Re: What are the densest languages, least dense you've studied?
Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:06 pm
donJhon wrote:I thought at first that you were talking about information density or why some languages sound faster than your own or others sound slower.
Yeah, I was talking about vocabulary density among different languages among various languages. The article was quite interesting though! I'm glad people have gave their thoughts about different languages, it's been interesting.
I would guess that vocabulary density is related to several factors.
- The ease with which the language borrows words from other languages. I gave a few examples of this in English such as American English using zucchini from Italian, while British English using courgette from French. Along with Am English using a purely English creation, eggplant, while Brit English preferring to use the French aubergine.
- The ease that new words can be formed in the language. In certain languages I think it is easier to borrow new words from other languages for scientific or complex ideas rather than create new words for the same thing.
- The age of the language or history of literary tradition. Languages like Russian with a long literary tradition possibly being more dense than Haitian Creole, a younger language than Russian and with less of a literary history.
This is just a few of my thoughts involving vocabulary density in various languages. I think these factors add to the number of synonyms within a language and different words to express a similar idea, thus increasing vocabulary density.
- I used vocabulary density here even though I found the phrasing a bit odd because I found that lexical density had a specific meaning that was not in line with what I was meaning. Vocabulary density, although off sounding, is truer to my actual meaning I think. That of comparing languages based on how many synonyms they have. Discussing subjectively based on personal feeling with languages you've studied is welcomed.