Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?
|From:||Sai Emrys <saizai@...>|
|Date:||Friday, May 6, 2005, 1:24|
> Neither am I (see very below)!
Explain that part more directly?
> It's a question of how the terms are defined. With my linguistical
> background, I'm used to think of language as primary communication system of
> humans that can be observed either as speech (spoken language) or as writing
> (written language).
Sure. Or signed (as Tim points out). Or the language could use only
some subset of these.
Language, as I'm sure you'll know, is not defined by its medium but by
certain capabilities - generativity et al - that set it apart from
what are merely codes or closed-class symbols (like morse code & bee
> Your point sounds as if there were communication systems that are much more
> powerful than speech (or language, as I'm used to call it with my
> linguistical background).
For certain things, yes; though that's a question of the expected
utility. Obviously speech will be most powerful for communicating
things that start out as audio; I don't see it having any other
property, however, that makes it plausibly *more* powerful than say
sign or full-2d (even N-d) writing sytesms, and I can see several that
*could* work the other way, so yes, I think writing can be more
powerful for certain not uncommon situations.
> Mathematical codes, musical codes, pictures can only represent certain kinds
> of information.
Hardly, as they're all equivalent at an extremely basic level (viz. CS
proofs of tree - array convertability). A more useful question is what
information they can represent "usefully", that is, in a way that is
adapted to human cognition to understand. And on that, I'd agree -
those codes (as they currently exist to my knowledge) are only good
for limited domains.
> and there are many informations that can only be encoded in speech, e.g. emotions or politics.
Oh? That seems like complete BS to me (would you argue that art does
not encode emotion, or that one cannot transcribe emotions, if simply
by the most brute-force method of a full neural recording of the
emotion centers of the brain? [if you admit either, it becomes
"bargaining over price" - again, a question of ease of understanding,
and a rather different one from possibility]), but presumably you
don't think so. How would you back that up?