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Language: Diversity or Homogeneity

bsh1
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10/21/2015 9:05:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Should we, as a global society, value linguistic homogeneity over linguistic diversity? Should we try to rescue endangered languages? Should we try to promote a few dominant, "world" languages (e.g. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc.) over local languages? Thoughts?

Some interesting, but not always relevant, data on languages can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com...
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Vox_Veritas
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10/21/2015 9:18:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 9:05:47 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Should we, as a global society, value linguistic homogeneity over linguistic diversity? Should we try to rescue endangered languages? Should we try to promote a few dominant, "world" languages (e.g. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc.) over local languages? Thoughts?

Some interesting, but not always relevant, data on languages can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Diversity but also use technology to enable comprehensive communications across all languages.
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Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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10/29/2015 2:08:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 9:05:47 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Should we, as a global society, value linguistic homogeneity over linguistic diversity?
Linguistic diversity. We should have a lingua franca, and English is doing well as lingua franca, but original native languages must be kept intact.
Should we try to rescue endangered languages?
Yes, for the same reason that we want to save endangered animals (to protect biodiversity). Linguistic diversity is necessary for studying language typology and universals, which in turn fuels the development of functional theories of grammar as well as some generative theories, particularly lexical-functional grammar. Studies of tribal languages like Chichewa and Warlpiri have been very fruitful in linguistic research. If Hopi, an endangered language, had disappeared before Malotki's study, we would be stuck with Whorf's flawed relativist argument forever.
Should we try to promote a few dominant, "world" languages (e.g. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc.) over local languages? Thoughts?
Should we promote them? Sure, to enable communication. Should we promote them over local languages? Nope. They can be preserved alongside the lingua franca. Bilingualism has been shown to be beneficial to cognitive development anyway...
Some interesting, but not always relevant, data on languages can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com...
Personally, I think 1-3 are interesting, but would not rely on their statistics too much, for reasons I've pointed out in my article. It's unlikely that all the tongues studied were demarcated into languages through the same set of criteria, so the fact that Asia beats Africa in linguistic diversity could be due to the fact that researchers are more keen to cut up tongues into languages in Asia than in Africa. #6 makes an important point, though, and it is about time more measures are taken to save languages that can still be saved. In many situations, this requires us to remove the social stigma faced by speakers of 'rural' languages/dialects. In Hong Kong, for example, speakers of Weitou are, according to an experiment by senior students in my university, considered to be less successful or educated than those who speak Cantonese.

This meme sums up my stance on the issue:
https://scontent-hkg3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

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Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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10/29/2015 2:13:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/21/2015 9:18:40 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/21/2015 9:05:47 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Should we, as a global society, value linguistic homogeneity over linguistic diversity? Should we try to rescue endangered languages? Should we try to promote a few dominant, "world" languages (e.g. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc.) over local languages? Thoughts?

Some interesting, but not always relevant, data on languages can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Diversity but also use technology to enable comprehensive communications across all languages.

Unfortunately, fields like generative grammar, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and artificial intelligence, all of which are essential for natural language processing, have not developed sufficiently to make this feasible - try translating a Chinese text to English through Google Translate. Not to mention that it would be infeasible to build translation systems for every language... so I think a lingua franca is still helpful and necessary.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,072
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10/29/2015 2:16:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 2:13:00 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 10/21/2015 9:18:40 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/21/2015 9:05:47 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Should we, as a global society, value linguistic homogeneity over linguistic diversity? Should we try to rescue endangered languages? Should we try to promote a few dominant, "world" languages (e.g. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc.) over local languages? Thoughts?

Some interesting, but not always relevant, data on languages can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Diversity but also use technology to enable comprehensive communications across all languages.

Unfortunately, fields like generative grammar, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and artificial intelligence, all of which are essential for natural language processing, have not developed sufficiently to make this feasible - try translating a Chinese text to English through Google Translate. Not to mention that it would be infeasible to build translation systems for every language... so I think a lingua franca is still helpful and necessary.

