Trying to produce a mathematical model of the language barrier
Some research notes by William Overington
This web page is started on Monday 25 April 2016
I have for some time been researching on communication through the language barrier using a collection of whole sentences each encoded as a Unicode character.
The idea is that the sentences are thus each localizable into any language that the recipient of a message thus encoded chooses, with the facility to include within the message plain text as well, such as names.
For example, the system could be applied to seeking information about relatives and friends after a disaster in situations where the enquirer and the information management centre staff do not share a common language.
The system has various limitations such as which sentences can be encoded due to the need for each sentence to be grammatically stand-alone, and the fact that only a relatively small selection of sentences could be encoded from amongst the vast, possibly infinite, number of sentences that can be written.
However, for some applications the system could well be extremely useful.
I have produced various document elsewhere in relation to the invention itself.
In these notes I am trying to mathematically model the language barrier.
So where to start?
Please imagine a three-dimensional space with coordinates x, y, z such that x goes from left to right, y goes from front to back and z goes from down to up.
In practice, for this model, just use z from 0 upwards.
Please imagine that the language barrier is located within that space as y goes from 0 to 1.
So it is like a huge thick wall preventing movement from negative y to positive y.
Should I have located the barrier as y goes from -1 to +1 so that the barrier would be symmetrical about the origin of the coordinate system ? Maybe, but I thought that unit thickness starting at 0 would be best for a first mathematical model of the language barrier and so I proceed with that at present.
Suppose that, in this model, each sentence in a language can be represented by a rod of unit length with its ends located at (p, 0, r) and (p, 1, r) in (x, y, z) space for some values of p and r.
The rods are all bundled together in no particular manner other than that they are all parallel to each other so that the language barrier is produced.
They are not infinitely thin as for a mathematical line between two mathematical points as each rod is considered to be made of some material, not all rods being made of the same material.
Yet all but infinitely thin so that they all stack together to produce a language barrier.
I did think of having the rods of varying lengths, so as to indicate the difficulty of translating a sentence, but have decided on fixed length rods, with the material of a particular rod giving a qualitative idea of the complexity of transaltion of a particular sentence.
I realize that such a comparison will not always be possible between any two given sentences, but a broad qualiative distinction between two sentences of obviously different levels of complexity is useful.
It is then possible to consider various methods of communicating through the language barrier.
One method is to learn a new language, to a basic level.
This allows some of the sentences to be translated.
Using localizable sentence technology will, for each sentence encoded, allow communication through one and only one of the rods.
I have thought of this as producing a tunnel through the language barrier.
This reminded me of the tunnel diode, a semiconductor device.
Wednesday 27 April 2016
Here is a link to a pdf document about tunnel diodes.