Many complex systems have a generative, or linguistic, aspect: life is written in the language of DNA; protein structure is written in a language of amino acids, and human endeavour is often written in text. Are there universal aspects of the relationship between sequence and structure? I am trying to answer this question using models of random languages. Recently I proposed a model of random context-free languages  and showed using simulations that the model has a transition from an unintelligent phase to an ordered phase. In the former, produced sequences look like noise, while in the latter they have a nontrivial Shannon entropy; thus the transition corresponds to the emergence of information-processing in the language.
In this talk I will explain the basics of natural language syntax, without assuming any prior knowledge of linguistics. I will present the results from the model above, and explain how the model is related to complex matrix models with disorder .