I'm thinking long-term. Translation technology will probably be adequate within 20-30 years.
I'm not talking about 3,000 languages. Rather, around 50-200.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,072
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10/29/2015 2:21:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Languages that would be preserved indefinitely:
-English
-Spanish
-French
-Portuguese
-German
-Russian
-Norwegian
-Polish
-Italian
-Arabic
-Farsi
-Dari
-Pashto
-Urdu
-Punjabi
-Hindi
-Bengali
-Mandarin
-Japanese
-Korean
-Hebrew
-Amharic
-Swahili
-Indonesian
-Vietnamese
-Tagalog
-Turkish
-Thai
-Swedish
-Dutch

And so on...
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

#drinkthecoffeenotthekoolaid
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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10/29/2015 2:46:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 2:16:03 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/29/2015 2:13:00 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 10/21/2015 9:18:40 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/21/2015 9:05:47 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Should we, as a global society, value linguistic homogeneity over linguistic diversity? Should we try to rescue endangered languages? Should we try to promote a few dominant, "world" languages (e.g. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc.) over local languages? Thoughts?

Some interesting, but not always relevant, data on languages can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Diversity but also use technology to enable comprehensive communications across all languages.

Unfortunately, fields like generative grammar, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and artificial intelligence, all of which are essential for natural language processing, have not developed sufficiently to make this feasible - try translating a Chinese text to English through Google Translate. Not to mention that it would be infeasible to build translation systems for every language... so I think a lingua franca is still helpful and necessary.

I'm thinking long-term. Translation technology will probably be adequate within 20-30 years.
I'm not talking about 3,000 languages. Rather, around 50-200.

Frankly, I personally doubt translation technology will be sufficient in 20-30 year's time.

Firstly, at a lower level, language was 'designed' based on our cognitive capacities. Whether this is attributed to a 'language faculty' (Chomsky, Hauser and Fitch), the general cognitive capacity of the brain (Deacon) or both (Pinker and Jackendoff), it is clear that we need to know how the mind/brain processes languages to make a machine emulate it. Unfortunately, what we know about the M/B is still exceptionally limited and rudimentary.

Secondly, at a higher level, there is yet to be a formal grammar that can capture all of language's properties and at the same time be sufficiently generalised. As it currently stands, government and binding theory and minimalist syntax are now so complex, and views within these theories so diverse, that devising a computer program to handle language through these frameworks seems exceptionally difficult. IMO, the more promising frameworks are lexical-functional grammar and Jackendoff's parallel architecture, but neither are perfect.

Each language has so many nuances and idiosyncratic properties that are hard to capture. The overlaps and non-overlaps between situation types, tenses, aspects and moods, for example, has been extensively discussed and debated in the literature, and they are still unclear.

To have a near-perfect translation program between two languages, we would need, minimally, a perfect theory of formal grammar that represents the morphology, syntax, semantics of the two languages and can map between these levels, not to mention construct a lexicon, including all grammatical information required by the theory... our linguistic knowledge seems, at present, woefully inadequate for this purpose.

Thirdly, translation programs still suck at pragmatics. Although we have developed systems like script applier mechanisms since the 1970s, we still haven't made much progress. Case in point: Google Translate alternates between 'she' and 'it' when translating the French 'elle' :O
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
inferno
Posts: 10,564
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10/29/2015 2:54:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 2:46:28 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 10/29/2015 2:16:03 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/29/2015 2:13:00 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 10/21/2015 9:18:40 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/21/2015 9:05:47 PM, bsh1 wrote:
Should we, as a global society, value linguistic homogeneity over linguistic diversity? Should we try to rescue endangered languages? Should we try to promote a few dominant, "world" languages (e.g. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, German, etc.) over local languages? Thoughts?

Some interesting, but not always relevant, data on languages can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Diversity but also use technology to enable comprehensive communications across all languages.

Unfortunately, fields like generative grammar, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and artificial intelligence, all of which are essential for natural language processing, have not developed sufficiently to make this feasible - try translating a Chinese text to English through Google Translate. Not to mention that it would be infeasible to build translation systems for every language... so I think a lingua franca is still helpful and necessary.

I'm thinking long-term. Translation technology will probably be adequate within 20-30 years.
I'm not talking about 3,000 languages. Rather, around 50-200.

Frankly, I personally doubt translation technology will be sufficient in 20-30 year's time.

Firstly, at a lower level, language was 'designed' based on our cognitive capacities. Whether this is attributed to a 'language faculty' (Chomsky, Hauser and Fitch), the general cognitive capacity of the brain (Deacon) or both (Pinker and Jackendoff), it is clear that we need to know how the mind/brain processes languages to make a machine emulate it. Unfortunately, what we know about the M/B is still exceptionally limited and rudimentary.

