The Growth and Maintenance of Linguistic Complexity

Author
ORCID logoÖsten Dahl | 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
 
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Netlibrary e-BookNot for resale
ISBN 9781423761365
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
“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

Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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