Linguistic complexity is one of the currently most hotly debated notions in linguistics. The essays in this volume reflect the intricacies of thinking about the complexity of languages and language varieties (here: of English) in three major contact-related fields of (and schools in) linguistics: creolistics, indigenization and nativization studies (i.e. in the realm of English linguistics, the “World Englishes” community), and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research: How can we adequately assess linguistic complexity? Should we be interested in absolute complexity or rather relative complexity? What is the extent to which language contact and/or (adult) language learning might lead to morphosyntactic simplification? The authors in this volume are all leading linguists in different areas of specialization, and they were asked to elaborate on those facets of linguistic complexity which are most relevant in their area of specialization, and/or which strike them as being most intriguing. The result is a collection of papers that is unique in bringing together leading representatives of three often disjunct fields of linguistic scholarship in which linguistic complexity is seen as a dynamic and inherently variable parameter.
About the Author
Bernd Kortmann and Benedikt Szmrecsanyi, FRIAS, Freiburg i. Br., Germany.
Table of Contents
Preface: A closer look Diane Larsen-Freeman 1
Introduction: Linguistic complexity - Second Language Acquisition, indigenization, contact Benedikt Szmrecsanyi Bernd Kortmann 6
Accounting for analyticity in Creoles Jeff Siegel 35
Nothing will come of nothing Terence Odlin 62
Deletions, antideletions and complexity theory, with special reference to Black South African and Singaporean Englishes Rajend Mesthrie 90
The complexity of the personal and possessive pronoun system of Norf'k Peter Müblhäusler 101
Interlanguage complexity: A construct in search of theoretical renewal Lourdes Ortega 127
Complexity as a function of iconicity: The case of complement clause constructions in New Englishes Maria Steger Edgar W. Schneider 156
Acquisitional complexity: What defies, complete acquisition in Second Language Acquisition Zhao Hong Han Wai Man Lew 192
Syntactic and variational complexity in British and Ghanaian English. Relative clause formation in the written parts of the International Corpus of English Magnus Huber 218
Complexity hotspot: The copula in Saramaccan and its implications John McWhorter 243