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arithmography (fuit: Re: The philosophical language fallacy)

From:Alex Fink <000024@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 1:23
On Mon, 7 Jul 2008 22:16:32 +0200, Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>

>Perhaps the (as I call it) "arithmographic" approach of Leibniz >works better than a Wilkins-style taxonomic vocabulary.
This arithmographic approach is interesting. Do you have a pointer to Leibniz' discussion of such a language? What did he call the approach? Did he actually undertake the design of one to any significant extent? For that matter, do you have anything presentable about X-5 yet? A potential source of difficulty that suggests itself to me, if primes are going to correspond give or take to morphemes, is commutativity and associativity. Associativity is already a problem with concatenative morphology (_malsanulejo_; "pretty little girls' school"), but losing even the order of the morphemes seems like it would make this fairly worse. If you mean primes to correspond to semantic atoms of some sort instead of morphemes, this _could_ be less of a problem -- but I'd really have to see it done to be convinced. The claim that it makes sense to treat sememes this way, so they're all orthogonal and freely combinable without sensitivity to order, seems to me at least as strong a claim about semantic space as traditional hierarchical taxonomies make. I'm doubtless entirely ruining this as a puzzle by posting it in this thread, but, in a cryptography course I once took, it was posed as a bonus problem to decode a text something like this one: 1306835 46657 290191 297690715 15549 1439383 1342 25073257 582567818284265 212005876221425 [but rather longer] which encoding scheme has, for just these reasons, potential problems with lossiness: for instance, what tense is 1562 supposed to be -- or is it in fact a noun? Alex