Is language a search?

syntax_tree_for_colorless_green_ideas_sleep_furiosly

Given sentences can be expressed in a hierarchy / taxonomy that can have moveable, functional elements, are they amenable to exploitation / investigation by GAs? (We already know Markov Chains work – http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/idbots/ )

If All ideas can be expressed in language then could digitally evolved sentences be genuinely creative? It’s like genetic programming for people language 😀

H/T Mung.

18 thoughts on “Is language a search?

  1. Skinner vs Chomsky?

    Skinner invented a rather opaque language for expressing his theory that language learning is analogous to evolution, and that verbal utterances are chains of responses. Not entirely unlike the contortions of a squirrel that has to negotiate obstacles to get to the bird feeder.

  2. So Richard, adjectives are combined with nouns to create another (higher) level in the hierarchy, as adverbs are combined with verbs to create another (higher) level in the hierarchy?

    Because I am wondering why we cannot have sentences without adjectives and adverbs.

    Interesting idea though. And no two hour video to try to wade through. 😉

  3. I like the “colorless green” bit.

    What would have been nice would be another meaningless combination of words on the right hand side, like sleepless slumber.

    ETA: I bet this would be simpler in languages not English, lol.

  4. Mung:

    Because I am wondering why we cannot have sentences without adjectives and adverbs.

    Poor Mung. He thinks that diagram is an actual grammar.

  5. Mung:

    keiths is once again reading my mind.

    Imagine using their words as an indication of what a person is thinking. Preposterous.

  6. keiths: Imagine using their words as an indication of what a person is thinking. Preposterous.

    Yes, it is preposterous. Not only can you read minds you can time travel to do so.

    THINK, keiths.

    Whatever you think I was thinking, I am almost certainly not thinking that now. Not that you’d ever admit making such a fundamental error. Ever.

  7. Richardthughes: If he changed ‘is’ to ‘was’ would that get you passed your pedantry?

    Would it get me past his?

    Here I am trying to actually discuss your OP with you and keiths jumps in and tries to muck it all up. And you want to talk pedantry. Where does that fit your your hierarchy of sentence structure?

  8. keiths: Imagine using their words as an indication of what a person is thinking.

    Perhaps a better choice of words was in order, lol!

    People sometimes ask about my purpose here, and if I had to venture a guess as to keiths’ purpose here, it would be to break every irony meter in sight.

  9. It is not clear that all ideas* can be expressed in language, nor is it obvious how one could avoid the charge that if it is only those ideas* that can be expressed in language that are ideas, how that does not beg the question.

    Moreover, there is some talk of DNA sequences as a language, and if that is the case, what idea or ideas are being expressed, and where do they come from?

  10. Hmmm.
    Can all ideas be expressed in language. YES.
    Remember our language greatly uses our tones of voice. Most sentences might be dominated by tones. Thats why talking on the internet causes confusion unless people make sure they add to words !?.: and capitals etc.
    YET however much tones are used ALL of them could be articulated by words.
    So all ideas from man must be able, and are, to be expressed by language.

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