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A Simultaneous-Equation Regression Model of Language Complexity Trade-Offs

Listed author(s):
  • Germán Coloma

In this paper we develop a statistical model of language complexity trade-offs using four typological measures (related to phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon). The data come from the 100-language sample that appears in the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS), and the trade-offs are calculated using different types of correlation coefficients. All those coefficients are statistically insignificant when they are computed using a standard (product-moment) methodology, but they become significant when we use simultaneous-equation regression methods, especially the ones based on seemingly unrelated regressions (SUR) and three-stage least squares (3SLS). These results are related to ideas suggested in the theoretical literature, especially in the one about language as a complex adaptive system.

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Paper provided by Universidad del CEMA in its series CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. with number 597.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2016
Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:597
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