3D-landcape, 3D-language?

Dec 27, 2011 by

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that languages of the Northeast Caucasus, such as Avar, Tzes and Tabasaran, are famous for their extremely rich case systems; most of their case distinctions are used to mark various aspects of...

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Making my case

Dec 26, 2011 by

In the last couple of posts, I’ve discussed the issue of grammatical complexity and have shown that even if an objective measure of such complexity is absent, languages clearly differ as to which grammatical distinctions they...

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Considering the past

Dec 25, 2011 by

In yesterday’s post, I have shown that languages are not equally grammatically complex by considering the renditions of ‘I love you’ in several languages. It is evident that languages differ widely as to which...

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I love you!

Dec 24, 2011 by

As linguists, we often tell our students — without giving it a second thought — that all languages are equally grammatically complex. As Guy Deutcher puts it in his Through the Language Glass, “equal complexity is...

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Parametric theory of word order, language acquisition and historical c...

Oct 21, 2011 by

In the previous posting, I outlined an alternative theory that treats the order of major sentential constituents — subject, object and verb — not as a primitive, but as a result of several binary factors (called...

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More on the evolution of word order and rare word orders

Oct 21, 2011 by

In the previous posting, I discussed one set of problems with Gell-Mann & Ruhlen’s theory on the origin and evolution of word order (also discussed in an earlier posting); these problems concern the possible...

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