Satellite Events

A number of satellite events will be held 15 April 2018, at the Faculty of Languages NCU (Collegium Humanisticum, Bojarskiego 1, Torun), including a special thematic session of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society.

More information soon.


Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Department of General Linguistics & DFG Center for Advanced Studies, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

The evolutionary community has in recent years shown strong interest in linguistic complexity, primarily as a convenient parameter to test for language adaptation to external pressures. It is, however, notoriously hard to measure complexity, which leads to a variety of definitions and operationalizations that are hard to evaluate and compare. To overcome this, we organize the first shared task on measuring complexity. Shared tasks are widely used in computational linguistics, and we think they can prove useful in evolutionary linguistics, too. The task is: measure and compare the complexity of every language from a given set using the same set of deeply annotated corpora. The submissions will have to clearly state: 1) what exactly is being measured; 2) how the measure is calculated, and the theoretical rationale behind the method; 3) the resulting value for each language. Computational linguists usually have a benchmark against which the results are compared, while we are deprived of such luxury. We will, however, discuss the proposed measures, their strengths, drawbacks and comparability, their relation to each other, and the possibilities to flesh out uniform approaches to measuring language complexity and studying its evolution.