Social scale and structural complexity in human languages

  title={Social scale and structural complexity in human languages},
  author={Daniel Nettle},
  journal={Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  pages={1829 - 1836}
  • D. Nettle
  • Published 5 July 2012
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
The complexity of different components of the grammars of human languages can be quantified. For example, languages vary greatly in the size of their phonological inventories, and in the degree to which they make use of inflectional morphology. Recent studies have shown that there are relationships between these types of grammatical complexity and the number of speakers a language has. Languages spoken by large populations have been found to have larger phonological inventories, but simpler… 

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