Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax]
On Mon, Oct 20, 2003 at 12:23:04PM -0400, Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> on Mon, 20 Oct 2003 01:40:19PM +0200, David Jardine insinuated:
> > Depends what you mean by purity. By European language standards
> > it's fairly pure in the sense of not being cluttered up with things
> > like redundant inflections, but this is probably because it is
> > impure in the sense of having been knocked around by neighbouring
> > languages and dialects until there's not much left of it apart from
> > what's really necessary to communicate.
> you're kidding, right? if i read you right, you're stating that
> "there's not much left of [English] apart from what's really necessary
> to communicate"? on the contrary -- it's one of the richest, least
> threadbare languages there is!
I wasn't kidding and I don't think you read me right. I wasn't
talking about poverty - in fact I wasn't making any statements
about the language but simply trying to clear up a misunderstanding
arising from the way people were using the word "purity".
How much you can communicate and with what precision you can
communicate subtle differences is a question of the richness or
poverty of a language. How little redundancy such as gender
agreement or vowel harmony etc is involved is what one of the
posters meant by purity.