Language usage, language processing and typology

Levinson, S. C. (2015). Language usage, language processing and typology. Talk presented at the conference Diversity Linguistics: Retrospect and Prospect at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Leipzig, Germany. 2015-05-01 - 2015-05-03.
Recent work in the L&C department in MPI Nijmegen has explored the processing implications of the core ecological niche for language learning and use, namely interactive conversation. It turns out that the rapidity of turn-exchange puts extreme requirements on predictive comprehension and speedy production, reflected e.g. in the trouble kids have to approach adult norms. This strong functional pressure must have implications for language typology. But what exactly? This paper explores what we have recently found out about differing processing in different word orders, and the ways in which the tough processing requirements of conversation can be buffered.
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