Measuring ling. complexity: A multidisciplinary perspective


 All presentations here


The Linguistics Research Unit of the Institute of Language and Communication hosted a workshop on ‘Measuring linguistic complexity: A multidisciplinary perspective’ on Friday 24 April, 2015. 

The main objective of the workshop were to bring together specialists from a number of different but related fields to discuss the construct of linguistic complexity and how it is typically measured in their respective research fields. 

The event was structured around keynote presentations by five distinguished scholars:

  • Philippe Blache (CNRS & Universite d’Aix-Marseille, France): Evaluating complexity in syntax: a computational model for a cognitive architecture
  • Alex Housen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium): L2 complexity – A Difficult(y) Matter
  • Frederick J. Newmeyer (University of Washington, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University): The question of linguistic complexity: historical perspective
  • Advaith Siddharthan (University of Aberdeen, UK): Automatic Text Simplification and Linguistic Complexity Measurements
  • Benedikt Szmrercsanyi (KULeuven, Belgium): Measuring complexity in contrastive linguistics and contrastive dialectology

A round table closed the workshop.

Details about the event are available on the workshop website:

The number of participants is limited. Participation is free of charge but registration is required before Friday 3rd April (via our registration form at 

Thomas François (Centre de traitement automatique du langage) & Magali Paquot (Centre for English Corpus Linguistics)


A multidimensional construct: Bulté & Housen (2012:23)

Shared challenges, shared oportunities

Where is the place of theory here?

Do we need new measures? Do we ned to validate existing ones?

The many facets of complexity.

Formal linguistics may be a good starting point but don’t have much to offer.

Building a research community ?