Syntactic Complexity

Diachrony, acquisition, neuro-cognition, evolution

Editors
| University of Oregon
| Rice University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027229991 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
 
PaperbackAvailable
ISBN 9789027230003 | EUR 36.00 | USD 54.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027290144 | EUR 110.00/36.00*
| USD 165.00/54.00*
 
Complex hierarchic syntax is considered one of the hallmarks of human language. The highest level of syntactic complexity, recursive-embedded clauses, has been singled out by some for a special status as the apex of the uniquely-human language faculty – evolutionary but somehow immune to adaptive selection. This volume, coming out of a symposium held at Rice University in March 2008, tackles syntactic complexity from multiple developmental perspectives. We take it for granted that grammar is an adaptive instrument of communication, assembled upon the pre-existing platform of pre-linguistic cognition. Most of the papers in the volume deal with the two grand developmental trends of human language: diachrony, the communal enterprise directly responsible for fashioning synchronic morpho-syntax; and ontogeny, the individual endeavor directly responsible for the acquisition of competent grammatical performance. The genesis of syntactic complexity along these two developmental trends is considered alongside with the cognition and neurology of grammar and of syntactic complexity, and the evolutionary relevance of diachrony, ontogeny and pidginization is argued on general bio-evolutionary grounds. Lastly, several of the contributions to the volume suggest that recursive embedding is not in itself an adaptive target, but rather the by-product of two distinct adaptive gambits: the recruitment of conjoined clauses as modal operators on other clauses and the subsequent condensation of paratactic into syntactic structures.
[Typological Studies in Language, 85]  2009.  vi, 553 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction
T. Givón
1–20
Part I. Diachrony
From nominal to clausal morphosyntax: Complexity via expansion
Bernd Heine
23–52
Re(e)volving complexity: Adding intonation
Marianne Mithun
53–80
Multiple routes to clause union: The diachrony of complex verb phrases
T. Givón
81–118
On the origins of serial verb constructions in Kalam
Andrew Pawley
119–144
A quantitative approach to the development of complex predicates: The case of Swedish Pseudo-Coordination with sitta “sit”
Martin Hilpert and Christian Koops
145–162
Elements of complex structures, where recursion isn’t: The case of relativization
Masayoshi Shibatani
163–198
Nominalization and the origin of subordination
Guy Deutscher
199–214
The co-evolution of syntactic and pragmatic complexity: Diachronic and cross-linguistic aspects of pseudoclefts
Christian Koops and Martin Hilpert
215–238
Two pathways of grammatical evolution
Östen Dahl
239–248
Part II. Child language
On the role of frequency and similarity in the acquisition of subject and non-subject relative clauses
Holger Diessel
251–276
Starting small’ effects in the acquisition of early relative constructions in Spanish
Cecilia Rojas-Nieto
277–310
The ontogeny of complex verb phrases: How children learn to negotiate fact and desire
T. Givón
311–388
Part III. Cognition and neurology
Syntactic complexity versus concatenation in a verbal production task
Marjorie Barker and Eric Pederson
391–404
The emergence of linguistic complexity
Brian MacWhinney
405–432
Cognitive and neural underpinnings of syntactic complexity
Diego Fernandez-Duque
433–460
Neural mechanisms of recursive processing in cognitive and linguistic complexity
Don M. Tucker, Phan Luu and Catherine Poulsen
461–490
Syntactic complexity in the brain
Angela D. Friederici and Jens Brauer
491–506
Part IV. Biology and evolution
Neural plasticity: The driving force underlying the complexity of the brain
Nathan Tublitz
509–530
Recursion: Core of complexity or artifact of analysis?
Derek Bickerton
531–544
Index
545–553
Cited by

Cited by other publications

No author info given
2010. Books Received. Current Anthropology 51:3  pp. 452 ff. Crossref logo
No author info given
2014. Complexity in linguistic theorizing. The Mental Lexicon 9:2  pp. 144 ff. Crossref logo
No author info given
2014. Input offers and child uptakes: Acquiring mood and modal morphology in Turkish. Language, Interaction and Acquisition 5:1  pp. 62 ff. Crossref logo
No author info given
2020.  In Coherence, Crossref logo
Albirini, Abdulkafi & Elabbas Benmamoun
2014. Aspects of second-language transfer in the oral production of Egyptian and Palestinian heritage speakers. International Journal of Bilingualism 18:3  pp. 244 ff. Crossref logo
BRUNNER, THOMAS
2014. Structural nativization, typology and complexity: noun phrase structures in British, Kenyan and Singaporean English. English Language and Linguistics 18:1  pp. 23 ff. Crossref logo
Givón, T.
2015.  In The Diachrony of Grammar, Crossref logo
Givón, T.
2016. Beyond structuralism. Studies in Language 40:3  pp. 681 ff. Crossref logo
Givón, T.
2017.  In The Story of Zero, Crossref logo
Givón, T.
2020.  In Coherence, Crossref logo
Green, Clarence
2014. On the relationship between clause combination, grammatical hierarchy and discourse-pragmatic coherence. Functions of Language 21:3  pp. 297 ff. Crossref logo
Green, Clarence
2015. An analysis of the relationship between cohesion and clause combination in English discourse employing NLP and data mining approaches. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 30:3  pp. 326 ff. Crossref logo
HUNDT, MARIANNE, DAVID DENISON & GEROLD SCHNEIDER
2012. Relative complexity in scientific discourse. English Language and Linguistics 16:2  pp. 209 ff. Crossref logo
Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha Rhee
2019.  In World Lexicon of Grammaticalization, Crossref logo
Olate Vinet, Aldo, Fernando Wittig González & Felipe Hasler Sandoval
2014. Análisis tipológico-funcional de un rasgo del español de contacto mapuche/castellano. Onomázein Revista de lingüística, filología y traducción 30  pp. 169 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 05 september 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects
BIC Subject: CFD – Psycholinguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008053096