The Instigator
InVinoVeritas
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Grape
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points

A language can be more or less logical than another

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
InVinoVeritas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,209 times Debate No: 22137
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (4)

 

InVinoVeritas

Con

Resolution: A language can be more or less logical than another.

First round is strictly for acceptance.
Grape

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
InVinoVeritas

Con

First off, I would like to thank Grape, a very esteemed debater on DDO, for taking on this debate challenge. I look forward to an insightful, stimulating debate.

---

In the words of sociolinguist Max Weinreich, "A language is a dialect with an army and navy." ("A shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot.") [1] The primary distinction between a language and a dialect is political influence. Some languages, such as Danish and Norwegian, are mutually comprehensible, yet still considered separate languages due to their separate political agendas.

Therefore, we will start with an example of a disparity in the English language that is strictly dialectal and progress from there:

"I didn't eat any dinner." vs. "I didn't eat no dinner." [2]

The former example represents phrasing that is accepted by Standard English, while the latter example represents phrasing that is accepted by an alternative dialect of English. The forms of these two sentences are different, due to a difference between the words "any" and "no," yet, holistically, both statements are semantically acceptable and, in many contexts, identical. Through the lens of Standard English, the latter contains an ungrammatical double negative. However, based on the grammar of the alternative dialect, the double negative has the same semantic significance as the single negative in the former. Oppositions to prescriptive grammar do not equate to a flaw in logic.

In the Russian language, means "I am not doing anything," [3] or we could literally translate it word-for-word "I am not doing nothing." Again, semantically, "I am not doing anything" and are identical in many contexts, yet the form differs. All language has semantic significance; even paradoxical statements have semantic significance, because their components, though contradictory, have representational meaning. Furthermore, in linguistics, semanticity is a necessary component of language. [4]

Through these examples, I have explained how a language cannot be more logical or illogical than another. Though forms vary, statements remain semantically significant and, consequently, logically valid.

---

[1] http://www.economist.com...
[2] http://www.lsadc.org...
[3] http://russian.speak7.com...
[4] http://homepages.rpi.edu...
Grape

Pro


Introduction:



Thanks to my opponent for offering this interesting challenge. I fear that I may have had a somewhat different interpretation of the resolution than he intended, but since no definitions were given I am going to proceed as I originally intended. As a student of theoretical linguistics [1], he should understand my approach. I hope that my approach will not be too difficult for readers who are not familiar with mathematical linguistics to easily grasp.



Analysis of the Resolution:



The resolution requires that it be possible for a language to be more logical than another (“can be”). It does not require that there actually be an example. If the resolution were “Grape can jump off a building” I would just have to demonstrate my capacity for climbing and jumping; I wouldn't have to actually do it.



Definitions:



Language – A language is a set of strings formed on an alphabet [2].



I adopt this definition because it is the most rigorous and least chauvinistic definition of a language. Defining language only as those languages that have naturally evolved in human cultures is overly restricting. We should definitely reject Con's ill-defined claim that a language requires a “political agenda.” That clearly has nothing to do with what language is about.



Even if we accept Con's definition, it's possible for any set of strings of symbols to be backed by a political force, and the resolution concerns the nature of language, not actual languages.



Logical – Reasonable or rational [3].



I adopt this definition because it is the most fair. If we define logical as “of or pertaining to logic” then it is easy to demonstrate that some languages are more logical: there are languages specifically designed for logic!



So, my objective for this debate will be to show that certain sets of strings formed on alphabets are more rational or reasonable than others.



Affirmative Arguments:



A1: Some languages are inherently unusable



A language cannot be reasonable or rational if it cannot be used to communicate. There are many was that this barrier could come up for humans. Perhaps a language is so inefficient that the strings are too long to remember. A human language that used an integer for every word (perhaps with special integers for spaces and punctuation) could have the same syntactic and semantic properties as English, but be totally incomprehensible. Languages could also involve impossible items in their alphabets: sounds that are too high or too low to hear, colors that humans can't see. Replace the 1's and 0's in a binary code on a printed page with high pitched sounds and it becomes unreadable.



A2: Some languages lack certain semantic content.



If you want to give a computer science lecture in ancient Greek, you're out of luck. Some languages are more fully developed in their vocabularies than others. The languages of technological primitive peoples typically do not include the ability to express detailed mathematical concepts [4]. These languages cannot be considered as “logical” as more rich languages because they place a serious limit on their speakers ability to communicate.



