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Some Languages are Harder than Others

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Taylor Lemley

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Some Languages are Harder than Others

Some Languages are Harder than Others

What is difficulty?
Supporting Info
Relative difficulty: how hard is it to get to there from here?
"Writing system and spelling can be considered as external to the language."
Hawaiian vs. !Xóõ
Simplicity of one part of a language can be balanced by complexity in another
Emily's drawings
Taylor Lemley, Kyle Nemergut, Emily Royer, Stu Smith, Joe Szabo
What did the author decide?
"In a fairly complicated way, and in certain respects, some languages are harder than others. Furthermore, there is no single scale for measuring simplicity in language...The real problem is when we try to figure out the possible trading relationships between the different scales. For example: does simplification on one scale lead to complication on another? Summing up: Some languages appear to be harder than others but it is hard to explain exactly why and to what extent."
(let's break it down into morphemes...)
Grammar, vocabulary, and rules of usage - levels on which you can analyze a language
One can never be done learning vocabulary
Not looking at orthography
Similarity (or dissimilarity) of cultures
Our Opinions
Taylor: Not a Myth
Kyle: Not a Myth
Emily: Not a Myth
Stu: Not a Myth
Joe: Not a Myth
Full transcript