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Day forty-four -- About the differences among languages

      Regardless of whether the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis is true or false, it touches the "core" issue of linguistics: "Is the obvious difference among natural languages superficial or fundamental?"

      There is obvious difference between a brain cell and a toe nail cell. Yet, the "Theory of cell differentiation," based on the cell differences, can be identical to the "Theory of stem cell," based on the master cell, as both theories have the identical domain and the identical predictions.

      Thus, can the "Linguistic Relativity Theory" and the "Linguistic Universality Theory" be also identical to each other?

      How can we determine that two theories are truly different? However different two theories are superficially, they are identical if and only if both conditions below are met.
         1. They have identical domain.
         2. They have identical predictions.

      Practically, two competing theories are always sharing an identical domain. If not, they are not truly competing theories, but different species. Thus, their predictions are the only factor to differentiate them.

      As the PreBabel (Proper) is the true universal language, the issue of "Relativity vs Universality" is also the core issue for PreBabel. And, it is vitally important to know whether they are identical to or different from each other. Thus, I would like to show one actual example of how to differentiate theories.

      Last week, there was a news that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was finally in operation the first time, after spent over 50 billion US dollars. This test is trying to select a winner from, at least, four competing theories.
         1. Standard Model -- It states that quarks are the "rock bottom" building blocks of the universe. That is, there is no internal structure for quarks.
            Prediction -- there is a Higgs boson which gives quarks their "mass".
         2. Supersymmetry Theory -- It states:
               1. quarks are the "rock bottom" building blocks of the universe,
               2. quarks have a property of supersymmetry.

            Prediction -- quarks have a set of supersymmetry partners, such as quark with squark, lepton with slepton, etc..
         3. Superstring Theory -- It states:
               1. quarks are the "rock bottom" building blocks of the universe,
               2. quarks are not traditional particles (ball-like object) but are strings (like a rubber band).

            Prediction -- There are more dimensions than the known 4-spacetime dimensions. Some models of the Superstring have 26 dimensions.
         4. Prequark Chromodynamics -- It states:
               1. quarks are "not" the rock bottom building blocks of the universe,
               2. quarks are composed of "Prequarks," and there are only two Prequarks (V, A).

            Prediction -- There are more dimensions than the known 4-spacetime dimensions, eleven (11) dimensions to be exact, no more nor less.

      These four theories share the identical domain, "what are the rock bottom building blocks of the universe?" Seemingly, their hypotheses (the beginning) are dramatically different from one another. Yet, 99% of their predictions are the same; there are quarks and Higgs boson. In fact, the Standard Model is a proper subset of all other three theories. If the Higgs boson is discovered in the near future by LHC, only the Standard Model will be viewed as truth while the other three (also predicting Higgs boson) will be false according to the Occam's razor. Yet, although those three theories are expelled from the "Hall of Fame Truth" by the Occam's razor, they could still be competing theories as long as the Standard Model is their proper subset. For any one of those three, only when its "unique" prediction is verified, it will become the truth while the Standard Model (the proper subset) becomes false, as the Standard Model failed to predict that unique fact.

      Although the LHC can produce energy "20 times or more" more than any laboratory in the world, its energy might still not be high enough to produce prequarks. Yet, the prediction of the Prequark Chromodynamics can still have a chance to be verified. If the Higgs boson is found, its decaying pathways could reveal whether there is any extra dimension(s) in addition to the known four. If such an extra dimension is found, both Prequark Chromodynamics and Superstring theory will come alive (from the slaughter of Occam's razor) and become the major players in the field.

      This is a life example which expresses two points:
         1. How does Occam's razor work?
         2. How to distinguish different theories?
      And, a) and b) are working together.

      In short, the different hypotheses will not guarantee that two theories are, indeed, different. The only way to differentiate theories is by checking their predictions. As both the "Linguistic Relativity Theory" and the "Linguistic Universality Theory" do not have fully formalized theory with precise predicting power (the similar precise prediction power of the four theories in the above example) thus far, thus, I will volunteer myself to formulate one theory on this issue -- whether the obvious difference among natural languages is superficially or fundamental? -- in my future posts. My "guess", now, is that the "Linguistic Relativity Theory" and the "Linguistic Universality Theory" are the identical theory. They are the two sides of the same coin.


Signature --
PreBabel is the true universal language, it is available at
http://www.prebabel.info

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