The reversal correction of the Behaghel Laws

Quantitative linguistics is a sub-discipline of general linguistics and, more specifically, of mathematical linguistics. It deals with the logical structure of language in a number of proposed laws. One of them, the Behaghel Laws, designed by the germanist Prof. Otto Behaghel describe the basic principles of the exact position of words and phrases in a sentence. They were formulated by the linguist Behaghel in the last volume of his four volume work Deutsche Syntax: Eine geschichtliche Darstellung (published 1923-1932). They include the four following cross-language principles: Elements that belong close together intellectually will also be placed close together (Behaghel’s First Law); That what is less important (or already known to the listener) is placed before that what is important. (Behaghel’s Second Law); The distinguishing phrase precedes that which is distinguished. (Behaghel’s Third Law); Given two phrases, when possible, the shorter precedes the longer. (Law of Increasing Terms (or Constituents)). So the monetary economist and linguist F.N. Heinsius hereby claims that the second principle should be turned the other way around and the most important part done first. The reader has the right to read the most important elements directly instead of later. (Heinsius' reversal correction)





© 2017 F.N. Heinsius