An agglutinative language is a type of synthetic language with morphology that primarily uses agglutination. Words may contain different morphemes to determine their meanings, but all of these morphemes (including stems and affixes) remain, in every aspect, unchanged after their unions. This results in generally more easily deducible word meanings if compared to fusional languages, which allow modifications in either or both the phonetics or spelling of one or more morphemes within a word. This usually results in a shortening of the word, or it provides easier pronunciation.
Agglutinative languages have generally one grammatical category per affix while fusional languages have multiple. The term was introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt to classify languages from a morphological point of view. It is derived from the Latin verb agglutinare, which means "to glue together".
Non-agglutinative synthetic languages are fusional languages; morphologically, they combine affixes by "squeezing" them together, drastically changing them in the process, and joining several meanings in a single affix (for example, in the Spanish word comí "I ate", the suffix -í carries the meanings of first person, singular number, past tense, perfective aspect, indicative mood, active voice.) The term agglutinative is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for synthetic. Used in this way, the term embraces both fusional languages and inflected languages. The agglutinative and fusional languages are two ends of a continuum, with various languages falling more toward one or the other end. For example, Japanese is generally agglutinative, but displays fusion in otōto (弟, younger brother), from oto+hito (originally woto+pito), and in its non-affixing verb conjugations. A synthetic language may use morphological agglutination combined with partial usage of fusional features, for example in its case system (e.g., German, Dutch, and Persian).
Agglutinative languages tend to have a high rate of affixes or morphemes per word, and to be very regular, in particular with very few irregular verbs. For example, Japanese has very few irregular verbs – only two are significantly irregular, and there are only about a dozen others with only minor irregularity; Ganda has only one (or two, depending on how "irregular" is defined); while in the Quechua languages, all the ordinary verbs are regular. Korean has only ten irregular forms of conjugation except for the passive and causative conjugations. Georgian is an exception; it is highly agglutinative (with up to eight morphemes per word), but it has a significant number of irregular verbs with varying degrees of irregularity.
- "Agglutinative Language" | 2019-11-19 | 59 Upvotes 29 Comments
In the history of artificial intelligence, an AI winter is a period of reduced funding and interest in artificial intelligence research. The term was coined by analogy to the idea of a nuclear winter. The field has experienced several hype cycles, followed by disappointment and criticism, followed by funding cuts, followed by renewed interest years or decades later.
The term first appeared in 1984 as the topic of a public debate at the annual meeting of AAAI (then called the "American Association of Artificial Intelligence"). It is a chain reaction that begins with pessimism in the AI community, followed by pessimism in the press, followed by a severe cutback in funding, followed by the end of serious research. At the meeting, Roger Schank and Marvin Minsky—two leading AI researchers who had survived the "winter" of the 1970s—warned the business community that enthusiasm for AI had spiraled out of control in the 1980s and that disappointment would certainly follow. Three years later, the billion-dollar AI industry began to collapse.
Hype is common in many emerging technologies, such as the railway mania or the dot-com bubble. The AI winter was a result of such hype, due to over-inflated promises by developers, unnaturally high expectations from end-users, and extensive promotion in the media . Despite the rise and fall of AI's reputation, it has continued to develop new and successful technologies. AI researcher Rodney Brooks would complain in 2002 that "there's this stupid myth out there that AI has failed, but AI is around you every second of the day." In 2005, Ray Kurzweil agreed: "Many observers still think that the AI winter was the end of the story and that nothing since has come of the AI field. Yet today many thousands of AI applications are deeply embedded in the infrastructure of every industry."
Enthusiasm and optimism about AI has increased since its low point in the early 1990s. Beginning about 2012, interest in artificial intelligence (and especially the sub-field of machine learning) from the research and corporate communities led to a dramatic increase in funding and investment.
Attempto Controlled English (ACE) is a controlled natural language, i.e. a subset of standard English with a restricted syntax and restricted semantics described by a small set of construction and interpretation rules. It has been under development at the University of Zurich since 1995. In 2013, ACE version 6.7 was announced.
ACE can serve as knowledge representation, specification, and query language, and is intended for professionals who want to use formal notations and formal methods, but may not be familiar with them. Though ACE appears perfectly natural – it can be read and understood by any speaker of English – it is in fact a formal language.
ACE and its related tools have been used in the fields of software specifications, theorem proving, text summaries, ontologies, rules, querying, medical documentation and planning.
Here are some simple examples:
- Every woman is a human.
- A woman is a human.
- A man tries-on a new tie. If the tie pleases his wife then the man buys it.
ACE construction rules require that each noun be introduced by a determiner (a, every, no, some, at least 5, ...). Regarding the list of examples above, ACE interpretation rules decide that (1) is interpreted as universally quantified, while (2) is interpreted as existentially quantified. Sentences like "Women are human" do not follow ACE syntax and are consequently not valid.
Interpretation rules resolve the anaphoric references in (3): the tie and it of the second sentence refer to a new tie of the first sentence, while his and the man of the second sentence refer to a man of the first sentence. Thus an ACE text is a coherent entity of anaphorically linked sentences.
The Attempto Parsing Engine (APE) translates ACE texts unambiguously into discourse representation structures (DRS) that use a variant of the language of first-order logic. A DRS can be further translated into other formal languages, for instance AceRules with various semantics, OWL, and SWRL. Translating an ACE text into (a fragment of) first-order logic allows users to reason about the text, for instance to verify, to validate, and to query it.
