You drink. You drive. You go to jail. Where's recursion?
Daniel Everett
November 2010

This paper argues that recursion is a function of reasoning and discourse that individual languages may or may not choose to use in their (nondiscourse) grammars. Determining complexity of languages must take discourse into account. By this measure, Piraha does have recursion in the discourse. But not in the grammar, as that term is understood in formal linguistics. Some of this paper has appeared in earlier drafts. Most of it is new.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001141
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Paper in U Mass conference on Recursion, May 2009
keywords: recursion, discourse, morphology, intonation, false beliefs, grammar
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