Grammaticalization and linguistic complexity

Östen Dahl

in The Oxford Handbook of Grammaticalization

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586783
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

Grammaticalization and linguistic complexity

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  • Linguistics
  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics



This article analyses the relation between grammaticalisation and linguistic complexity. It suggests that this relation between complexity and grammaticalisation is not a straight-forward one, partly because both notions can be understood in several different ways. It addresses the questions of whether cross-linguistic comparisons between languages makes sense and whether differences in complexity between languages exist. It also clarifies the notion of complexity and discusses the complexity of the meaning-form relation.

Keywords: grammaticalisation; linguistic complexity; cross-linguistic comparisons; languages; meaning-form relation

Article.  4053 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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