A3: Some languages are more or less ambiguous.



A grammatical ambiguity results when different syntactic structures produce the same final sentence [5]. A famous example in English is the sentence, “They are hunting dogs.” Some languages, such as Lojban, are designed to have fewer ambiguities. The language of first-order logic does not contain any ambiguities at all! A language's resistance to ambiguity is a good determinate of how logical it is. A language that always generated the same string regardless of the underlying grammar would be very difficult to understand indeed!



A4: Nonsense languages are possible.



A language can be constructed to express only logically invalid arguments or only false propositions. Such a language could never be considered logical.



Counterarguments:



CA1: Con's arguments don't prove his thesis.



To be honest, I don't understand what Con was talking about in the last round. It didn't seem to relate to the debate. All he has shown is that there are different ways of expressing the same semantic content. That should be obvious to anyone right away: “yes” in English and “si” in Spanish both do just fine. But if a five hour long ritual is required to give an affirmative reply in a language, that language is less logical than English or Spanish. There is more to “logic” in a language, whatever that is, than just being able to express basic ideas, and not every language can even do that.



Conclusion:



It should be obvious that there are lots of ways that a form of communication can be illogical. Some languages clearly must have fewer problems than others just by virtue of being meaningfully different. Con has not given us a very clear idea of what he is talking about, and he has used a very small number of examples to prove a conclusion much weaker than what is required to negate the resolution.



Sources:



[1] http://www.debate.org...


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...


[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...


Debate Round No. 2
InVinoVeritas

Con

re: Analysis of the Resolution:
I stand behind the opponent's interpretation of the resolution and the nature of "can be."

re: Definitions:
(In regards to "language"):
I strictly used the "political agenda" idea to depict the distinction between a language and a dialect, not to define language, as the opponent suggests; moreover, I agree that a fundamental definition of "language" should not be intertwined with politics. The term was actually left undefined in my argument.
The opponent offered a poor definition of "language" in the context of this debate. The definition the opponent provided was one for "formal language," as indicated by the webpage from which the definition was copied. A more fitting definition would be the one of "natural (or ordinary) language." [1] The proposed definition by the opponent is not fitting, because formal language theory only is studied to determine the syntactical nature of language; otherwise, it does not reflect actual language, since it is artificial, created by humans for a purpose (e.g., Java, which is used as a computer programming language.) [2] Formal languages are artificially derived from data collected from natural languages, so the definition of "formal language" alone cannot be used in this debate.

I agree with the opponent's definition of "logical" ("reasonable or rational.")

re: Affirmative Arguments

re: A1
Language, by definition, is a means of communication, or the conveying of information. [3] If it were not communicable, then it could not be acquired or implemented. The definition already establishes that language must be communicable, so the issue of this debate is whether or not the information conveyed can innately be more logical in one language than another.

re: A2
Language is not static; it is constantly evolving to meet the demand's of a given cultural context. A language's lack of complex mathematical concepts does not make it less logical; a language's exclusion of existing idea in other cultures does not make it less logical. Before discovering the New World (North American), Europeans were not aware of many of the crops that they found there, and therefore, the names for these crops was absent from the European languages while they were present in many of the Native American languages. This does not make the languages of Europe any less logical; as long as the crops were not playing in role in their culture, no words were needed to depict them. Moreover, primitive tribes can include concepts in their languages that are absent from English. For example, the word "Mamihlapinatapei" in the Yagan language (the indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) roughly means “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start." [4] This is probably not even an exact definition, because in our cultures, such a concept lacks significance and meaning, so we choose to not arrange our language to include it.

re: A3:
The reason why statements, such as "They are hunting dogs," are ambiguous is because of multiple logical derivations of it. This ambiguity is not illogical, because it does not imply that all of these derivations are semantically equivalent (which would, in fact, be illogical); the syntactical and semantic facets of a language are separate and ambiguity does not depict a contradiction between them.

re: A4:
Logically invalid arguments and false propositions can be made in English, as well. If I were to argue, "The sky is blue, because the sky is blue," it would not validate or invalidate the logicality of the language that I would be implementing; it would carry logical meaning, regardless of its validity as an argument.

re: CA1:
"But if a five hour long ritual is required to give an affirmative reply in a language, that language is less logical than English or Spanish." If the definition of logical here is "rational or reasonable," then how is would a five hour-long ritual be less rational or reasonable? Ultimately, a result of the same semantic significance would be produced (i.e., one of affirmation.) Moreover, the duration of time it takes for an affirmative reply in a given language does not reflect upon the logicality of the language, holistically.

