Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity

Baerman Matthew (Editor), Dunstan Brown (Editor), Greville Corbett (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


*First volume to address specifically morphological complexity
*Draws on data from a diverse set of languages, including many that have not been widely studied previously
*Features a broad range of approaches addressing theoretical, typological, quantitative, and computational aspects

This book aims to assess the nature of morphological complexity, and the properties that distinguish it from the complexity manifested in other components of language. Of the many ways languages have of being complex, perhaps none is as daunting as what can be achieved by inflectional morphology: this volume examines languages such as Archi, which has a 1,000,000-form verb paradigm, and Chinantec, which has over 100 inflection classes. Alongside this complexity, inflection is notable for its variety across languages: one can take two unrelated languages and discover that they share similar syntax or phonology, but one would be hard pressed to find two unrelated languages with the same inflectional systems.

In this volume, senior scholars and junior researchers highlight novel perspectives on conceptualizing morphological complexity, and offer concrete means for measuring, quantifying and analysing it. Examples are drawn from a wide range of languages, including those of North America, New Guinea, Australia, and Asia, alongside a number of European languages. The book will be a valuable resource for all those studying complexity phenomena in morphology, and for theoretical linguists more generally, from graduate level upwards.

Readership: Graduate students and researchers in morphology, as well as language typologists and theoretical linguists more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages240
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-872376-9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameOxford Linguistics

Bibliographical note

Stephen Anderson, Yale University
Matthew Baerman, University of Surrey
Sebastian Bank, University of Leipzig
Dunstan Brown, University of York
Marina Chumakina, University of Surrey
Greville G. Corbett, University of Surrey
Mark Donohue, Australian National University
Marcello Ferro, CNR Pisa
Raphael A. Finkel, University of Kentucky
Jean-Pierre Koenig, State University of New York at Buffalo
Claudia Marzi, CNR Pisa
Paolo Milizia, University of Cassino
Karin Michelson, State University of New York at Buffalo
Vito Pirrelli, CNR Pisa
Erich R. Round, University of Queensland
Gregory Stump, University of Kentucky
Jochen Trommer, University of Leipzig

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