The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity

The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity

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Description

This book studies linguistic complexity and the processes by which it arises and is maintained, focusing not so much on what one can say in a language as how it is said. Complexity is not seen as synonymous with "difficulty" but as an objective property of a system - a measure of the amount of information needed to describe or reconstruct it. Grammatical complexity is the result of historical processes often subsumed under the rubric of grammaticalization and involves what can be called mature linguistic phenomena, that is, features that take time to develop. The nature and characteristics of such processes are discussed in detail, as well as the external and internal factors that favor or disfavor stability and change in language.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 343 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.1 x 25.4mm | 612.36g
  • John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1588115542
  • 9781588115546

Table of contents

1. Preface; 2. Introduction; 3. Information and redundancy; 4. Complexity, order, and structure; 5. Languages as non-genetically inherited systems; 6. Aspects of linguistic knowledge; 7. Maturation processes; 8. Grammatical maturation; 9. Pattern adaptation; 10. Featurization; 11. Incorporating patterns; 12. Stability and change; 13. Final discussion; 14. Appendix A: Regular and irregular verbs; 15. References; 16. List of abbrevations used in glosses; 17. Language index; 18. Author index; 19. Subject indexshow more

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