Why do my questions about collision entropy of languages, such as this one, get downvoted? And it's not just on this forum. The situation is similar on other forums about linguistics.

I have done quite a bit of research before asking that question, I've done the actual measurements, which you can see in the table. That is quite a bit more research than what's behind, for example, this question of mine, which got quite a few upvotes.

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It may be because they don't clearly relate to the field of linguistics.

Asking about sound correspondences in the PIE etymology of an Armenian word is clearly a historical linguistics question, about how languages evolve over time. The likelihood of two randomly-chosen letters in a written text corresponding, on the other hand, isn't obviously a linguistic one. It's like how a question about text compression wouldn't necessarily be of interest to linguists, even though a good compression algorithm relies on properties of writing systems.

Entropy calculations absolutely can be linguistically interesting, but most of us can't read Czech, and in the absence of your actual paper it looks more like a codebreaking question than a linguistic one. You're asking whether this calculation relates to things that linguists have studied, which comes off as if you're searching for a connection to linguistics rather than investigating one.

The questions may be better-received if you focus on the linguistic aspects specifically. For example, how does the collision entropy change if you look at a phonemic representation of English? That might be a way to measure the "depth" of an orthography. Does this measurement give us any new insights into the difference between orthographies? Does it work for writing systems that aren't alphabets?

  • I asked it on a forum about linguistics because I expected the answer to come from historical linguistics. I expected the answer to be something along the lines of: "Because the mantra 'English is spelt as it was pronounced around the invention of the printing press.' is not true. The silent 'e' is way more common today than final 'e' ever was in spoken English. Look at the numbers 1-10: the silent 'e' in 'five' (Old English 'fif') and 'nine' (Old English 'nigon') was never pronounced.". Or something like that... Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:05
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    @FlatAssembler If that's the sort of answer you're looking for, I'd recommend rephrasing the question—asking specifically about the history of the English and French writing systems, for example.
    – Draconis Mod
    Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 19:19
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    @FlatAssembler To this linguist, that sounds like a reasonable question which has nothing to do with collision entropy
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 1:36

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