The Mathematics of Language

Upon doing research for my paper, I came across this article about how google translates between two languages.  It treats languages almost as another form of mathematics which I thought to be very interesting.  It basically compared two languages using what they call vectors.  An example of this would be, in English we start with the word King.  If we subtract the idea of man from king and later add the idea of woman, this would give us the word queen.  Similarly, in Spanish we can start with the word Rey, subtract the idea of man, add the idea of woman, and we end up with the word Reina.  It is a very difficult way to compare two languages, but apparently has been very helpful in creating translations between to languages.  Here is a copy of the link, if anyone is more interested in this idea of language as a mathematical concept.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/519581/how-google-converted-language-translation-into-a-problem-of-vector-space-mathematics/

Do you guys think that language can be comparable to mathematics, or do you think that this is an extreme jump between two very different subject areas?

 

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