The focus of the seminar is on linguistic complexity which will be discussed from different perspectives, including cross-linguistic, diachronic and evolutionary. As language contact is considered to be one of the major factors contributing to complexity reduction (e.g. grammar simplification), its role will be discussed in detail, with a focus on the emergence of contact-induced varieties (creole languages). Further aspects that the seminar will concentrate on include morphosyntactic complexity, grammatical maturation, complexity trade-offs across modules (such as morphology vs. syntax) and methods of measuring and comparing degrees of linguistic complexity. Some of the main questions addressed in the seminar will be: Can complexity be meaningfully defined? When defining complexity, should the focus lie on overt complexity, i.e. objective property of a system, or rather relative complexity, i.e. complexity understood as a processing difficulty? Can languages differ in overall complexity? Do languages become more complex over time? These and further methodological issues will be discussed based on the data and case studies from individual Germanic languages and dialects, varieties of English as well as English-based creoles.
Voraussetzungen: Registrationvia WUSEL during the official registration period is obligatory.
Dahl, Ö. 2004. The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Miestamo, K. Sinnemäki & F. Karlsson (eds.), 2008. Language Complexity: Typology, Contact, Change. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Presentation and term paper
LPO 2003: B 2a
MEd GymGe, BK: EN Ia
MEd Bilingualer Unterricht: M-ENG-S1
MA LING 1a, 1b