The evolution of complex grammars

- EN - DE

A new study shows that changes in grammatical complexity are not shaped by social environments

The global distribution of grammatical complexity (fusion). Closely related lang
The global distribution of grammatical complexity (fusion). Closely related languages resemble each other’s scores. Olena Shcherbakova et al., Science Advances (2023)

Many linguists have proposed that languages spoken by numerous non-native speakers tend to have simpler grammars. A new study led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig challenges this claim. By analysing a global sample of 1,314 languages, they found that speech community size and the proportion of second-language speakers were not associated with simpler grammars.

Languages around the world differ greatly in how many grammatical distinctions they make. This variation is observable even between closely related languages. ...

account creation

TO READ THIS ARTICLE, CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT

And extend your reading, free of charge and with no commitment.