Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Strategy: Learn 600 words a week.

 Language Learning Forum : Questions About Your Target Languages Post Reply
167 messages over 21 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 17 ... 20 21 Next >>
HTale
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 5288 days ago

164 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written)*
Studies: French

 
 Message 129 of 167
14 October 2007 at 9:21am | IP Logged 
Linguamor wrote:
xtremelingo wrote:
Linguamor,
Lets pretend Math was a language (actually it is).


Mathematics and a natural language are very different. Mathematics is a logical language. In fact, I think Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell demonstrated in Principia Mathematica that mathematics ultimately IS logic.


Wrong. Goedel ultimatley found flaws in this work, whence Goedel numbers and the like arised. But this is a whole different issue altogether, and far removed from the topic in hand.
1 person has voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 5349 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 130 of 167
14 October 2007 at 9:44am | IP Logged 
HTale wrote:
Linguamor wrote:
xtremelingo wrote:
Linguamor,
Lets pretend Math was a language (actually it is).


Mathematics and a natural language are very different. Mathematics is a logical language. In fact, I think Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell demonstrated in Principia Mathematica that mathematics ultimately IS logic.


Wrong. Goedel ultimatley found flaws in this work, whence Goedel numbers and the like arised. But this is a whole different issue altogether, and far removed from the topic in hand.


Goedel proved that you cannot have a complete -and- consistent mathematical system. This doesn't change the fact that logic is a branch of mathematics, and that one can create any number of mathematical systems via using logic plus a set of axioms. Mathematics and logic remain intricately linked, and Goedel did nothing to smash this: he just proved that the dream of a complete and consistent system was impossible.

Back to the topic at hand: learning math well and learning language are, at least for me, extremely different experiences. For math, the trick is to understand and internalize the axioms, and be able to reason with them, be able derive a fair number of the rest of the results that need to be worked with from them and to internalize some of the less trivial yet important ones, etc.   Math is often taught as a matter of rote memorization of pre-calculated results and formulae: in this, it could perhaps be like language learning, but I find this approach impossible to work with, as well as aesthetically unappealing.

For languages, the idea of learning a core set of axioms and deriving utterly does not work. There are too many illogical elements in language. As for what -does- work, and to what degree: I'm still trying to figure that out.

1 person has voted this message useful



HTale
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 5288 days ago

164 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written)*
Studies: French

 
 Message 131 of 167
14 October 2007 at 2:27pm | IP Logged 
Volte wrote:
HTale wrote:
Linguamor wrote:
xtremelingo wrote:
Linguamor,
Lets pretend Math was a language (actually it is).


Mathematics and a natural language are very different. Mathematics is a logical language. In fact, I think Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell demonstrated in Principia Mathematica that mathematics ultimately IS logic.


Wrong. Goedel ultimatley found flaws in this work, whence Goedel numbers and the like arised. But this is a whole different issue altogether, and far removed from the topic in hand.


Goedel proved that you cannot have a complete -and- consistent mathematical system. This doesn't change the fact that logic is a branch of mathematics, and that one can create any number of mathematical systems via using logic plus a set of axioms. Mathematics and logic remain intricately linked, and Goedel did nothing to smash this: he just proved that the dream of a complete and consistent system was impossible.


I really don't want to get into detail about this, because I don't know if I'm speaking to a layman or a fellow mathematician, but I have to respectfully disagree. The philosophical implications, however, are more tangible. Goedel has proved that mathematics is "essentially incomplete" - it is not "water tight". That said, it gives some armoury to the side that contest that Mathematics is indeed a natural language. The fact that it is open to any set of axioms and symbols is much the same way as a language (Esperanto, for instance), can be based on a set of grammatical rules and vocabulary. In this respect, I say that Mathematics IS a language; and it was the disagreement of this statement that I had trouble with.

But I have now become a hypocrite, I am taking this thread on a tangent too!
1 person has voted this message useful



Linguamor
Decaglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5528 days ago

469 posts - 599 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Dutch

 
 Message 132 of 167
14 October 2007 at 3:12pm | IP Logged 
HTale wrote:
... Mathematics is indeed a natural language. The fact that it is open to any set of axioms and symbols is much the same way as a language (Esperanto, for instance), can be based on a set of grammatical rules and vocabulary.


"Fluency does not depend so much on having a set of generative grammar rules and a separate stock of words - the 'slot and filler' or open choice principle - as on having rapid access to a stock of chunks:"
www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/lexical_approac h1.shtml


2 persons have voted this message useful



HTale
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 5288 days ago

164 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written)*
Studies: French

 
 Message 133 of 167
14 October 2007 at 6:20pm | IP Logged 
Linguamor wrote:
HTale wrote:
... Mathematics is indeed a natural language. The fact that it is open to any set of axioms and symbols is much the same way as a language (Esperanto, for instance), can be based on a set of grammatical rules and vocabulary.


"Fluency does not depend so much on having a set of generative grammar rules and a separate stock of words - the 'slot and filler' or open choice principle - as on having rapid access to a stock of chunks:"
www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/methodology/lexical_approac h1.shtml



We're not speaking about fluency; we are speaking about the general structure of a language. I think everybody on this forum would agree that a language consists of grammar, and vocabulary. Obviously, these are two generic terms, because they differ enourmously between languages, and groups of languages. Fluency is the ability - in my view - to effortlessly portray meaning given the set of axioms (in our case, grammar) that have been prescribed. That, unfortunatley, as you have stated, is not as easy as a grammar book and a dictionary. I think we all agree on that.
1 person has voted this message useful



frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5853 days ago

2042 posts - 2719 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 134 of 167
14 October 2007 at 6:50pm | IP Logged 
HTale wrote:
I think everybody on this forum would agree that a language consists of grammar, and vocabulary.


In that case, I'll have to take a chance on being the only one to disagree.



Edited by frenkeld on 14 October 2007 at 6:54pm

1 person has voted this message useful



HTale
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 5288 days ago

164 posts - 167 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written)*
Studies: French

 
 Message 135 of 167
14 October 2007 at 6:58pm | IP Logged 
frenkeld wrote:
HTale wrote:
I think everybody on this forum would agree that a language consists of grammar, and vocabulary.


In that case, I'll have to take a chance on being the only one to disagree.



Go ahead, I may be incorrect, or missing something from the list.
1 person has voted this message useful



frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5853 days ago

2042 posts - 2719 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 136 of 167
14 October 2007 at 7:17pm | IP Logged 
HTale wrote:
frenkeld wrote:
HTale wrote:
I think everybody on this forum would agree that a language consists of grammar, and vocabulary.

In that case, I'll have to take a chance on being the only one to disagree.

Go ahead, I may be incorrect, or missing something from the list.


I don't really possess the concepts and terminology to give you a good answer, so I can only try to share my ill-defined suspicions why this is not the whole story.

One reason is that a fraction of the words we meet in speech can only be fully understood in context, and context seems to be neither vocabulary nor grammar, but some sort of "knowledge" about the situation being talked about.

Another reason is that if you open just about any sufficiently advanced grammar book, it seems to be as much about usage as it is about grammar.

There are a couple of others, but I'll stop here.

Now, I am no linguist, so I am not about to say that your list is missing "usage" and "knowledge", but somehow the idea of language being just "words and rules" seems suspiciously simplistic. Why don't we have reliable machine translation yet, after all?


Edited by frenkeld on 14 October 2007 at 7:38pm



1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 167 messages over 21 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.9854 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2021 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.