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so many homophones

As I enter Japanese words, sometimes I mess up, or am guessing at what I hear in anime. I've noticed that almost anything I enter still has a meaning according to my tools. And words with the same pronunciation seem more common than in English.

As W reminded me, Japanese doesn't have that many syllables. There are about 50 basic syllables, maybe 80 including the compounds like 'gyo'. At 50, there are 2500 pairs, and 125,000 triplets. Even a large vocabulary can fill up most of that. By contrast, I read once that English has over 1000 syllables, which means 1 million pairs, and 1 billion triplets. Mind you, many of those won't be pronounceable, or valid under English phonotactics, or distinct[1]. But still, lots of words -- even 99% discounting would mean 10 million triplets.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/464294.html#comments

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Damien Sullivan
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