Syntax

How Linguists try to Decipher the Monkey Language

Campell Monkey

It was pretty clear that "krak" ist the Campell Monkey term for "Leopard in sight", as scientists determined it by observing them in their home forests of Ivory Coast. Research revealed: The Campell Monkey vocabulary differenciates in this regard between hawks, leopards, and other but minor potential sources of danger. You need to know by here that those monkeys are famous for their advanced communication forms with rudiment syntax. Ok, so the assumption, "krak" means "Leopard" was stable until they found recently Campell Monkeys on Tiwai Island in Sierra Leone, that use the same vocabulary but obviuosly with a different meaning - as there are no leopards on this island. As they failed to get a plausible explanation they with their current approach, they startet to think in more linguistic patterns and to apply linguistic methodology - and finally encountered a solution that seems to be rather promising:

Here’s where it gets tricky: word meanings tend to be contextual. In human language, we choose the most specific term available and, when we don’t, the listener infers that there is a special reason why we opted for a relatively vague word. Simply put, “words compete with each other,” Schlenker says. “And you use the more informative one.”

 

See the article on the Scientific American: Monkey See, Monkey Speak

Or read the paper by Philippe Schlenker et al.: Monkey semantics: two ‘dialects’ of Campbell’s monkey alarm calls

Image: "Cercopithecus campbelli lowei“ von Badgernet - Eigenes Werk. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons.

Richtig falsch geschrieben ist gut gedroht

Gut zu wissen...

Richtig falsch zu schreiben erfordert also ein beträchtliches Können und zudem eine Disziplin, die viele Autoren nicht aufbringen: Wer sich auf Rechtschreibfehler konzentriert, vernachlässigt oft die notwendigen Verstöße gegen die Grammatik und umgekehrt.

FAZ.NET Erpresserbriefe: Richtig falsches Deutsch zu schreiben ist sehr schwer

German is one of the ten weirdest languages in the world

Eine Gruppe von NLPlern hat die Sprachen der Welt auf die Häufigkeit bestimmte Phänomene und Strukturen hin untersucht und nun ein Ranking der Weirdest Languages aufgestellt: Sehr interessant und unterhaltsam!

The World Atlas of Language Structures evaluates 2,676 different languages in terms of a bunch of different language features. These features include word order, types of sounds, ways of doing negation, and a lot of other things—192 different language features in total.

So rather than take an English-centric view of the world, WALS allows us take a worldwide view. That is, we evaluate each language in terms of how unusual it is for each feature.

(gefunden bei Nerdcore)