- "Attempto Controlled English" | 2019-09-12 | 243 Upvotes 60 Comments
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his sceptical nature had led him to feel that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense." Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.
In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism". He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics, the quintessential work of classical logic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy". His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system) and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics.
Russell was a prominent anti-war activist and he championed anti-imperialism. Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would "welcome with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, Russell concluded that war against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought".
- "Bertrand Russell" | 2019-05-05 | 12 Upvotes 5 Comments
"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is a grammatically correct sentence in American English, often presented as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated linguistic constructs through lexical ambiguity. It has been discussed in literature in various forms since 1967, when it appeared in Dmitri Borgmann's Beyond Language: Adventures in Word and Thought.
The sentence employs three distinct meanings of the word buffalo:
- as a proper noun to refer to a specific place named Buffalo, the city of Buffalo, New York, being the most notable;
- as a verb (uncommon in regular usage) to buffalo, meaning "to bully, harass, or intimidate" or "to baffle"; and
- as a noun to refer to the animal, bison (often called buffalo in North America). The plural is also buffalo.
An expanded form of the sentence which preserves the original word order is: "Buffalo bison, that other Buffalo bison bully, also bully Buffalo bison."
- "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" | 2020-02-10 | 29 Upvotes 19 Comments
- "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" | 2018-11-06 | 18 Upvotes 6 Comments
- "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" | 2016-05-08 | 52 Upvotes 17 Comments
- "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" | 2010-02-03 | 174 Upvotes 69 Comments
Bullshit (also bullcrap) is a common English expletive which may be shortened to the euphemism bull or the initialism B.S. In British English, "bollocks" is a comparable expletive. It is mostly a slang term and a profanity which means "nonsense", especially as a rebuke in response to communication or actions viewed as deceptive, misleading, disingenuous, unfair or false. As with many expletives, the term can be used as an interjection, or as many other parts of speech, and can carry a wide variety of meanings. A person who communicates nonsense on a given subject may be referred to as a "bullshit artist".
In philosophy and psychology of cognition the term "bullshit" is sometimes used to specifically refer to statements produced without particular concern of truth, to distinguish from a deliberate, manipulative lie intended to subvert the truth.
While the word is generally used in a deprecatory sense, it may imply a measure of respect for language skills or frivolity, among various other benign usages. In philosophy, Harry Frankfurt, among others, analyzed the concept of bullshit as related to, but distinct from, lying.
As an exclamation, "Bullshit!" conveys a measure of dissatisfaction with something or someone, but this usage need not be a comment on the truth of the matter.
- "Bullshit asymmetry principle" | 2018-10-10 | 85 Upvotes 37 Comments
Cuisenaire rods are mathematics learning aids for students that provide an interactive, hands-on way to explore mathematics and learn mathematical concepts, such as the four basic arithmetical operations, working with fractions and finding divisors. In the early 1950s, Caleb Gattegno popularised this set of coloured number rods created by the Belgian primary school teacher Georges Cuisenaire (1891–1975), who called the rods réglettes.
According to Gattegno, "Georges Cuisenaire showed in the early 1950s that students who had been taught traditionally, and were rated ‘weak’, took huge strides when they shifted to using the material. They became 'very good' at traditional arithmetic when they were allowed to manipulate the rods."
- "Cuisenaire rods" | 2015-07-31 | 43 Upvotes 20 Comments
The word dord is a dictionary error in lexicography. It was accidentally created, as a ghost word, by the staff of G. and C. Merriam Company (now part of Merriam-Webster) in the New International Dictionary, second edition (1934). That dictionary defined the term a synonym for density used in physics and chemistry in the following way: "dord (dôrd), n. Physics & Chem. Density."
Philip Babcock Gove, an editor at Merriam-Webster who became editor-in-chief of Webster's Third New International Dictionary, wrote a letter to the journal American Speech, fifteen years after the error was caught, in which he explained how the "dord" error was introduced and corrected.
On 31 July 1931, Austin M. Patterson, the dictionary's chemistry editor, sent in a slip reading "D or d, cont./density." This was intended to add "density" to the existing list of words that the letter "D" can abbreviate. The phrase "D or d" was misinterpreted as a single, run-together word: Dord. This was a plausible mistake, because headwords on slips were typed with spaces between the letters, so "D or d" looked very much like "D o r d". The original slip went missing, so a new slip was prepared for the printer, which assigned a part of speech (noun) and a pronunciation. The would-be word was not questioned or corrected by proofreaders. The entry appeared on page 771 of the dictionary around 1934, between the entries for Dorcopsis (a type of small kangaroo) and doré (golden in color).
On 28 February 1939, an editor noticed "dord" lacked an etymology and investigated, discovering the error. An order was sent to the printer marked "plate change/imperative/urgent". The non-word "dord" was excised; "density" was added as an additional meaning for the abbreviation "D or d" as originally intended, and the definition of the adjacent entry "Doré furnace" was expanded from "A furnace for refining dore bullion" to "a furnace in which dore bullion is refined" to close up the space. Gove wrote that this was "probably too bad, for why shouldn't dord mean 'density'?" In 1940, bound books began appearing without the ghost word, although inspection of printed copies well into the 1940s show "dord" still present. The entry "dord" was not completely removed until 1947.
- "Dord" | 2019-03-03 | 24 Upvotes 1 Comments
In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect (sometimes called oronyms). The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease". An eggcorn can be described as an intra-lingual phono-semantic matching, a matching in which the intended word and substitute are from the same language.
- "Eggcorn" | 2010-07-09 | 14 Upvotes 14 Comments