[FOM] expressive power of natural languages

americanmcgeesfr at gmx.net americanmcgeesfr at gmx.net
Wed Nov 30 14:36:47 EST 2011

Hello FOMers,

I was wondering if there is any (at least semi-)conclusive view about 
the expressive power of a natural language like english resulting in a 
statement like "whatever it is, it is a language of at least 2nd order". 
Of course, I know of Tarski´s comment suspecting natural languages to 
be somehow (semantically) universal. But what I´m interested in is a 
hint pointing me in a direction what to look for, i.e. is the fact that 
one quantifies over classes in a natural language enough to label it 
higher order? Can there be anything wrong to take it to be at least a 
many-sorted first-order language?

Alex Nowak

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