Secondly, at a higher level, there is yet to be a formal grammar that can capture all of language's properties and at the same time be sufficiently generalised. As it currently stands, government and binding theory and minimalist syntax are now so complex, and views within these theories so diverse, that devising a computer program to handle language through these frameworks seems exceptionally difficult. IMO, the more promising frameworks are lexical-functional grammar and Jackendoff's parallel architecture, but neither are perfect.

Each language has so many nuances and idiosyncratic properties that are hard to capture. The overlaps and non-overlaps between situation types, tenses, aspects and moods, for example, has been extensively discussed and debated in the literature, and they are still unclear.

To have a near-perfect translation program between two languages, we would need, minimally, a perfect theory of formal grammar that represents the morphology, syntax, semantics of the two languages and can map between these levels, not to mention construct a lexicon, including all grammatical information required by the theory... our linguistic knowledge seems, at present, woefully inadequate for this purpose.

Thirdly, translation programs still suck at pragmatics. Although we have developed systems like script applier mechanisms since the 1970s, we still haven't made much progress. Case in point: Google Translate alternates between 'she' and 'it' when translating the French 'elle' :O

Diversity is grand.
SM2
Posts: 546
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10/29/2015 10:52:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This is not an either/or matter, thanks to "bridge languages".

Suppose you have 100 different languages, and you need to translate between them. Rather than having translators between every language, you just use one common language. For example, if a Frenchman, a German, an Arab, a Korean, and a Spaniard all want to discuss a topic with each other, they could just have the discussion in English instead of translating between five different languages. In this example, and in most of the world today, English is a bridge language. In science, Latin and Greek words are often used for a similar reason.

Local diversity and global homogeneity are both inevitable.
HarveyMeale
Posts: 15
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11/6/2015 7:48:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'd like to see homogeneity on the basis that it would make redundant the need for any such advanced translation technologies. We should be able to communicate with someone in China or Iran or Germany as one would casually with a friend in one's own locale.

I understand this is a completely impractical expectation for my lifetime and perhaps many generations ahead.

I think it would benefit not only literature but would galvanize cultures across the world and bring humanity closer together.

And I think it'd only be fair as well as optimal if this homogeneity were to take place under a new and optimized language structure, perhaps through cherry picking the best parts from each of the major languages today.
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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11/6/2015 4:11:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 7:48:09 AM, HarveyMeale wrote:
I'd like to see homogeneity on the basis that it would make redundant the need for any such advanced translation technologies. We should be able to communicate with someone in China or Iran or Germany as one would casually with a friend in one's own locale.
Why would we need this? We already have English as a lingua franca. Maybe we should improve the state of English education worldwide, but as you can see it's already improving.

Moreover, different speech communities' languages are often optimised to local needs. Lexical categories are probably the best example. Lexical fields in different langauges are partitioned differently into lexical categories, some concepts are not lexicalised in certain languages because the speakers of the language rarely refer to such concepts, etc. American and British both have the words 'robin' and 'magpie', but they refer to New World and Old World birds respectively. A tribe that doesn't need numbers too badly (Piraha) can get away with having few number words. The list goes on. There's a real need for local languages.
I understand this is a completely impractical expectation for my lifetime and perhaps many generations ahead.
Implementing and teaching worldwide a brand-new conlang is hard enough (just ask Esperantists or the guy who posted his proposal to invent a new language on DDO a while ago). But it must be remembered that language changes over time. There are regulating bodies, sure, but if you compare the English of the 18th century (the height of prescriptivism) and the English of today, you can see that these efforts are always futile. The thing about linguistic change is that they always lead to regional variation in language... Give it a few generations, and the dialects will have decreased significantly in mutual intelligiblity; give it a few centuries, and you have different languages, just where we started.
I think it would benefit not only literature but would galvanize cultures across the world and bring humanity closer together.
Why would it benefit literature? Let's take poetry as an example. bsh1 and I have had a brief discussion about poetry a while ago and we saw that there's a lot of difference between English and Chinese poetry.

