Re: Posthuman Language

From: scerir (
Date: Wed Nov 28 2001 - 06:57:45 MST

> And even if a posthuman utterance of stupefying complexity and depth were
> translatable (by the posthuman, of course) portion-by-portion into English,
> it seems to me perfectly possible that no human would be able to construe
> the utterance.
> Damien Broderick

Right. And tested.

- - - - - -

"In 1603, the Jesuit Ludovico Bertonio (Arte de la lengua Aymara) described
the Aymara language (still partially spoken by Indians living between Bolivia
and Peru) as endowed with an immense flexibility and capability of
accommodating neologisms, particularly adapted to the expression
of abstract concepts, so much so as to raise a suspicion that it was an
artificial invention. Later this language was described as the language
of Adam, founded upon necessary and immutable ideas", a philosophical
language if ever there were, and obviously somebody discovered that it had
Semitic roots."

"Recent studies have established Aymara is not based on an Aristotelian
two-valued logic (either True or False), but on a three-valued logic it is, therefore,
capable of expressing modal subtleties which other languages can only capture
through complex circumlocutions. Thus there have been proposals to use
Aymara to resolve all problems of computer translation. Unfortunately, it has
been demonstrated that the Aymara would greatly facilitate the translation of any
other idiom into its own terms, but not the other way around. Thus, because of
its perfection, Aymara can render every thought expressed in other mutually
untranslatable languages, but the price to pay for it is that (once the perfect
language has resolved these thoughts into its own terms), they cannot be
translated back into our natural native idioms. Aymara is a Black Hole."

- Umberto Eco

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