Complexity and the age of languages
MetadataShow full item record
This paper addresses the issue of complexity in language creation and the time it takes for ‘complex’ structures to emerge in the history of a language. The presence of morphological material is often equated to a certain degree of complexity or is taken to signify a certain time-depth in the history of a language (e.g. Dahl 2004; McWhorter 2005). Though this assumption may be seen as trivial in the absence of a theoretically-based definition of complexity (Muysken 1988), or even misleading (Aboh and Ansaldo 2007; Farquharson 2007), we here put it to a test by looking at morphology in a relatively ‘young’ language, namely Sri Lanka Malay (SLM). SLM is a mixed language which shows considerably more morphological material and other signs of old age than ‘prototypical’ creoles. We explain this by arguing (a) that structural output in language genesis is closely motivated by the typology of the input languages and (b) that our understanding of rate of change needs to be revised to take into account ecological matters.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Population monitoring of language and cognitive development in Australia: The Australian Early Development IndexBrinkman, Sally; Sayers, M.; Goldfeld, S.; Kline, J. (2009)Username: Password: Search: Advanced searchHome Journals View All Journals Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy Drug Delivery Drug Discovery Drug Metabolism & Toxicology Drug Safety Emerging Drugs Investigational ...
Conti-Ramsden, Gina; Durkin, K. (2012)Most young children make significant progress in learning language during the first 4 years of life. Delays or differences in patterns of language acquisition are sensitive indicators of developmental problems. The dynamic, ...
Ansaldo, Umberto (2009)The aim of this paper is to present a view of contact language formation in which language creation in multilingual ecologies follows the same principles as language maintenance in monolingual ecologies, i.e. selection ...