In other words, Is there an internal measure/index of "cohesion" of language?
I was thinking of the contrast between artificial languages that machines or humans produce, and natural languages. The principal question is: When evaluating a language, can we say that this language is probably natural or artificial? how so?
My guess is to say that we can indeed tell difference; that there is some kind of internal 'harmony' or 'simplicity' or 'strong order' of the artificial language, which I will call here "cohesion". This term is not well defined here obviously, for I can't define what I still not sure what it is, but one can have in mind the principal question outlined above.
The idea here that natural living languages are subject, through the years, to many external (or even internal) "perturbations", thus we end up with language like modern-English that has its vocabulary dramatically influenced by foreign forces. It also has many irregularities of verbs inclinations. I ask: can we discern or quantify this trait just from evaluating the language by itself. The motivation for the measure being internal and independent is at least two-fold:
- Our knowledge is limited and might be even wrong. Here the motivation is rather to "create"/"discover" some kind of new information. Actually our knowledge of influences might be used to verify and evaluate the model post-factum, as they are probably correlated.
- Maybe a language can incorporate/absorb new terms, vocabulary and ideas and still keep its 'cohesion' high
What I'm primarily look for is a measure - a continuum - with which even two natural languages can be compared. not necessarily an artificial language should be involved - it is just the extreme case (i.e., I do expect to find artificial languages in one side of the continuum). I suspect the "level of cohesion" between languages is different and might reflect and give us insight about several things...
Edit 2: following a discussion in comments. I should explain that we can assume we understand the language (i.e., it's not language(?) in the Voynich manuscript, but rather Spanish, Akkadian, old-English, modern-English, etc...), but for the sake of the question, let us assume also we know nothing but the language itself (i.e., no history or even other languages)