Category Natural Language

Pages to do with natural languages, as opposed to programming languages (CategoryProgrammingLanguage).

Traditional languages:

Traditional languages by family:

ConLangs:

Extinct languages: Non-spoken human languages: Linguistic theory:


See LanguageOnItsWayDown, LinguisticDeterminism, LearningForeignLanguages, CountriesWithMoreThanOneLanguage

The hierarchy above is a bit limited (see LimitsOfHierarchies). English, while Germanic in origin, has borrowed much from French. Spanish, considered one of the Romance languages (though not listed above), is influenced heavily by Arabic. In other words, a DirectedAcyclicGraph and not a tree is probably a better taxonomy.

DirectedAcyclicGraph – Not. The graph probably does contain cycles, influence can go both ways. In fact at the language level this is quite common. at the level of individual words it also happens (word is loaned to one language, mutated, then loaned back to the original language, perhaps with a slighlty different meaning), but less frequently. (There are also other interesting effects such as a single word being loaned twice to one language e.g. hostel and hotel come from the same Old French root but are loaded to English at different times with slightly different meanings.)

But this is beacuse there isn't really a 'thing' that is a GermanicLanguage; there are just languages. Also note that people seem to like to force tree structures on things even when one isn't there (this can be an argument both for and against OO ^_^).


There has been some success recently in unsupervised language learning:

Very interesting. The algorithm can e.g.
I've just finished a book about Artificial/Constructed Languages -- but not Computer Languages. Very interesting... but funny.


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