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Are Mathematicians Turning Soft?

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Author:Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
Description: An article about 'soft mathematics'. "...In order to capture some of the abstract patterns and structures of mind and language, linguists sometimes find it convenient (perhaps necessary) to make use of mathematics, or at least mathematical notation or techniques. The result is not that linguistics becomes part of mathematics, or even a "mathematical science" (in the sense of, say, physics). The aim is not to prove theorems. There might not be any relevant theorems to prove. Ever. There might not even be any deep or revealing definitions. The aim is to do linguistics, to understand language and investigate the way people use language to communicate.... I view it as an affirmation of the incredible power of mathematics that even its simplest elements can be put to good use by others."

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Linguistics

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