LINGUIST List 22.3452|
Thu Sep 01 2011
Calls: Typology, Ling Theories, General Ling/USA
Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee
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1. Frederick J. Newmeyer ,
Formal Linguistics and Grammatical Complexity
Message 1: Formal Linguistics and Grammatical Complexity
From: Frederick J. Newmeyer <lingconfu.washington.edu>
Subject: Formal Linguistics and Grammatical Complexity
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Full Title: Formal Linguistics and Grammatical Complexity
Date: 23-Mar-2012 - 24-Mar-2012
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Contact Person: Frederick J. Newmeyer
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://depts.washington.edu/lingconf/index.php
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Typology
Call Deadline: 31-Oct-2011
Can One Language be 'More Complex' Than Another?
For many decades, the received wisdom in the field of linguistics was that languages could not differ in terms of their overall complexity. As Fromkin and Rodman put it their celebrated textbook: ‘All languages are equally complex and equally capable of expressing any idea in the universe.’ The equal complexity hypothesis has been challenged recently, most notably in two compilations of papers edited by Miestamo, Sinnemäki, and Karlsson (2008) and Sampson, Gil, and Trudgill (2009). Most of the authors in these volumes look at language from a typological-functional perspective. The interesting question for us is whether formal linguistics (broadly defined, and encompassing formal approaches to processing) has anything to contribute to the debate. One can imagine a wide range of positions. For example, one might take the view that it follows from the nature of UG that all languages are necessarily equally complex. Or one might hypothesize that UG places no limits whatever on differential complexity.
This workshop will be devoted to whether there are complexity differences among the world's languages and to whether it is a reasonable task to attempt to devise a metric by which relative complexity might be computed.
Peter Culicover, Ohio State University
John A. Hawkins, University of Cambridge and UC Davis
Lisa Matthewson, University of British Columbia
Andrea Moro, Institute of Advanced Study, Pavia
Ljiljana Progovac, Wayne State University
Call for Papers:
Abstracts are solicited for 35-45 minute talks devoted to these questions. Please email your abstract to the address on the web page and confine the text of the abstract to one printed page, with another page (if desired) devoted to examples and references. The deadline for the receipt of abstracts is October 31, 2011.
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