LINGUIST List 15.3529
Sun Dec 19 2004
Sum: Grammatical Complexity, Part I
Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>
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Grammatical Complexity, Part I
Message 1: Grammatical Complexity, Part I
From: Kaius Sinnemäki <">ksinnemaling.helsinki.fi>>
Subject: Grammatical Complexity, Part I
Regarding the query http://linguist.emich.edu/issues/15/15-3317.html
I recently posted a query on grammatical complexity on LINGUIST-list and
FUNKNET in order to find any relevant research already being conducted on
First, I would like to thank everyone who responded (Apologies for any
possible omission. In addition to these, there were other requests to
pass on the summary.):
Daniel L. Everett
David A. Havas
Sheri Wells Jensen
Here's the summary of the comments and references I received.
Dan Everett suggested his recently submitted paper Cultural Constraints
on Grammar in Piraha, which is available on his website.
Jan Rijkhoff suggested Wouter Kusters recent dissertation and the
latest issue of Linguistic Typology (8-3, 2004), both very relevant.
(Kusters, Wouter. 2003. Linguistic complexity. Utrecht: LOT, Leiden.)
Tom Givón noted that all languages have roughly-equivalent expressive
powers but that some languages are typologically less likely to employ
embedded clauses. He suggested several chapters of his Syntax vol. II
(2001, Benjamins) for further reading on serial verbs, complementation,
clause union, relative clauses and chaining.
Doug Whalen forwarded the query on phonological complexity that he
summarized on LINGUIST in February 2004
(http://linguistlist.org/issues/15/15-430.html). Hes also working on
how brain activation might correlate with complexity.
Shari Wells Jensen offered her dissertation on cross linguistic speech
errors, which suggest equal complexity from functional point of view:
Please see Grammatical Complexity, Part II for a continuation of this summary.
Kaius Sinnemäki, M.A., Researcher
General Linguistics, University of Helsinki
P.O Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 20A)
00014 University of Helsinki, FINLAND
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
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