Conclusion:
Some of the arguments between my opponent and I stem from discrepancies we have in regards to terms of debate. Hopefully my opponent can address these in the next round. Nonetheless, as it stands, the opponent's arguments fail to nullify the resolution.

---

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.uea.ac.uk...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://matadornetwork.com...

Grape

Pro


Definitions:



The definition of a language as a formal language ought to be preferred because it is the most inclusive. As Con agreed, this debate concerns possible languages, not just actual languages. Any formal language could be a natural language, and every natural language is a formal language, so the distinction that Con is trying to drive is meaningless. There is no reason why a language like Java couldn't be the natural language of intelligent computers, for instance.



Con does not seem to understand the point of formal languages: they are most certainly not just studied to help us understand real languages. Formal language theory came out of computer sciences and concerns that types of languages that certain devices, including human brains, are capable of processing. It carries deep implications for mathematics, physics, and philosophy as well as linguistics.



The languages that we humans speak are by no means some privileged class. In fact, our languages tend to overwhelmingly be the more logical ones because evolution naturally favored the ability to understand those languages. In much the same way, we walk because it is a more logical way of getting around than rolling.



Affirmative Arguments:



A1: Some languages are inherently unusable



Con says that languages are a means of communication. That's true, but it doesn't mean that they all work. Consider this analogy: a vehicle is defined by definition as a device for getting around. A broken down car is not useful for getting around. Therefore, it is not a vehicle. This is not sound reasoning because it fails to distinguish between what the broken down car was intended to do and what it does. A vehicle that doesn't work is still a vehicle. Likewise, a languages that doesn't work can still be a language.



Con tries to say that we are debating about whether or not the information conveyed by a language can be more logical than the information conveyed by another. We most certainly are not; we are debating about the logicality of the language itself. However, I do argue that one possible problem with a language is that the content it expresses is less than useful.



A2: Some languages lack certain semantic content.



Con just asserts that lacking the ability to express certain concepts does not make a language less logical and then gives a few examples of different ways that languages express things. He's not given us any reason to think that missing certain ideas doesn't make a language less logical.



If a language does not include the means to discuss certain important ideas, then it has a serious defect. It is true that languages change to accommodate for changes, but Con cannot invoke this possibility. Otherwise no language could be less logical than any other, because it could just “change over time” into the other. For example, if French is more logical than English, English can just “evolve” into French. We must take languages as fixed and count changes as different languages. Otherwise Latin and Spanish might as well be the same language. We lose track of what it means for languages to be distinct.



Remember that according to my more rigorous definition, a language is a set of strings (sentences). The strings that are included are fixed. Once new strings are added to enable us to talk about something new, we have a new set and thus a new language.



This is a bigger issue than just the lack of reference to computers in ancient Greek. A language could consist of just the sentence “the cat is on the mat.” Needless to say, this language is useful only in a very limited context. It still meets all the requirements for a language.



A3: Some languages are more or less ambiguous.



Ambiguities result when there are multiple derivations for a string, as I wrote in the previous round. This can happen never, as in the language of first order logic, sometimes, as in English, or potentially always. The less often a language creates ambiguities, the more logical it is because it will create less confusion, especially for people who are less familiar with it. The fact that there are semantical differences isn't a solution, it's the problem! The exact same sentence means two or more different things, creating opportunities for confusion.



In his response, Con concedes the debate:



This ambiguity is not illogical, because it does not imply that all of these derivations are semantically equivalent (which would, in fact, be illogical)...”



All the derivations could be semantically equivalent in some language. Con concedes that such a language would be illogical. There is no requirement for a language that says there must be semantically distinct strings, or that strings with the same derivation must be semantically different. Many languages do not even have semantics at all.



A4: Nonsense languages are possible.



English can be used to make both logically valid and logically invalid arguments. Some languages only allow one or the other. For instance, the language of the logically true proposition of first order logic contains only logically valid arguments. The language of all strings on the same alphabet that are not members of this language contains only logically invalid arguments.