Different languages have different systems of prosody. Languages like English and Italian have lexical stress, and they produce a sort of poetry that is completely different from that of Chinese, a tonal language that exploits its tonal system in poetry (pingze). Were we to unify all language, it would be impossible to have such diversity.
And I think it'd only be fair as well as optimal if this homogeneity were to take place under a new and optimized language structure, perhaps through cherry picking the best parts from each of the major languages today.
What sort of language structure would be 'new' and 'optimised'? Languages that have a 'deficiency' in one regard usually compensate using 'richness' in another, e.g.:

-Latin has flexible syntax, and thus complex case marking and verb agreement systems are used to show grammatical relations; English and Chinese have simple inflection, but rigid syntax. Bulgarian is exceptional in that it has free word order and little inflection, but it too has its own special ways to mark grammatical functions when they are not clear.
-Chinese has very few affixes, but can form a huge inventory of words by compounding, which is relatively limited in other languages like English and French.
-French has very complex syllable structure, but prosody is simple and based on syntax. Chinese has simple syllable structure, but compensates with tones, whereas Japanese and many others have lots of syllables.

And how do you strike a balance between communication ability and simplicity? If you try to learn a language with a complex inflectional system for marking evidentiality, you'll probably struggle to acquire this structure; by contrast, someone coming from a language with obligatory evidentiality marking would find English vague and imprecise. There's no saying which is better for communication - one requires less effort on the speaker's part but more on the listener's part (to make inferences).

If anything, languages are constantly optimising themselves. English, for example, has ironed out a lot of irregularity.

Hope you don't take offence at my response; as a linguistics student, I can get quite emotional about linguistic diversity...
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
HarveyMeale
Posts: 15
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11/9/2015 3:39:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 4:11:33 PM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 11/6/2015 7:48:09 AM, HarveyMeale wrote:
I'd like to see homogeneity on the basis that it would make redundant the need for any such advanced translation technologies. We should be able to communicate with someone in China or Iran or Germany as one would casually with a friend in one's own locale.
Why would we need this? We already have English as a lingua franca. Maybe we should improve the state of English education worldwide, but as you can see it's already improving.

Moreover, different speech communities' languages are often optimised to local needs. Lexical categories are probably the best example. Lexical fields in different langauges are partitioned differently into lexical categories, some concepts are not lexicalised in certain languages because the speakers of the language rarely refer to such concepts, etc. American and British both have the words 'robin' and 'magpie', but they refer to New World and Old World birds respectively. A tribe that doesn't need numbers too badly (Piraha) can get away with having few number words. The list goes on. There's a real need for local languages.
I understand this is a completely impractical expectation for my lifetime and perhaps many generations ahead.
Implementing and teaching worldwide a brand-new conlang is hard enough (just ask Esperantists or the guy who posted his proposal to invent a new language on DDO a while ago). But it must be remembered that language changes over time. There are regulating bodies, sure, but if you compare the English of the 18th century (the height of prescriptivism) and the English of today, you can see that these efforts are always futile. The thing about linguistic change is that they always lead to regional variation in language... Give it a few generations, and the dialects will have decreased significantly in mutual intelligiblity; give it a few centuries, and you have different languages, just where we started.
I think it would benefit not only literature but would galvanize cultures across the world and bring humanity closer together.
Why would it benefit literature? Let's take poetry as an example. bsh1 and I have had a brief discussion about poetry a while ago and we saw that there's a lot of difference between English and Chinese poetry.

Different languages have different systems of prosody. Languages like English and Italian have lexical stress, and they produce a sort of poetry that is completely different from that of Chinese, a tonal language that exploits its tonal system in poetry (pingze). Were we to unify all language, it would be impossible to have such diversity.
And I think it'd only be fair as well as optimal if this homogeneity were to take place under a new and optimized language structure, perhaps through cherry picking the best parts from each of the major languages today.
What sort of language structure would be 'new' and 'optimised'? Languages that have a 'deficiency' in one regard usually compensate using 'richness' in another, e.g.:

-Latin has flexible syntax, and thus complex case marking and verb agreement systems are used to show grammatical relations; English and Chinese have simple inflection, but rigid syntax. Bulgarian is exceptional in that it has free word order and little inflection, but it too has its own special ways to mark grammatical functions when they are not clear.
-Chinese has very few affixes, but can form a huge inventory of words by compounding, which is relatively limited in other languages like English and French.
-French has very complex syllable structure, but prosody is simple and based on syntax. Chinese has simple syllable structure, but compensates with tones, whereas Japanese and many others have lots of syllables.

