Caroline Pierce is a recent graduate of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. There she developed an interdisciplinary concentration titled “Human Imitation: The Science behind the Dramatic Arts.” Her interest resides in the evolution of imitative behaviors in monkeys and humans, and how this evolution has led to man’s creative abilities. In the fall, she will be attending the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris, France.
Project: The Frequency of Morphological Correlations among the World’s Languages
This project is to look at orthographic data from 27 of the world’s languages, ranging from the Semitic to the Indo-European language families, to observe the frequency of the occurrence of particular letter sequences. Study will begin of the occurrence of two-letter sequences (bigrams) and move through three-letter sequences (trigrams), etc., all the while observing the meaningful letter sequences (morphemes) that the differing languages have in common. Those languages with alphabets outside of the Roman alphabet will be romanized, as will those with ideographic writing systems, to allow comparison of cross-linguistic letter sequences. The varying lexical-alphabetic densities among the languages will be compared. For each language, which letters and letter sequences are found more frequently within the lexicon? How do these frequencies compare cross-linguistically? Finally, this data will be compared with the standard phylogenetic tree of these languages’ orthographies.
Favorite Three-Color Cellular Automaton