complexity measures

manaster at manaster at
Wed Jan 21 17:08:50 UTC 1998

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
I repeat: the arguments about all languages being more or less
equally complex arose within the context of early 20th cent.
(or slightly earlier) atempts by Boas, Sapir, Whorf, Jespersen,
and many others to refute earlier prejudices about "primitive"
languages--and made verygood sense indeed (a recent example
occurs in Dixon's Dyirbal grammar).  I am frankly puzled
by the discussion here which refuses to face up to that simple
fact and tries to read sthg more into the topic w/o tehre
being any semblance of atheoretical or empirical basis for
further disucssion, as I think David Lightfoot pointed out.
Is this a symptom of the long-remarked-upon reluctance to
acknowledge that science has a history?

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