Morphological complexity of languages refle ts the settlement history of the Americas

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/312062

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Nichols , J & Bentz , C 2019 , Morphological complexity of languages refle ts the settlement history of the Americas . in K Harvati & G Jäger (eds) , New Perspectivdes on the Peopling of the Americas . Kerns Verlag , Tübingen , pp. 13-26 .

Title: Morphological complexity of languages refle ts the settlement history of the Americas
Author: Nichols, Johanna; Bentz, Christian
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty Common Matters
Harvati, Katerina
Jäger, Gerhard
Publisher: Kerns Verlag
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: New Perspectivdes on the Peopling of the Americas
ISBN: 9783935751285
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/312062
Abstract: Morphological complexity is widely believed to increase with sociolinguistic isolation, and to decrease with language spreads and absorption of L2 adult learner populations. However, this can be assessed only for communities with well-described histories. Morphological complexity has also been shown to be greater in higher-altitude languages, which are often sociolinguistically isolated, so we use altitude as an empirically determinable proxy for sociolinguistics. In past research, only a very few small locations have been surveyed and the measures of complexity used were family-specific and not easily generalizable. We apply several improved measures of complexity and show that the correlation holds, especially in the Andean regions of South America. We discuss the implications of the South American pattern for the settlement of the Americas and post-settlement prehistoric population formation.
Subject: 6121 Languages
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