Be Careful When Assuming the Obvious: Commentary on "The placement of the head that minimizes online memory: a complex systems approach"

20 Aug 2014Phillip M. Alday

Ferrer-i-Cancho (2015) presents a mathematical model of both the synchronic and diachronic nature of word order based on the assumption that memory costs are a never decreasing function of distance and a few very general linguistic assumptions. However, even these minimal and seemingly obvious assumptions are not as safe as they appear in light of recent typological and psycholinguistic evidence... (read more)

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