And how do you strike a balance between communication ability and simplicity? If you try to learn a language with a complex inflectional system for marking evidentiality, you'll probably struggle to acquire this structure; by contrast, someone coming from a language with obligatory evidentiality marking would find English vague and imprecise. There's no saying which is better for communication - one requires less effort on the speaker's part but more on the listener's part (to make inferences).

If anything, languages are constantly optimising themselves. English, for example, has ironed out a lot of irregularity.

Hope you don't take offence at my response; as a linguistics student, I can get quite emotional about linguistic diversity...

Hi Diqiucun,

No offence taken at all! I was actually tossing up between linguistics and philosophy myself for next year's study. It's brilliant to hear from someone with the knowledge you have on the topic.

I'm not quite sure I agree with one point you make, however. You mentioned, should we have a single global language, dialects would appear very quickly. This I agree with totally. However, are you able to back up your claim that we'd get entirely different languages in just a matter of centuries? This might be obvious, but I wasn't sure. I understand that the dialects of XLanguage would be very different in Australia in comparison to China, but at what point would it become impossible to communicate with each other?

You also ask what sort of language structure would be new and optimised. I think we could simply create a language without the deficiencies you speak of to begin with. Something easy enough to acquire but with depth and richness for those who seek more than basic communication capabilities. I'm sure we could lock a bunch of the world's best linguists in a room to develop schematics for what would be a language, simply put, better than all others. My logic here is, and I'm presuming, no such scrutiny or thought has been put into the conception and development of existing languages.

Looking forward to hearing back from you. Also, how long have you been studying linguistics? Do you find it enjoyable?

Cheers,
Harvey
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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11/9/2015 1:29:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago

Hi Diqiucun,

No offence taken at all! I was actually tossing up between linguistics and philosophy myself for next year's study. It's brilliant to hear from someone with the knowledge you have on the topic.
http://i3.kym-cdn.com...
I'm not quite sure I agree with one point you make, however. You mentioned, should we have a single global language, dialects would appear very quickly. This I agree with totally. However, are you able to back up your claim that we'd get entirely different languages in just a matter of centuries? This might be obvious, but I wasn't sure. I understand that the dialects of XLanguage would be very different in Australia in comparison to China, but at what point would it become impossible to communicate with each other?
I actually had English in mind when I wrote that haha... Try comparing the English of Chaucer's day to present-day English. I put up a clip up there - try listening to it without looking at the text (present orthography retains a lot of pre-GVS features).
You also ask what sort of language structure would be new and optimised. I think we could simply create a language without the deficiencies you speak of to begin with. Something easy enough to acquire but with depth and richness for those who seek more than basic communication capabilities.
My point above was not that languages have deficiencies, but that they all have no problem functioning as working communicative/symbolic systems, for poverty of communicative ability or complexity of structure in one area is usually compensated by richness or simplicity in another. So this way, languages aren't *that* different from one another.

And where there *are* real decisions to be made as to whether a language needs to be more simple or more communicative, I've demonstrated above using the evidentiality example that where the cutoff ought to lie is inherently subjective, and very likely depends on the L1 of the learner.
I'm sure we could lock a bunch of the world's best linguists in a room to develop schematics for what would be a language, simply put, better than all others. My logic here is, and I'm presuming, no such scrutiny or thought has been put into the conception and development of existing languages.
Consider this: Linguists don't even have a good enough grip on how existing languages work, whether from the viewpoint of generative grammar, psycholinguistics or artificial intelligence. How can we, with our present knowledge (which consists of a wealth of competing models in pretty much every domain of linguistics) reliably determine with certainty what would be, say, easy to process?

And remember that how easy to process something is very much depends on the L1. The most obvious example is phoneme recognition. All babies can tell differences between phonemes in roughly the same way at birth, but after they acquire their L1, they can usually distinguish only phonemic contrasts that are present in the L1. How do you compensate this and make phonemic contrasts easy for everyone to acquire? And using only the most common phonemes isn't good enough - phonemic restoration is very much dependent on prosody, phonotactics and other factors.
Looking forward to hearing back from you. Also, how long have you been studying linguistics? Do you find it enjoyable?
I'm just a first-year student, but I've read a lot of books on it o_0
Cheers,
Harvey
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...