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Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity$
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Matthew Baerman, Dunstan Brown, and Greville G. Corbett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723769.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Contrasting modes of representation for inflectional systems: Some implications for computing morphological complexity

Contrasting modes of representation for inflectional systems: Some implications for computing morphological complexity

Chapter:
(p.118) (p.119) 7 Contrasting modes of representation for inflectional systems: Some implications for computing morphological complexity
Source:
Understanding and Measuring Morphological Complexity
Author(s):

Gregory Stump

Raphael A. Finkel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723769.003.0007

This chapter discusses the use of plats to measure the complexity of inflection-class systems. The plat for a given system is a table that specifies the morphological expression of the system’s morphosyntactic property sets in each of its inflection classes. Plats can be subjected to a variety of automatic complexity measurements, including measures of the entropy, predictiveness, and predictability of a given paradigm’s word forms; this chapter shows that the results of these measurements are highly sensitive to the choices one makes in constructing a plat. It distinguishes between hearer‐oriented plats, which only incorporate information about the pronunciation of a system’s inflectional exponents, from speaker-oriented plats, which incorporate various amounts of supplementary grammatical information. Using a plat of each sort to represent forty distinct patterns of verb conjugation in English, this chapter demonstrates the ways in which they differ in their measurable complexity. It urges that research on morphological complexity devote careful attention to a range of variables in plat construction.

Keywords:   complexity, entropy, inflection, morphology, paradigm, predictability

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