Could string theory and linguistics be related?

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scratch123
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Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Postby scratch123 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:56 pm UTC

Since a string is a fundamental object in physics maybe it could be a fundamental unit of meaning in linguistics as well. Each vibration of a string corresponds to a different word and when strings are joined together they form sentences. Other structures commonly found in writing like paragraphs could be represented by branes.

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Iulus Cofield
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Re: Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

Only in the sense that what you are describing would be an elaborate series of probably confusing metaphors whose only purpose would be to illustrate linguistics in a manner familiar to string theorists.

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Re: Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

Yes, you can use a vaguely similar metaphor to talk about anything that fits smaller things together into larger things.

This doesn't actually imply any deeper relation between them, though.
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scratch123
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Re: Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Postby scratch123 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:02 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Yes, you can use a vaguely similar metaphor to talk about anything that fits smaller things together into larger things.

This doesn't actually imply any deeper relation between them, though.


By making this topic I was hoping I could expand this metaphor more. The more connections between string theory and linguistics I could find the more convincing the metaphor. After reading more on linguistics since I made this topic I better appriciate the difficulty of doing something like this. I still think its possible though.

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gmalivuk
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Re: Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:02 pm UTC

Why does the metaphor need to be convincing? What are you trying to convince people of? And why limit yourself to linguistics and string theory, when the set of "fields where bigger things are made from the interactions of smaller things" is much, much larger than those two.
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Re: Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Postby TimXCampbell » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

Well, let's see what connections I can draw between strings and language.

This forum has conversations in threads. That's kind of like string.

Quantum particles can become entangled. Now try saying, "The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep is sick" and see if your tongue does not become entangled (though ... with what?).

Cows cannot speak English. Cow also do not know string theory. There may be a connection.

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Re: Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Postby Aiwendil » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Cows cannot speak English. Cow also do not know string theory. There may be a connection.


You know, I think you're on to something here - another example of beings who neither speak English nor know string theory comes readily to mind: string theorists.


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