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Most logical languages

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143 messages over 18 pages: 1 2 3 46 7 ... 5 ... 17 18 Next >>
Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
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Joined 4936 days ago

2282 posts - 2814 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, Korean, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 33 of 143
05 December 2006 at 1:32am | IP Logged 
Debating which languages are logical is a little silly unless you're going to specify what you mean by "logical". Every language has its own logic, and every language has exceptions. Every language seems simple in some areas, and complex in others.

If we take "logical" to mean "systematically elegant", I vote for Japanese. For example, the phonetic system consists of syllables arranged on a grid of consonants and vowels:

a-i-u-e-o
ka-ki-ku-ke-ko
sa-si-su-se-so
...and so on, forming a nice, logical grid.

Every verb relies on one of these rows for its ending, and every syllable on that row provides a different conjugation. For example, take "maku", to plant a seed:

maka (negative stem)
maki (connective)
maku (present tense)
make (imperative)
mako (volitional)

"Hanasu", to speak, will be exactly the same but use the sa-row. You could hardly make it neater if you designed Japanese yourself.

And then there's the "case" system. Put -ga on subjects, -o on direct objects, -ni on indirect objects, etc. It's almost like sentence diagramming come to life.
5 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
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Russian Federation
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 Message 34 of 143
06 December 2006 at 9:06am | IP Logged 
Wildfire wrote:
lol I've recalled a Russian joke about illogical languages.

Englishman: Our language is very difficult, its spelling isn't logical at all; e.g. we say "ai", but write "eye".
Frenchman: Our tongue is even more complex. We say "Bordo", but write "Bordeaux".
Russian: Nonsense. We say "Could you, please, repeat what you've just said as I haven't understood you?" ("Bud'te dobry, povtorite pozhalujsta to, chto vy tol'ko chto skazali, a to ja vas ne ponial"), but write "What?" ("Che?")
don't we write Bud'te dobry blablablabla but say Che? :D
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Wildfire
Diglot
Newbie
Russian Federation
Joined 4811 days ago

14 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: French

 
 Message 35 of 143
06 December 2006 at 11:31am | IP Logged 
yeh =p in fact it's probably like you said but in the original text of the joke it was stated the other way round

Edited by Wildfire on 06 December 2006 at 11:35am

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solidsnake
Diglot
Senior Member
China
Joined 5209 days ago

469 posts - 488 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin

 
 Message 36 of 143
06 December 2006 at 12:24pm | IP Logged 
Captain Haddock wrote:
Debating which languages are logical is a
little silly unless you're going to specify what you mean by "logical". Every
language has its own logic, and every language has exceptions. Every
language seems simple in some areas, and complex in others.

If we take "logical" to mean "systematically elegant", I vote for Japanese.
For example, the phonetic system consists of syllables arranged on a grid
of consonants and vowels:

a-i-u-e-o
ka-ki-ku-ke-ko
sa-si-su-se-so
...and so on, forming a nice, logical grid.

Every verb relies on one of these rows for its ending, and every syllable
on that row provides a different conjugation. For example, take "maku",
to plant a seed:

maka (negative stem)
maki (connective)
maku (present tense)
make (imperative)
mako (volitional)

"Hanasu", to speak, will be exactly the same but use the sa-row. You
could hardly make it neater if you designed Japanese yourself.

And then there's the "case" system. Put -ga on subjects, -o on direct
objects, -ni on indirect objects, etc. It's almost like sentence
diagramming come to life.


hey, thanks for that lesson Haddock. That makes PERFECT sense.
1 person has voted this message useful



Lucky Charms
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
lapacifica.net
Joined 5117 days ago

752 posts - 1710 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: German, Spanish

 
 Message 37 of 143
21 December 2006 at 3:52am | IP Logged 
Captain Haddock wrote:
Debating which languages are logical is a little silly unless you're going to specify what you mean by "logical". Every language has its own logic, and every language has exceptions. Every language seems simple in some areas, and complex in others.

If we take "logical" to mean "systematically elegant", I vote for Japanese. For example, the phonetic system consists of syllables arranged on a grid of consonants and vowels:

a-i-u-e-o
ka-ki-ku-ke-ko
sa-si-su-se-so
...and so on, forming a nice, logical grid.

