From: Derek Gatherer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 05 May 2005 - 08:25:01 GMT
>Well, lack of precision does not preclude comparison, it just makes it
>coarse grained. For example, take this quote from Chaucer:
> I warne yow wel, it is no childes pley.
>Eight memes (lexemes), counting 'childes pley' as one, six mutations
>(including short to long 'i' in 'childes') in over more than 600 years.
>Millions of replications, at least. That's gotta be slower than the flu, no?
600 years is a mere 20 human generations. 20 flu generations is probably
less than 60 days. How much does a flu virus mutate in 60 days? In any
case, to what extent are orthographical changes cultural mutations? Does
that not assume that culture is somehow coded in language? Couldn't it be
coded in something else (eg a mentalese?) or not coded at all?
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