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Re: [ontolog-forum] notes and rumours

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ken Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 13:16:32 -0400
Message-id: <52F9F129-52D6-4813-A2F8-1EB27CF71277@xxxxxxxxx>
while not wanting to get into the list discussion, Finnish, Hungarian, and I believe Estonian come from a common linguistic root and is significantly different from Norwegian and Swedish.  I had an au pair from Norway who had no trouble communicating with an au pair from Sweden when both were speaking their native languages.  This cannot be done with Finnish no matter how good their hockey team.


On Jul 3, 2007, at 1:04 PM, Duane Nickull wrote:

On 7/3/07 9:52 AM, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Linguists have never been able to give a precise definition of the
difference between a language and a dialect.  The three Scandinavian
languages -- Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian -- are mutually more
intelligible than the major Chinese dialects.  The best definition
I've heard is "A language is a dialect with an army."

You don't consider "Finnish" to be a Scandanavian language?  They may not
have a large army but they have a damn good ice hockey team.


For colors, there have been many attempts to quantify and rationalize the
actual composition.  The HSV, RGB, Hex, pantone and other efforts to
classify exact colors for print, media, etc have a lot of thinking behind


Anna Wierzbicka has been doing extensive cross-linguistic comparisons
in search of "semantic primes", as she calls them.  Since she has been
living in Australia for many years, she included the native Australian
languages as well as the more widely spoken European and Asian languages
in her source data.  Following is a recent article, in which she uses
her semantic primes to compare the definitions of some words in English
and Polish:

    The theory of the mental lexicon

There is a lot of other work on cognitive linguistics, which covers
related issues from somewhat different perspectives.  It's definitely
not clear where to draw the lines.

But one thing is certain:  for any lines we draw today, someone will
find very good reasons to redraw them tomorrow.



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