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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 dancing resepctively).
> 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? - Sai