It would be helpful if we could only make arguments that were logically valid according to the grammatical rules of our language, and it would be extremely unhelpful if we could never make logically valid arguments. Languages whose grammars favor the construction of logically valid arguments are obviously more logical than languages whose grammars do not.



Con seems to be defining logic as coherency. An statement can be perfectly understandable and still illogical. It's not enough that a language can express some cogent (if incorrect) ideas.



I should add for Con's benefit that “the sky is blue because the sky is blue” is a logically valid argument.



Counterarguments:



CA1: Con's arguments don't prove his thesis.



I reiterate my point that all Con has said so far is that you can say the same thing slightly differently in a couple languages. That has no bearing on the topic at hand.



A language that required a five hour ritual for an affirmative really would be unreasonable because people are constrained by time and care about getting information more quickly. That ought to be obvious. More is required that just eventually getting the right idea.



Conclusion:



Con seems to be operating under a definition of logicality that does not cohere with the one he agreed to. More is required for a language to be logical or reasonable than for it to eventually express the right concept (and even that is not given). Con is trying to manipulate definitions to make the resolution a tautology.



The resolution is very obviously true. Of course a language can be more logical than another. Why are we using the languages that we are when there are an infinite number of possible ways we could try to communicate? Certain ways of communicating just plan work better than others. It's more logical to use them.




Debate Round No. 3
InVinoVeritas

Con

re: Definitions:
"There is no reason why a language like Java couldn't be the natural language of intelligent computers, for instance," the opponent states. Computers do not use language, and "natural computer language" is on the verge of being an oxymoron; artificial intelligence is different from human intelligence (which is a topic for a different day.)

I meant that formal languages, as applied in linguistics, is only used to understand the syntax of natural language; that is virtually its sole implementation. Formal language is, by definition, closer to the intuitive concept of language, as opposed to natural language. The definition of formal language is too broad. A definition that is also provided is "a language designed for use in situations in which natural language is unsuitable" [1] It is "an abstract mathematical concept" that has little to do with actual applied language.

The opponent tries to parallel human evolution and development with those of language... and does so without basis. As a culture develops, the lexicon of a language may expand, but that does not make it more logical. Our language applies advanced mathematical theory while others do not; this just means that it is not relevant to their cultures.

re: A1:
The analogy the opponent uses when comparing language to a vehicle is flawed. The definition of vehicle: "A vehicle (from Latin: "vehiculum") is a mobile machine that is designed or used to transport people or cargo." [3] Hence, the criterion for something to be a vehicle is for it to have been designed OR used to transport people or cargo. Language, on the other hand, is "communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols." [4] If the definition were to state that language is "designed" for something of communicative nature, then the opponent's argument would stand. However, this is not the case; language is defined by its functionality, unlike a vehicle.

"However, I do argue that one possible problem with a language is that the content it expresses is less than useful," the opponent says. "Usefulness" of a language is a subjective matter; a language adapts to its cultural context, so from the opponent's biased perspective, affected by his own cultural context, a language's usefulness may be limited; objectively, however this is not the case.

re: A2:
Disparities between the lexicons of two languages does not make one more or less logical than another. Words are constantly dying and being added to a language, as culture changes. The opponent states that "we must take languages as fixed." Language, by nature, is a static thing, so we must introduce the potential for change. The opponent states, in defense, that if language A is more logical than B, then B could just evolve into A. Firstly, the topic of this debate is whether or not just an idea of "more logical than" even exists, so such an argument assumes a position that inherently opposes the resolution. Secondly, languages do not evolve based on logicality; they evolve based on cultural shifts. The introduction of the word "vodka" (an initially Russian word) in the United States came about when the actual beverage was introduced to the country; it became culturally relevant, so hence a word came about.


"Remember that according to my more rigorous definition, a language is a set of strings (sentences)...," the opponent states. The opponent's definition is too abstract and is too inclusive. Moreover, one can argue that languages do not need to have sentences, in theory. A word can incorporate include an infinite number of morphemes (segments of meaning), so due to the recursive nature of a word, sentences aren't technically necessary.

