englishiscomplicated.jpg

April 3, 2006 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

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englishiscomplicated.jpg, originally uploaded by aljones15.

This is a spatial logic attempt at making english grammar visible. It’s interesting in how much complexity our articles bring the language. The is about the only truly universal article while a and an respectively have special rules for them. I need to figure out a way to simplify this, but it does make one think of how easy it would be to count up all the possible correct variations there are in English and compare these to Japanese or Chinese. My money is on English. A phoentic alphabet means more words (Shakespeare used 29,000 different words more than the combined vocabularies of chinese and japanese), hence I think English has evolved a more clustered and probabilistic language compared to the Asian language families. I beleive the complexity in many Asian languages comes from pronuciation and context (you really gotta cram to get so much meaning out of a 5000 word vocabulary). Simply put, the most spoken a language becomes the more it changes in words with new meanings and being a Western language with a firm backing in a non-contextual line of thought, Western languages by viture have to become more complicated as their speakers aren’t comfortable with the idea of context determining meaning.

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