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I am looking for a word that can be used to describe a system (or a model) with a small number of rules or assumptions. For example, the number of grammatical rules in Japanese is much lower than in Russian.

The meaning I want is close to: concise, succinct or terse, except that these words specifically mean "expressed in few words," while I am looking for something that is more abstract, and describes the low count of assumptions, rules, and statements.

Saying "Japanese is a more concise language than Russian" would mean that ideas can be expressed with fewer words in Japanese than they can in Russian, which is not at all what I want to say.

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Anything wrong with simple? –  Alain Pannetier Φ Jul 19 '11 at 15:17
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I am confused. Are you looking for a general word for a system with a small number of rules, as your first sentence suggests, or for a highly specialized word targeted specifically at pointing out the difference between Japanese and Russian? Please clarify. I also reject your premise that "the number of grammatical rules in Japanese is much lower than in Russian". Japanese might be less inflecting than Russian, but that doesn't mean that it has fewer rules. –  RegDwigнt Jul 19 '11 at 15:21
    
languages comparison is an example. –  user93422 Jul 20 '11 at 16:21
    
@Alain Pannetier: Simple is to general. I am looking for a description of one particular aspect. –  user93422 Jul 20 '11 at 16:22
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2 Answers

I would say it:

Japanese is a more syntactically concise language than Russian

Thus specifying what is concise about the language.

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Syntax rules are just subset of all rules pertinent to a language. Plus I used language only as an example, I need a generally applicable term. –  user93422 Jul 20 '11 at 16:23
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I would just define it as 'compact'.

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