# Linguistic analysis of math as it is written?

• April 18th, 2014, 12:33 PM
GiantEvil
Linguistic analysis of math as it is written?
Does there exist any linguistic analysis of math as it is written?
I googled this up; Computational linguistics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But it seems to reference a computational approach to linguistics, as opposed to what I'm looking for, a linguistic analysis of the written expression of mathematics.
As a very niave example, in a common equation constants and variables would be like nouns, and operators would be like verbs.
• April 18th, 2014, 01:27 PM
Strange
Well, there are algorithms for parsing expressions used in things like compilers and so on. But I can't think of anything really equivalent to linguistic analysis or metaphors.
Parsing Expressions by Recursive Descent
• April 18th, 2014, 01:50 PM
GiantEvil
^ That would seem to be related to what I'm after. I suppose I need to engage in some more pedagogical study of linguistics before any such work might be of use.
Thanks though.
• April 18th, 2014, 02:28 PM
JonG
Quote:

Does there exist any linguistic analysis of math as it is written?

One could give a linguistric description of maths as it is written, but it would be excessively tiresome to read. Essentially, it would involve describing the mathematical operations in words, for example, the integral of x squared with respect to x between x equals 1 and x equals 2. This kind of description would only be understandable to someone who understands the shorthand mathematical description and would be of little use.
A general problem with linguistic descriptions is that they tend to cover a range of meanings, as they have to do. In mathematics, "+" denotes addition in a rigidly defined way. However, someone might say, " I love sunsets in June, plus the warmer weather", where the word plus simply means "together with" rather than "+" in a mathematical sense.
• April 18th, 2014, 08:02 PM
dan hunter