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Title: World Englishes between simplification and complexification
Authors: Kortmann, Bernd
Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt #
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Benjamins
Host Document: World Englishes -- Problems, Properties and Prospects: selected papers from the 13th IAWE conference pages:265-285
Conference: IAWE edition:13 location:Regensburg, Germany date:4-6 October 2007
Abstract: This paper offers a broad empirical morphosyntactic study contributing to three debates in linguistics, one of long standing (the so-called equi-complexity axiom), the other two rather more recent, namely McWhorter’s claim (2001a,b, 2007) that (pidgins and) creoles have the simplest grammars, and Trudgill’s claim (2009) that high-contact varieties of English are characterized by structural simplification processes while low-contact varieties are the result of complexification processes. We will present the results of comparative analyses covering three notionally different morphosyntactic complexity metrics applied to two different data types for about 50 largely non-standard varieties of English (low-contact L1s, high-contact L1s, L2s, pidgins and creoles). Ultimately, we believe to be in a firm position to reject the axiom that the morphosyntax of all languages (and varieties of a language) is equally complex and to support both the claims by McWhorter and Trudgill.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Non-KU Leuven Association publications
# (joint) last author

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