Sinnemäki and Haakana at FRIAS in September 2019

In September 12-13, 2019, Dr. Sinnemäki participated in Interactive Workshop Measuring Language Complexity at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS). The workshop was organized by Katharina Ehret, Alice Julie Blumenthal-Dramé, Aleksandrs Berdicevskis, and Christian Bentz and it was a sequel to workshop Measuring Language Complexity, held at Evolang 12 at Torun in April 2018.

A key idea of the workshop was to compare different measures for language complexity by way of a shared task. The participants were asked to focus on preselected (A) parallel Bible corpora or (B) Universal Dependencies corpora. On top of presentations on the measures themselves the results were further compared in interactive sessions.

Dr. Sinnemäki participated in the workshop with his research assistant Viljami Haakana and presented a paper Locus of marking and dependency length in possessive noun phrases. The idea of the paper was two-fold: (1) to measure complexity of the different morphological types of marking possessor and possessed in phrases such as Mary’s book and (2) to measure the distance between the possessor and possessed in such phrases under different types of morphological marking. Both measures are broadly related to the efficiency of coding grammatical relations in languages. Data for the analyses came from the Universal Dependencies corpora. Sinnemäki designed the research and Haakana wrote the code in Python for automatically detecting the phrases and their morphological types.

Read more about the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) here.