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Language as a Complex Adaptive System: Towards an Integrative Linguistics

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Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Abstract

The author justifies the title of this chapter by offering a general approach to the perspective of complexity and introducing the wide range of language used in connection with complexity. There is an introduction to terminology as redefined within the framework of complexity because we think that agreement on the terminology of the main concepts will provide a basis of common language for all the chapters of this book. The objective of the chapter is to promote progress in the formulation and dissemination of transdisciplinary knowledge from the perspective of complexity, with special regard to its application in the field of language, the tool used to convey both thought and method. For this to happen, it is necessary to rethink science, including the human sciences, by means of an approach that cross-cuts disciplines and takes into account all those aspects which will allow us to find a shared language. This is because human phenomena require a way of thinking that is able to account for the interrelated and systematic nature of its internal and external dynamics. The development of a complex perspective will drive us toward a deeper understanding of human phenomena in general since they may well be the most complex in existence. This chapter also aims to set out guidelines for developing a vision of linguistics guided by the perspective of complexity.

Keywords

  • Fractal Dimension
  • Dissipative Structure
  • Complex Adaptive System
  • Language System
  • Language Change

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This article was supported by a research project grant on Diatopia y cambio lingüístico. SCRIPTA i projecció dialectal (FFI2009-12627) directed by À. Massip, funded by the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad of Spain.

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Massip-Bonet, À. (2013). Language as a Complex Adaptive System: Towards an Integrative Linguistics. In: Massip-Bonet, À., Bastardas-Boada, A. (eds) Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society. Understanding Complex Systems. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32817-6_4

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