T. Florian Jaeger tiflo at
Thu Mar 31 23:20:37 UTC 2011


thanks to Fritz Newmeyer for pointing out that the article I mentioned in my
previous email is hard to download from WIREs. I've now uploaded a pre-final
draft (proofs) on my page:

Hopefully, that will work =).


On Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 4:22 PM, Frederick J Newmeyer
<fjn at>wrote:

> Dear Florian,
> Is there some other way to access this paper? Wiley does not make it easy
> (even though I published something on WIRES myself).
> Thanks,
> --fritz
> Frederick J. Newmeyer
> Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
> Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser
> University
> [for my postal address, please contact me by e-mail]
> On Thu, 31 Mar 2011, T. Florian Jaeger wrote:
>  Hi,
>> I just started following FUNKNET and saw the discussion about simplicity.
>> If
>> I understand the discussion correctly, I think there is an alternative way
>> to think about complexity, one that is empirically driven and informed by
>> psycholinguistics. I understand that this argument can easily become
>> circular, but that depends on the specific claims.
>> Hal Tily and I discuss this approach and summarize psycholinguistic
>> findings
>> over the last four decades that speak to both 'complexity' (of processing)
>> and 'communicative suitability' (Jaeger and Tily, 2011, WIRE: Cognitive
>> Science, It's a
>> very short article, perhaps of interest to this discussion?
>> There are actually several labs that seek to address what's complex, using
>> both behavioral and computational methods and investigation acquisition,
>> comprehension, and production (what's complex to acquisition isn't
>> necessarily complex to production, etc.). A lot of this work relies on
>> information theoretic and Bayesian derivations of "ideal speakers", "ideal
>> comprehenders", etc. and the proposals capture and extend ideas that have
>> been around for a long time in functional linguistics. In case you are
>> interested in knowing more about these lines of work, some people that I
>> would consider working on these topics are: Masha Fedzechkina, Ramon
>> Ferrer
>> i Cancho, John Hale, Roger Levy, Fermin Moscoso del Prado Martin, Ting
>> Qian,
>> Amy Perfors, and Steven Piantadosi, Hal Tily, and myself (this is still a
>> very biased and much too short list). This field provides both theoretical
>> solutions to what is "complex", "simple", or "suited for communication"
>> and
>> psycholinguistics, as well as cross-linguistics, empirical evaluations of
>> these theories (for a summary see the linked article above).
>> Apologies if I misunderstood and this is irrelevant to your discussion.
>> Florian

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