Re: splitting words (was Re: BIOTERRORISM: Our heads in the sand...)

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sun Oct 21 2001 - 17:57:55 MDT

On Sun, Oct 21, 2001 at 11:38:05AM +0100, Amara Graps wrote:
> wish for today:
> Please someone rearrange the neurons in my head to accept
> verbs both split at the end and in the middle of a sentence.
> (d'ya think we could do this in our extropian future?)

Having a reconfigurable language cortex would be great.

As a swede, I don't find the german verb splitting particularly
annoying. It is remembering the proper genus of all words which bothers
me - I think english does it right by ignoring it. On the other hand,
german and even more swedish have one feature which I think would be
useful in english: free word construction. In swedish it is completely
normal to put together prefixes and words into composite words:
tätningsbricketillverkningschef - grommet production chief :-) (and
that was just a short one). The benefit is that it is possible to
contruct new concepts as needed - sure, you can string together words in
english too using hyphens, but these are bona fide acceptable words and
far less contrieved (they also make writing swedish and german
spellcheckers tricky, since although the language itself has far fewer
words than english, they can be combined into a huge space of potential
correct words).

What I really want is good macros in language. And an extended
linguistic working memory so that more complex and evocative
sentences/concepts can be parsed with no risk for stack overflow. And
while we are at it, hypertext capabilities...

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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