Article in Discover magazine

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at EARTHLINK.NET
Mon Mar 14 17:48:56 CST 2005

on 2005-03-14 08:34 Thomas G. Lammers wrote:
> All very true, but I bet it's even more fundamental than that.  I'll bet
> there is a formula that factors in number of phonemes in a language plus
> some sort of rules for linking them and will give you the maximum number of
> unique words of a given number of syllables that can be generated in that
> language.  And I'll just bet that if there are binomens instead of
> uninomens, that maximum is WAY bigger (a square, maybe).

I does differ mightily by language, though; in languages such as German
and Nahuatl that commonly form compounds, a single word might correspond
to several in English or French, and even more in Chinese.

Curtis Clark        
Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona                 +1 909 979 6371
Professor, Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4062

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