#4165. 言語の複雑さについて再考[simplification][terminology][philosophy_of_language]


 標題は,それ自体がたいへん複雑な問題.言語学でも様々に論じられてきたし,今なお論じられている.言語にとって複雑であるとか単純であるとはどういうことなのか.通時的な観点からいえば,言語が複雑化 (complication) するとか単純化 (simplification) するということは,何を意味するのか.
 これらの問題については,「#293. 言語の難易度は測れるか」 ([2010-02-14-1]),「#928. 屈折の neutralization と simplification」 ([2011-11-11-1]),「#1839. 言語の単純化とは何か」 ([2014-05-10-1]),「#2820. 言語の難しさについて」 ([2017-01-15-1]) をはじめとする記事で議論してきた.
 今回は「複雑さ」そのものを俯瞰してみたい.Karlsson et al. (viii) は,"complexity" について Rescher (1) の定義を引いている."Complexity is first and foremost a matter of the number and variety of an item's constituent elements and of the elaborateness of their interrelational structure, be it organizational or operational." その上で Karlsson et al. (viii--ix) は Rescher (9) の "complexity" の分類に立脚し,言語の複雑さを念頭に,以下のようないくつかの "modes" を示している.

1. Epistemic modes
   A. Formulaic complexity
      a. Descriptive complexity: length of the account that must be given to provide an adequate description of the system at issue.
      b. Generative complexity: length of the set of instructions that must be given to provide a recipe for producing the system at issue.
      c. Computational complexity: amount of time and effort involved in resolving a problem.
2. Ontological modes
   A. Compositional complexity
      a. Constitutional complexity: number of constituent elements (such as phonemes, inflectional morphemes, derivational morphemes, lexemes).
      b. Taxonomic complexity (or heterogeneity): variety of constituent elements, i.e., number of different kinds of components (variety of phoneme types, secondary articulations, parts of speech, tense-mood-aspect categories, phrase types etc.).
   B. Structural complexity
      a. Organizational complexity: variety of ways of arranging components in different modes of interrelationship (e.g., variety of premodification or postmodification alternatives in basic constituent types such as noun phrases; variety of distinctive word order patterns).
      b. Hierarchical complexity: elaborateness of subordination relationships in the modes of inclusion and subsumption (e.g., variety of successive levels of embedding and modification in phrases, clauses, and sentences; variety of intermediate levels in lexical-semantic hierarchies).
3. Epistemic modes
   A. Operational complexity: variety of modes of operation or types of functioning (e.g., variety of situational uses of expressions; variety of styles and speech situations; cost-related differences concerning language production and comprehension such as Hawkins' 2004 efficiency, etc.).
   B. Nomic complexity: elaborateness and intricacy of the laws governing the phenomenon at issue (e.g., anatomical and neurological constraints on speech production; memory restrictions on sentence production and understanding).


 ・ Karlsson, Fred, Matti Miestamo, and Kaius Sinnemäki. "Introduction: The Problem of Language Complexity." Language Complexity: Typology, Contact, Change. Ed. Matti Miestamo, Kaius Sinnemäki and Fred Karlsson. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins, 2008. vii--xiv.
 ・ Rescher, N. Complexity: A Philosophical Overview. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 1998.

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