Open webOS indeed
Posted Jun 29, 2012 22:24 UTC (Fri) by man_ls
In reply to: Open webOS indeed
Parent article: Open webOS "Community Edition" released
I think you are right: anyway the informational content of each language is not a good measure of anything -- specially if you take written language as a rule. Some languages like English contort the written form so much that it seems arbitrary. Others like French contort the spoken form so much that the amount of information per phoneme is completely different than information per letter. In Spanish or (even better) German pronunciation is mostly literal, but spoken dialects often depart dramatically from it in colloquial dialogue.
I once computed the Zipf exponents for a number of written works taken from the Gutenberg project; it seemed to me that Russian was the most compact language, but it depended greatly on the author. This particular computation depends on the choice of words, not on meaning, but it should correlate somehow with the information content.
In this case what really matters is rules of pronunciation and of syllabic division. And a stupid similarity between words of different languages. This kind of paronymia (similar unrelated words) has always fascinated me: how "island" and "isle", with similar meanings, come from completely different roots.
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