Most and least condensed/economical languages?

A forum for discussing linguistics or just languages in general.
User avatar
Chandith
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 183
Joined: 27 Sep 2010 15:28

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by Chandith » 14 Jun 2011 18:25

eldin raigmore wrote:No matter what anyone says, I still think Reichssicherheitshauptamt is polysynthetic.
Let's state it as this: It is just as polysynthetic as "appearance space texture synthesis".

roninbodhisattva
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1793
Joined: 15 Aug 2010 19:03
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by roninbodhisattva » 15 Jun 2011 01:41

eldin raigmore wrote:No matter what anyone says, I still think Reichssicherheitshauptamt is polysynthetic.
What? Why?

User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 6381
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by eldin raigmore » 15 Jun 2011 01:52

Chandith wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:No matter what anyone says, I still think Reichssicherheitshauptamt is polysynthetic.
Let's state it as this: It is just as polysynthetic as "appearance space texture synthesis".
I don't think so.
But it's less polysynthetic than floccinaucinnihilipilification or pneumonoultramicroscopicosilicovolcanoconiosis.

User avatar
Chandith
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 183
Joined: 27 Sep 2010 15:28

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by Chandith » 15 Jun 2011 05:30

eldin raigmore wrote:
Chandith wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:No matter what anyone says, I still think Reichssicherheitshauptamt is polysynthetic.
Let's state it as this: It is just as polysynthetic as "appearance space texture synthesis".
I don't think so.
Why? Only because of the two extra genitive "s"-morphemes in the German compound-noun compared to the English compound-noun, that Germans needs as morphological glue in contrast to English?

User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 6381
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by eldin raigmore » 16 Jun 2011 00:34

Basically it's because "polysynthetic" is such an amorphous, polysemous word (like "focus" or "theme" or "love").

Essentially it means "any feature of another language that (this author) finds weird compared to (his/her) native language and that leads to long words".

So since I think flugabwehrkanone and such are weird and long the language they come from must be polysynthetic.

In other words, directly contradicting what some posters have said,
"polysynthetic" == "long words", (or at least "words with many morphemes"),
at least to go by the sum of the usage of the term in all writing on languages.

Your English phrase was not a single word. So it isn't very polysynthetic.

_______________________________________________________________________________

The features of polypersonal agreement and incorporation of referential patient-nouns probably deserve some more specific less shopworn and clapped-out term than "polysynthetic".

It's true that those features allow entire clauses to be single words to a greater degree than languages without such features would allow.

It's also true that those features are quite interesting, at least they are to me.

User avatar
Chandith
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 183
Joined: 27 Sep 2010 15:28

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by Chandith » 16 Jun 2011 01:43

eldin raigmore wrote:Your English phrase was not a single word. So it isn't very polysynthetic.
Oh no, please don't tell me you think, that that wasn't one word, one compound noun, just because (according to English orthography) it is written with spaces between each part of the compound? Morpho-syntactically it is just as much (or less, depends on how you look at it) a single word as the German one.

User avatar
eldin raigmore
korean
korean
Posts: 6381
Joined: 14 Aug 2010 18:38
Location: SouthEast Michigan

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by eldin raigmore » 17 Jun 2011 01:45

Chandith wrote:Oh no, please don't tell me you think, that that wasn't one word, one compound noun, just because (according to English orthography) it is written with spaces between each part of the compound?
No; I think it's not just one word because (1) other words can be inserted in those spaces and (2) it doesn't have just one primarily-stressed syllable with all the secondary stresses distributed as if it's just one word.

Chandith wrote:Morpho-syntactically it is just as much (or less, depends on how you look at it) a single word as the German one.
That's probably true. To me that proves the German example isn't all one word, not that the English example is. (But I don't know enough about German to be sure.)

Germans abbreviated Reichssicherheitshauptamt RSHA as if it were Reichs Sicherheits Haupt Amt. So I take that as evidence that psychologically it wasn't just one word.

_______________________________________________________________________________

But you need to understand I was criticizing (and attempting to satirize) the way many people have used the word "polysynthetic" in the past.
Floccinaucinnihilipilification is a weird, long word, which would make English also polysynthetic, except that English is my native language and therefore can't be polysynthetic.
Maybe I should have put that all in quotes so you'd have known it's not really what I think.

User avatar
Ceresz
runic
runic
Posts: 2680
Joined: 16 Oct 2010 01:14
Location: North
Contact:

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by Ceresz » 17 Jun 2011 02:20

Nordöstersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimulatoranläggningsmaterielunderhållsuppföljningssystemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelsearbeten.

User avatar
Chandith
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 183
Joined: 27 Sep 2010 15:28

Re: Most and least condensed/economical languages?

Post by Chandith » 17 Jun 2011 13:25

eldin raigmore wrote:
Chandith wrote:Oh no, please don't tell me you think, that that wasn't one word, one compound noun, just because (according to English orthography) it is written with spaces between each part of the compound?
No; I think it's not just one word because (1) other words can be inserted in those spaces and (2) it doesn't have just one primarily-stressed syllable with all the secondary stresses distributed as if it's just one word.
(1) No. "Appearance space texture synthesis" is one compound noun designating a certain type of texture synthesis. You can't enter a word in there with phrase-level operations: "appearance space faster texture synthesis" is not possible. You can extant the compound noun (which is possible in German as well) by extending the nested compound (which you might misinterpret as "inserting" a word in the spaces), which will yield a new and different compound noun. But that is true of all compound nouns.
(2) It does have the stress pattern as well as all the other prosodic properties typical for compound nouns. And I've heard this word spoken frequently in the last couple of days (by native English speakers).
eldin raigmore wrote:
Chandith wrote:Morpho-syntactically it is just as much (or less, depends on how you look at it) a single word as the German one.
That's probably true. To me that proves the German example isn't all one word, not that the English example is. (But I don't know enough about German to be sure.)

Germans abbreviated Reichssicherheitshauptamt RSHA as if it were Reichs Sicherheits Haupt Amt. So I take that as evidence that psychologically it wasn't just one word.
Now, that is silly. The abbreviation only shows two things:
(1) The German brain recognizes the different word-stems/lexemes the compound noun consist of, but that doesn't say anything in regard to the question whether the compound noun is morpho-syntactically treated as one word.
(2) That the abbreviation is written in capital letters is once again just an orthographic convention, just like the spaces in English compound nouns. And once again, that doesn't say anything in regard to the question whether the compound noun is morpho-syntactically treated as one word.

One could argue over the question, whether compound nouns in general should be considered words or something in between words and noun phrases. But I've never came across any linguistic source claiming that compound nouns are noun phrases.
eldin raigmore wrote: But you need to understand I was criticizing (and attempting to satirize) the way many people have used the word "polysynthetic" in the past.
Floccinaucinnihilipilification is a weird, long word, which would make English also polysynthetic, except that English is my native language and therefore can't be polysynthetic.
Maybe I should have put that all in quotes so you'd have known it's not really what I think.
I'm very well aware of that. I just took this occasion as opportunity to point to the often repeated misconception among English and German natives, that German "can stack up words to build longer words" while "English doesn't do that (as often)", which is simply wrong.

Whether one considers compound nouns as polysynthetic or not is completely beside my point. My point is: German compound nouns are not more (or less) polysynthetic than English compound nouns, and therefore German compound nouns can't be used as argument that German is more polysynthetic as English. In regard to compound nouns German and English have the same magnitude of polysynthesis. Whether one considers this magnitude to be 0 or >0 was not my point, and I didn't want to make an argument for either way.

Post Reply