15.3529, Sum: Grammatical Complexity, Part I

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Sun Dec 19 16:42:51 UTC 2004


LINGUIST List: Vol-15-3529. Sun Dec 19 2004. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 15.3529, Sum: Grammatical Complexity, Part I

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1)
Date: 18-Dec-2004
From: Kaius Sinnemäki < ksinnema at ling.helsinki.fi> >
Subject: Grammatical Complexity, Part I 

	
-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 11:30:16
From: Kaius Sinnemäki < ksinnema at ling.helsinki.fi> >
Subject: Grammatical Complexity, Part I 
 

Regarding the query http://linguist.emich.edu/issues/15/15-3317.html
and 
https://mailman.rice.edu/pipermail/funknet/2004-November/003027.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 
the subject.

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
Jan Rijkhoff
Tom Givón
David A. Havas
Miriam Meyerhoff
Doug Whalen
Sheri Wells Jensen
Gertraud Fenk-Oczlon
Patrick Juola

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:
(http://personal.bgsu.edu/~swellsj/diss/index.html)

Summary continued:
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
Email: ksinnema at ling.helsinki.fi




Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
                     Phonology
                     Syntax
                     Typology





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