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Language Contact and Morphosyntactic Complexity: Evidence from German

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2014

Péter Maitz*
Affiliation:
University of Augsburg
Attila Németh*
Affiliation:
University of Pannonia
*
Department of German Linguistics, Faculty of Philology and History, University of Augsburg, Universitätsstraße 10, D-86159 Augsburg, Germany, [peter.maitz@phil.uni-augsburg.de]
Department of German Linguistics, Faculty of Modern Philology and Social Sciences, University of Pannonia, Füredi u. 2, H-8200 Veszprém, Hungary, [nemeth.attila@btk.uni-pannon.hu]

Abstract

The article focuses on the hypothesis that the structural complexity of languages is variable and historically changeable. By means of a quantitative statistical analysis of naturalistic corpus data, the question is raised as to what role language contact and adult second language acquisition play in the simplification and complexification of language varieties. The results confirm that there is a significant correlation between intensity of contact and linguistic complexity, while at the same time showing that there is a need to consider other social factors, and, in particular, the attitude of a speech community toward linguistic norms.*

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Germanic Linguistics 2014 

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