Astrolinguistics: Design of a Linguistic System for Interstellar Communication Based on Logic

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Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 27, 2012 - Science - 248 pages
In linguistics, one of the main areas of modern research involves the capabilities and possibilities of there being a "lingua cosmica," a LINCOS, a universal language that could be used to communicate with non-human intelligences. This book touches on the area of the development and use of a "lingua universalis" for interstellar communication, but it also presents concepts that cover a broad area of linguistics. Chomsky's paradigm on universal properties of natural languages, for a long time a leading general theory of natural languages, includes the strong assumption that humans are born with some kind of universals stored in their brains. Are there universals of this kind of language used by intelligent beings and societies elsewhere in the universe? We do not know whether such languages exist. It seems to be impossible to determine, simply because the universe is too large for an exhaustive search. Even verification will be hard to obtain, without quite a bit of luck. This book uses astrolinguistic principles in message construction and is helpful in clarifying and giving perspective to discussions on existential questions such as these.
 

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Contents

Calculus of Constructions
1
Facts
39
Annotations in LINCOS
76
Interpretation of LINCOS
109
Processes in LINCOS
137
Symbolic Computation
160
UnCertainty
181
Appendix A Declaration of Principles Concerning the Conduct of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
195
Appendix B Preliminaries
197
Appendix C History
207
Appendix D A Gentle Introduction to Lambda and Types
217
Appendix E Postscriptum
227
Appendix F Summary in Russian
239
Appendix G Curriculum Vitae of Alexander Ollongren 1928 Sumatra
241
Index
243
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About the author (2012)

Alexander Ollongren began his career as a mathematical astronomer at the Dept. of Astronomy at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he obtained his PhD. He then left the university and worked almost two years in Celestial Mechanics at Yale University in the US. Ollongren returned to Holland and became director of the newly established computer center of Leiden University. He spent a sabbatical leave as a visiting scientist at the IBM Laboratory in Vienna and was later appointed full professor of theoretical computer science at the Dept. of Computer Science of Leiden University. He was a guest professor in the same science for about a year at Linkoping University in Sweden. After retirement he became a member of the Permanent Study Group Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (PSGSETI) of the International Astronautical Academy. He has written books and articles on the semantics of programming languages.

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