Morphological complexity: Typology as a tool for delineating cognitive organization

Workshop on Morphological Complexity and Linguistic Theory

The workshop 'Morphological Complexity and Linguistic Theory' was held on 22 January 2010, at Harvard University, and was co-hosted by the Linguistics Department. Organizers were Matthew Baerman, Greville Corbett and Dunstan Brown (University of Surrey), and Maria Polinsky (Harvard University).


By the term 'morphological complexity', we understand the extra layer of structure that morphological systems may introduce in between meaning and its expression, such as inflection classes or stem alternations. This layer may operate at cross-purposes to functional distinctions, attaining in some languages an astonishing degree of complexity. Such apparently abritrary distinction in form (inflection classes, irregularity and similar phenomena) are the particular focus of this project.


22 January 2010

10.00 - 10.15 Maria Polinsky (Harvard University), 'Welcome'
10.15 - 11.15 Greville G. Corbett, Matthew Baerman, Dunstan Brown & Scott Collier (University of Surrey), 'Introduction to the Surrey Morphology Group project'
11.15 - 11.45 Break
11.45 - 12.45 Gregory Stump & Raphael Finkel (University of Kentucky), 'Principal parts and morphological analysis'
12.45 - 13.45 Lunch
13.45 - 14.15 Dunstan Brown (University of Surrey), 'Compression and morphological complexity: An evaluation'
14.15 - 14.45 Rob Malouf & Farrell Ackerman (San Diego State & U.C. San Diego), 'Paradigm entropy as a measure of morphological simplicity'
14.45 - 15.15 Reut Tsarfaty (University of Amsterdam), 'Relational-realizational modeling for complex morphology in parsing'
15.15 - 15.45 Break
15.45 - 16.15 Amy Campbell (U.C. Berkeley), 'Discontinuous exponence in inflectional morphology'
16.15 - 16.45 Erich Round (Yale University), 'New discoveries from an old friend: Extreme, autonomous morphological complexity in Kayardild'
16.45 - 17.15 Claire Bowern (Yale University), 'Morphological complexity in historical change'
17.15 - 17.30 Closing remarks

Project members

Prof Greville G. Corbett
Dr Matthew Baerman
Prof Dunstan Brown (University of York)
Dr Scott Collier
Dr Maris Camilleri

Period of award:

February 2009 - January 2015


European Research Council (ERC)