Morphological complexity as a parameter of linguistic typology: Hungarian as a contact language

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The paper builds on studies on Hungarian spoken outside Hungary (Fenyvesi (ed.) 2005), which show a change from synthetic to analytic expression in Hungarian in contact. It argues that a parameter of morphological complexity is helpful to account for most morphological changes. With one exception the changes follow the strategy of replicating use patterns (Heine & Kuteva 2005). Other changes arise by implication of a different typological system adopted by the new varieties of Hungarian (De Groot 2005a). A detailed comparison between Hungarian inside and outside Hungary in terms of linguistic complexity (Dahl 2004) confirm to the idea that languages in contact become linguistically more complex. The paper furthermore discusses the interaction between typology, language change by contact, and complexity.


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