"The cat is on the mat" would not lead to an adequate system of communication. According to linguistic structuralism, language is based on oppositions and distinctions. Assuming that this is a single statement with the same phonological and semantic structure, oppositions to this phrase would have to exist.

re: A3:
All derivations could not be semantically equivalent because the fact that they are derivations would, in itself, indicate that there are different semantic values assigned to a word, in its given form; multiple derivations with the same semantic value would just mean a word has one derivation with a single semantic value. The only reason this would be illogical is because it would impossible. Furthermore, language, which, as I indicated, is BY DEFINITION a means of communication, must have semantic significance. "Communication" is conveying information, and the incorporation of "semanticism" enables a language to do this. This is further evidence that the opponent's definition is too broad; it only encompasses the syntactical facet of language.

re: A4:
As the opponent stated earlier in his argument, "Con states we are debating about whether or not the information conveyed by a language can be more logical than the information conveyed by another. We most certainly are not; we are debating about the logicality of the language itself." Indeed, we are not arguing over the validity of semantic fragments within a language, but rather a language is valid.

We are not talking about "helpfulness," as the opponent suggests; we are talking about logicality. A language, holistically, is not logically invalid because its semantic contents are illogical. If one were to only state illogical things for the rest of one's life (e.g., "The sky is blue because the sky is red," which, as an aside, I mistyped as an example in my last argument), then it would be valid to say that the person makes illogical statements; however, the same conclusion could not be made about the logicality of the language he speaks. Semantically illogical arguments still have semantic significance when we break a semantically illogical sentence down morphologically.

And if the purpose of a language, by definition, is solely to convey information, then the purpose is fulfilled if semantic significance is present. If someone were to intentionally design an artificial language that is illogical just to convey illogical statements, he would not be making an "illogical language," but rather a "language that conveys illogical statements."

CA2: The opponent states, "A language that required a five hour ritual for an affirmative really would be unreasonable because people are constrained by time and care about getting information more quickly. That ought to be obvious. More is required that just eventually getting the right idea."
The opponent completely shifts his position on this issue. Before, he stated that the language that requires a five-hour ritual to say the equivalent of "hello" is illogical; now, however, he simply states that it is "unreasonable." Logicality is surely more objective than "reasonableness." Whether or not the opponent finds it to be reasonable is extremely irrelevant to the debate. The fact of the matter is that although one way may be more practical than another (based on the opponent's subjective emphasis on the value of time), one's product is just as logically sound as another.

---

Conclusion

This is an obvious vote for Con. Pro derived arguments from a faulty definition that is too broad and is only accurate to a languages syntax, and the resolution stands.

One language cannot be more logical than another. The practicality of a language (or what the opponent calls "work[ing] better") is based on subjective views, such as the idea that it is logical to use a language that takes up less time; this logic, hence, is founded on an emphasis on the value of time. The opponent's arguments are founded on bias and misinterpretations. Vote Con.

Thank you to Grape and voters/readers.




[1] http://dictionary.reference.com... language
[2] http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com... Language
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Grape

Pro

Grape forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
The idea that whales have language is extremely controversial. See: < http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu... >
Posted by Grape 4 years ago
Grape
I tried to respond to some of the comments on the debate below. They're sort of out of order, so I'm posting this comment as a heading.
Posted by Grape 4 years ago
Grape
"Whales have language but it only consists of a small set of phrases. It might not be logical to us to only express a few ideas but it serves their needs perfectly."

The fact that whalese is used by whales is not an inherent property of it. It can still be compared to English in the abstract. Even so, some languages suit their users better than others suit their users. Compare reading a logic text in English to trying to read Prior Analytics: a lot of the reason that it's so hard is because ancient Greek is a clumsy languages for what Aristotle wants to talk about.

"I would dismiss A2 because lexical content of a language is extremely fluid. Yes, 'dead' languages don't account for modern terminology but whenever a language needs a word it adopts one or invents one."

My objection to this was that if we allow languages to change, there is no way to demarcate them. Also, per my definition of a language, a set of strings on an alphabet is fixed. If you change it, you have a new set and thus a new language.

"For instance, if you take a hieroglyphic language such as Egyptian, whose graphemes expressed not units of sound or words but whole sentence fragments then anything you wished to say would have had to be already defined. In comparison to other languages, their ability to express novel sentences was much more limited. Similarly, there are modern languages (Native American I believe) that don't have a concept of the future. You could say that such a language is less logical than English."

