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Re: way-OT: regularity of german v. english [was: Re: OT - Programming Languages w/o English Syntax]



on Fri, 24 Oct 2003 12:11:49PM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:
> Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> >On Wed, Oct 22, 2003 at 06:47:13PM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:
> >
> >>Nori Heikkinen wrote:
> >>
> >>>on Sun, 19 Oct 2003 12:38:45PM -0700, Erik Steffl insinuated:
> >>
> >>...
> >>
> >>>>of course, you can create various complex and ambiguous sentences in 
> >>>>english, the point is that you can take few forms of sentences and
> >>>>have a working language (that's pretty much what BASIC (talking
> >>>>about programming language) is).
> >>>
> >>>you can do that in both languages.
> >>
> >> let's say you have a function called isRed(x) (returns true if x is 
> >>red). Now how would you call this function in german? it would never
> >>be in agreement with all possible x (grammatically). 
> >
> >
> >how so not?  
> >
> >istRot( dieGabel )
> >istRot( dasMesser )
> >istRot( derLoeffel )
> >
> >how are any of those less grammatical than their english equivalents:
> >
> >isRed( theFork )
> >isRed( theKnife )
> >isRed( theSpoon )
> >
> >??
> >
> >>not sure if this is the best example 
> >
> >
> >nope, guess not.  try again if you're trying to make a coherent
> >argument.
> >
> >
> >>- perhaps in this case it would be acceptable to use istRot,
> >>regardless of gender of x. 
> >
> >
> >in fact, in german, adjectives only agree with nouns if they
> >IMMEDIATELY PRECEDE the noun.  so you have "die Gabel ist rot" (the
> >fork is red), but "die rote Gabel" (the red fork) -- note that the
> >feminine "-e" only applies to the adjective "rot" in the case in which
> >it immediately precedes the noun.
> 
>   that's what I was confused about. doesn't Rot (in function name) 
> immediately precede the noun? shouldn't the function name be
> istRote(gabel)? I guess you could argue that even though it's
> written istRote(gabel) it really is ist gabel rot (because that
> would be proper question)

you just answered your own question here.  the implied sentence from
"istRot( gabel )" is "ist die Gabel rot?" -- and as you noted, in the
implied sentence, 'rot' does not immediately preced 'Gabel'.  note
that the exact same word-shuffling is necessary from *english* code to
an *english* grammatical sentence -- "isRed( fork )" --> "is the fork
red?".

you just illustrated the point i've been trying to make here -- in the
above two examples, neither english nor german code makes a
grammatical sentence.  both imply one, sure -- but that doesn't mean
either language is better suited to code than the other.

> >now, think of an example in which you encounter anything remotely like
> >full sentence structure in code, and try to apply this.  good luck.
> 
>   what about if the function name is verb? what if it's not a question?
> 
>   e.g. getRed(apple), or make(red, apple) etc.

boolisch bekommRot( Apfel ) { }
mach( rot, Apfel );

what's different from English about those two?  again, the implied
sentences are clear; the underlying code is equally as ungrammatical
in both.

</nori>

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