[OT] Why is it called string?

Brian Kelley bkelley at wi.mit.edu
Thu Aug 21 17:03:11 CEST 2003

This just goes to show that what is visible is usually the tip of the 

It turns out that the term "linguistic string" has been in use for a 
long time in the linguistics community to describe language syntax. 
Zellig Harris apparently used the term in some of his work (published 
around 1936).  In 1965 Naomi Sager used "linguistic string" theory to 
form the Linguistic String Project mainly used as an application toward 
medical documents using a controlled medical vocabulary.

linguistic string
      n : a linear sequence of words as spoken or written [syn: string,
           string of words, word string]

The earliest paper I can find directly related to Linguistic strings is:

Linguistic String Analysis (1960)
Naomi Sager, NYU

ALthough I'm fairly sure the term was widely used in the liguistic 
community in the 1950's.

So it seems that, indeed, the Incan's were first :)

Brian Kelley                                  bkelley at wi.mit.edu
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research   617 258-6191

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