Defining complexity: Historical reconstruction and Nyulnyulan subordination

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Item Metadata Bowern, Claire 2009-02-11T22:40:05Z 2009-02-11T22:40:05Z 2009-02-11T22:40:05Z
dc.description.abstract I use data from subordination strategies in Nyulnyulan languages (Non-Pama-Nyungan, Northern Australia) in order to investigate various alternative means of defining and quantifying 'complexity'. While Edmonds (1999) defines 48 distinct types of complexity (concentrating on social and natural sciences), in this paper I concentrate on three facets of complexity: descriptive complexity, ontological complexity, and parsimony in reconstruction. While historical linguists tend to maximise parsimony, in Nyulnyulan languages the minimization of one aspect of complexity necessarily adds complication elsewhere, and it therefore serves as an appropriate case study of the interdependencies between ontology, syntactic modelling, and language change.
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Rice University
dc.rights This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
dc.title Defining complexity: Historical reconstruction and Nyulnyulan subordination
dc.type Journal article
dc.citation.journalTitle Rice Working Papers in Linguistics Linguistics Department
dc.subject.keyword linguistics
language change
dc.citation.volumeNumber 1
dc.type.dcmi Text
dc.identifier.citation Bowern, Claire. (2009). "Defining complexity: Historical reconstruction and Nyulnyulan subordination." Rice Working Papers in Linguistics, vol. 1.

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