Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Simplicity and Complexity in Creoles and Pidgins: What’s the Metric?

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Language Contact

This review article is a response to the way the editors of and contributors to Simplicity and Complexity in Creoles and Pidgins respond to McWhorter’s (2001) claim that creoles have the world’s simplest grammars. Although I agree with the contributors that creoles are not as simple as they may look to some, I express several concerns about the ways they (fail to) raise and/or address some fundamental issues regarding the subject matter. These include discussing what the notions simplicity and complexity really mean as they are applied to languages and whether linguistics has yet developed the necessary metric(s) for assessing complexity without biasing the issues in favor of or against particular types of languages. My arguments are intended to prompt linguists to think harder over how we can contribute to the scholarship on complexity as related to emergence, thinking of languages as emergent multi-modular phenomena, internally and externally interactive, always in the state of flux, and in search of (transient) equilibrium.

Affiliations: 1: University of Chicago,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Language Contact — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation