The Complexity of Trees, Universal Grammar and Economy Conditions

Chris Collins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this squib, I argue that the child faces a severe computational complexity problem in parsing even the simplest of trees: the number of possible trees consistent with UG grows exponentially as a function of the number of lexical items. Economy conditions have the result of drastically decreasing the complexity of the parsing task. I also discuss the relationship between UG, I-language, economy conditions and explanatory adequacy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere9573
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    StatePublished - 2022


    • Catalan numbers
    • Super Catalan numbers
    • binary branching
    • economy conditions
    • explanatory adequacy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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