hawkins (2011) and by the Surrey Morphology Group.

In this workshop, both theoretical and applied problems concerning complexity will be discussed as follows:

1. Applied Complexity
1.1. Complexity in Typology
1.2. Complexity in First Language Acquisition
1.3. Complexity in Second Language Learning
1.4. Complexity in Sociolinguistics
1.5. Complexity in Psycholinguistics
2. Theoretical Complexity
2.1. Complexity Classification
2.2. Complexity and Markedness
2.3. Complexity and Naturalness
2.4. Complexity and Cognition
2.5. Complexity and Regularity
2.6. Complexity and Symmetry
2.7. Quantitative Criteria of Complexity
2.8. Qualitative Criteria of Complexity

Format of the workshop: Lecture; 4 Hours. 8 lectures will be presented, the introductory ones by the organizer and the keynote speaker. There is room for 6 external lectures that will be selected by the organizer helped by one reviewer.


Anderson, H .1988. Center and Periphery: Adoption, diffusion and spread. In Historical Dialectology: Regional and Social, J.Fisiak (ed.), 39-83.Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Changizi, M.A.2001. Universal scaling laws for hierarchical complexity in languages, organisms, behaviors and other combinatorial systems. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 211,277-295.

Dahl, O. 2004.The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Fenk-Oczlon, G; A. Fenk. 2008. Complexity trade-offs between the subsystems of language. In: M, Miestamo & Others (eds.). Language Complexity, Typology, Contact, Change .Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Givon, T; M. Shibatani. 2009. Syntactic Complexity, Diachrony, Acquisition, Neuro-cognition, Evolution. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kusters, W .2008. Complexity in linguistic theory, language learning and language change. In: M, Miestamo & Others (eds.). Language Complexity, Typology, Contact, Change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Miestamo, M & Others (eds.). Language Complexity, Typology, Contact, Change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Trudgill, P. 1986. Dialects in Contact. Oxford: Blackwell.
Linguistic Subfield: General Linguistics
LL Issue: 23.3575

This is a session of the following meeting:
19th International Congress of Linguists

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