These are exactly the problems I am alluding to when I talk about semantic content being missing. Whether its for grammatical or dictional reasons is really beside the point, I think.
Posted by Grape 4 years ago
Grape
"I first find fault with pro's A1 and A4 because while a language could be nonsensical, such a language would quickly go extinct because no one would be using it."

Doesn't matter because whether or not anyone is speaking it has no effect on whether or not it's a string of symbols on an alphabet. We're concerned with all possible languages because the resolution asks whether or not a language *can* be more logical than another. Even if you don't accept that, a language that would quickly go extinct is not very logical.

"I would also say that colors and sounds are not language but merely vehicles or representing language."

Colors and sounds are symbols, not languages. Some symbols are better than others, which is a point I've emphasized.

"On the other hand, would you say that math is a language?"

No, mathematics is not a language. Mathematics is a field of studying concerning topics like quantity, structure, space, and change. You need a language to express mathematical ideas, but (for instance) English works just fine for that. "Two plus two equals four" is as good as "2 + 2 = 4." The mathematical idea is not tied to the language (though there are relationships between math and languages in formal systems theory).

"It's not the most logical for expressing quotidian ideas but it's the most logical for what it does. And if aliens ever came to earth I wouldn't be able to think of any other way to communicate than with math."

Math is not a way of communicating or expressing ideas. Your concept of what math consists of is incorrect.
Posted by Grape 4 years ago
Grape
Whoops, that was supposed to be in quotes below \/
Posted by Grape 4 years ago
Grape
The only fundamental exception I take is with Grape's definition of a language as 'a string of strings formed on an alphabet'. This is very restrictive and excludes languages that are not written (namely dialects) as well as non-alphabetic languages such as alphasyllabic, abjad, syllabic, and logographic languages.

No it isn't. All those things involve strings of symbols on alphabets. You need to think about it much more abstractly.
Posted by kramden88 4 years ago
kramden88
Hi InVinoVeritas. To begin, I'm not sure which side of this debate I come down own so I'll share a bit of my thought process. The agreed upon definition of logical is very broad so in the end, the route I would go is to say that even though logical is defined, it's relative to the speakers of each language.

I first find fault with pro's A1 and A4 because while a language could be nonsensical, such a language would quickly go extinct because no one would be using it. I would also say that colors and sounds are not language but merely vehicles or representing language.
On the other hand, would you say that math is a language? It's not the most logical for expressing quotidian ideas but it's the most logical for what it does. And if aliens ever came to earth I wouldn't be able to think of any other way to communicate than with math. Whales have language but it only consists of a small set of phrases. It might not be logical to us to only express a few ideas but it serves their needs perfectly.

I would dismiss A2 because lexical content of a language is extremely fluid. Yes, 'dead' languages don't account for modern terminology but whenever a language needs a word it adopts one or invents one. I would interpret logicalness more in the grammatical sense, as grammar is much less fluid. For instance, if you take a hieroglyphic language such as Egyptian, whose graphemes expressed not units of sound or words but whole sentence fragments then anything you wished to say would have had to be already defined. In comparison to other languages, their ability to express novel sentences was much more limited. Similarly, there are modern languages (Native American I believe) that don't have a concept of the future. You could say that such a language is less logical than English.
Again, you must consider: it might not be logical to us but these languages lived for many generations and served the needs of the speakers. If they consider their language logical can we say it's les
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
As an aside, this debate reminds me of this:
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Hey, kramden88! Since you've completed an undergraduate education in linguistics, I would love to hear your input on this subject. I'm only a first-year university student, so I have yet to firmly grasp this complex field of study.
Posted by kramden88 4 years ago
kramden88
As a linguistic, this debate interests me very much and I look forward to the proceeding rounds. The only fundamental exception I take is with Grape's definition of a language as 'a string of strings formed on an alphabet'. This is very restrictive and excludes languages that are not written (namely dialects) as well as non-alphabetic languages such as alphasyllabic, abjad, syllabic, and logographic languages. While it's a technicality it's an important one because the way that a language is conveyed could bear on its logicality.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 4 years ago
lannan13
InVinoVeritasGrapeTied
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, the sources are a mercy point
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
InVinoVeritasGrapeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunately this fun debate ended in a forfeit :(
Vote Placed by Yep 4 years ago
Yep
InVinoVeritasGrapeTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
InVinoVeritasGrapeTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: conduct for FF. I will try to remember to come back and do args later.