The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity

| Stockholm University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027230812 (Eur) | EUR 115.00
ISBN 9781588115546 (USA) | USD 173.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027295255 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
 
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.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 71]  2004.  x, 333 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Preface
ix–x
Introduction
1–4
Information and redundancy
5–17
Complexity, order, and structure
19–55
Languages as non-genetically inherited systems
57–74
Aspects of linguistic knowledge
75–101
Maturation processes
103–118
Grammatical maturation
119–155
Pattern adaptation
157–180
Featurization
181–207
Incorporating patterns
209–259
Stability and change
261–288
Final discussion
289–296
Appendix A: Regular and irregular verbs
297–302
References
303–314
List of abbrevations used in glosses
315–316
Language index
317–321
Author index
323–327
Subject index
329
“I am sure the book is worth reading for any linguist, and especially for those interested in morphology, grammaticalization, and complexity. It is engaging, very thought provoking, and well written. In a sense, this book is a challenge to linguistics, or rather multiple different challenges, and I believe the field will benefit from taking up at least some of them.”
“This book is worth reading now that the research for linguistic complexity has increased substantially since the turn of the millennium...If further developed, Dahl's methodology may be ground-breaking for the research of complexity in language diachrony. On the whole the merits a high recommendation to scholars working on historical linguistics and especially to anyone interested in the study of linguistic complexity.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2004048607