Is a Universal Language Just a Dream of The Future?

Last month, MIT claims suggest that we are closer to having found a “language universal” to tie all languages together.

All languages self-organize in such a way that related concepts stay as close together as possible within a sentence, making it easier to piece together the overall meaning. But just because that is true, are we really closer towards speaking the same tongue? Sure body language is one thing, but a common language that is tough to prove scientifically.

The author from ars technica points out that language universals are a big deal because they shed light on heavy questions about human cognition. The most famous proponent of the idea of language universals is Noam Chomsky, who suggested a “universal grammar” that underlies all languages. Finding a property that occurs in every single language would suggest that some element of language is genetically predetermined and perhaps that there is specific brain architecture dedicated to language.

Any characteristic that all languages have in common is of great interest to science. Researchers surveyed sentence samples from 37 languages and found that within a sentence, words are grouped together by concept more closely than can be explained by chance.

Also notable, is another recent publication by PNAS, that language contains a positive bias. Checkout this interesting data chart, which shows the distribution of perceived happiness levels and their sources:

Article: ARS Technica

Image: flickr (Fernando Marcelo Cañuelo)

Posted in Science & Technology, Futurism, Life & Health on Sep 27, 2015


Is a Universal Language Just a Dream of The Future?

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Interesting to think about, I wonder if we'll have interface technology that will bridge the gap soon! A live translator.

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