Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Measuring Grammatical Complexity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Frederick J. Newmeyer and Laurel B. Preston

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685301

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685301.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 May 2020

Looking for a ‘Gold Standard’ to measure language complexity: what psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics can (and cannot) offer to formal linguistics

Looking for a ‘Gold Standard’ to measure language complexity: what psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics can (and cannot) offer to formal linguistics

Chapter:
(p.281) 14 Looking for a ‘Gold Standard’ to measure language complexity: what psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics can (and cannot) offer to formal linguistics
Source:
Measuring Grammatical Complexity
Author(s):

Lise Menn

Cecily Jill Duffield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685301.003.0014

Proposed complexity measures for a language as a whole should be validated against a ‘gold standard’, i.e. against measures of the sorts of utterances that are harder or easier for humans to understand, learn, or produce. Language complexity could then be estimated as a function of (average) utterance complexity. This chapter focuses on the factors that affect the complexity of utterance production. Laboratory and clinical studies show that relative utterance complexity differs between comprehension and production and between novice and skilled users, and is affected by extra-linguistic context. Producing an utterance requires constantly settling competition among possible outputs. Furthermore, the difficulty of settling on a semantically, syntactically, and pragmatically correct form is affected by sequential and simultaneous co-occurrence probability across linguistic levels. The psycholinguistic model MISCHA allows hierarchical and syntagmatic structures to interact during the course of sentence production and potentially offers a basis for predicting relative complexity of utterances in production and comprehension.

Keywords:   collocation, garden path sentences, hierarchical structure, language comprehension, language production, MISCHA, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, syntagmatic structure, utterance complexity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .