Some definitions of language, such as early versions of Charles Hockett's "design features" definition, emphasize the spoken nature of language. Mathematics would not qualify as a language under these definitions, as it is primarily a written form of communication (to see why, try reading Maxwell's equations out loud). However, these definitions would also disqualify sign languages, which are now recognized as languages in their own right, independent of spoken language.
Other linguists believe no valid comparison can be made between mathematics and language, because they are simply too different:
- Mathematics would appear to be both more and less than a language for while being limited in its linguistic capabilities it also seems to involve a form of thinking that has something in common with art and music. - Ford & Peat (1988)
Read more about this topic: Language Of Mathematics
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