FYI: Bonami & Henri 2011 of creole inflectional complexity

Peter Bakker linpb at HUM.AU.DK
Fri Jun 13 15:02:14 UTC 2014

Peter Arkadiev <peterarkadiev at YANDEX.RU> den 8. juni 2014 kl. 22:46 +0200 skrev:
>Dear typologists,
>let me draw your attention, especially of those who are interested in the much-debated question of assessing the complexity of creole and non-creole languages, to an already not so recent but yet unpublished presentation by Olivier Bonami and Fabiola Henri on measuring the inflectional complexity of French and Mauritian:
>In my view, this work deserves attention of those who take morphology and compitational methods seriously.
>Best regards,
>Peter Arkadiev, PhD
>Institute of Slavic Studies
>Russian Academy of Sciences 
>Leninsky prospekt 32-A 119334 Moscow
>peterarkadiev at

Dear Peter and typologists,

If Mauritian is indeed more complex in one aspect in one calculation method from one perspective and within
one realm of grammar (morphology) and that is worth celebrating and propagating, 
it may be the case that overall Mauritian creole is less complex morphologically than French.
Even if so, would it mean that languages with less morphology are somehow less interesting, less intriguing or
a lesser kind of language? I don't think so. 

This article sheds light on the complexity issue where creoles are contrasted with non-creoles:

Parkvall, Mikael. 2008. The simplicity of creoles in a cross-linguistic perspective. In Matti Miestamo,
Kaius Sinnemaki, & Fred Karlsson (eds.), Language Complexity. Typology, Contact,
Change, 265–285. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

This article argues that creoles cluster separately in a sample of languages of the world, not because
some languages ar less complex, but on the basis of a broad typological profile: 

Bakker, Peter, Aymeric Daval-Markussen, Mikael Parkvall and Ingo Plag. 2013. Creoles are typologically distinct from non-creoles. In: Bhatt, Parth and Tonjes Veenstra (eds.), Creole Languages and Linguistic Typology, (pp. 9–45) (reprinted from Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 2011).


Peter Bakker                                                                     email:  linpb at
Linguistics                                                                        tel. (45) 87162146
Inst. for Æsthetics and Communication      
Aarhus University                                                             tel. institute: (0045)87162156
Bygning 1485- 619
DK 8000 Aarhus C

Peter Bakker, Lingvistik
Aarhus Universitet, Intern Post/Adm.
Fredrik Nielsens vej 7, bygn. 1444
DK-8000 Aarhus C


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