Every verb relies on one of these rows for its ending, and every syllable on that row provides a different conjugation. For example, take "maku", to plant a seed:

maka (negative stem)
maki (connective)
maku (present tense)
make (imperative)
mako (volitional)

"Hanasu", to speak, will be exactly the same but use the sa-row. You could hardly make it neater if you designed Japanese yourself.

And then there's the "case" system. Put -ga on subjects, -o on direct objects, -ni on indirect objects, etc. It's almost like sentence diagramming come to life.


I think Japanese grammar in itself is logical, much in the way Turkish is (as an agglutinating language). However, all the borrowings from Chinese create redundancies and confusion all over the place. For example, one character with four or five different pronunciations is not very logical. Not only does Japanese have some of the same illogical elements borrowed from Chinese, but it has them in addition to the native Japanese elements... the concept of "measure words" is difficult enough to begin with, but do I use 「ひとつ」 or 「一個」?

I suspect that Japanese was a very logical, predictable language before the Chinese borrowings. And imagining this "proto-Japanese" has reminded me of a theory I had while studying in New Zealand. I noticed several cognates between Maori and Japanese, and also between Japanese and Hawaiian, which led me to believe that this "proto-Japanese" must have been related to the Polynesian languages. So perhaps the Polynesian languages have retained some of the logical construction we've noticed in Japanese. Does anyone know enough about any Polynesian languages to comment?
1 person has voted this message useful



SamD
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4827 days ago

823 posts - 987 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, French
Studies: Portuguese, Norwegian

 
 Message 38 of 143
21 December 2006 at 8:55am | IP Logged 
This thread puts me in mind of an experience I had teaching English as a second language. I was teaching a grammar class and we had several lessons about past tenses: I went, I used to go, I have gone, I had gone, I did go. One of my Greek students objected to the number of different ways to express a past action and insisted that Greek was a much more logical language than English.

I suspect that when people say a language is "logical," they mean that it is either very regular or comes closest to the way they think or perhaps both.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Alas Oscuras
Diglot
Newbie
Mexico
Joined 5028 days ago

38 posts - 38 votes
Speaks: Spanish*, English
Studies: French, Japanese

 
 Message 39 of 143
01 January 2007 at 3:14pm | IP Logged 
[/QUOTE]

I think Japanese grammar in itself is logical, much in the way Turkish
is (as an agglutinating language). However, all the borrowings from
Chinese create redundancies and confusion all over the place. For
example, one character with four or five different pronunciations is
not very logical. Not only does Japanese have some of the same
illogical elements borrowed from Chinese, but it has them in
addition
to the native Japanese elements... the concept of
"measure words" is difficult enough to begin with, but do I use 「ひ
とつ」 or 「一個」?

I suspect that Japanese was a very logical, predictable language
before the Chinese borrowings. And imagining this "proto-Japanese"
has reminded me of a theory I had while studying in New Zealand. I
noticed several cognates between Maori and Japanese, and also
between Japanese and Hawaiian, which led me to believe that this
"proto-Japanese" must have been related to the Polynesian
languages. So perhaps the Polynesian languages have retained some
of the logical construction we've noticed in Japanese. Does anyone
know enough about any Polynesian languages to comment?[/QUOTE]

Wow, what you say is so immensely interesting!
1 person has voted this message useful



Alas Oscuras
Diglot
Newbie
Mexico
Joined 5028 days ago

38 posts - 38 votes
Speaks: Spanish*, English
Studies: French, Japanese

 
 Message 40 of 143
01 January 2007 at 3:14pm | IP Logged 


[/QUOTE]I suspect that Japanese was a very logical, predictable
language
before the Chinese borrowings. And imagining this "proto-Japanese"
has reminded me of a theory I had while studying in New Zealand. I
noticed several cognates between Maori and Japanese, and also
between Japanese and Hawaiian, which led me to believe that this
"proto-Japanese" must have been related to the Polynesian
languages. So perhaps the Polynesian languages have retained some
of the logical construction we've noticed in Japanese. Does anyone
know enough about any Polynesian languages to comment?[/QUOTE]

Wow, what you say is so immensely interesting!


1 person has voted this message useful



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