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Re: OT: Asking for help

From:Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Date:Saturday, November 17, 2007, 8:10
On Nov 16, 2007 9:05 PM, Herman Miller <hmiller@...> wrote:
> While the Zireen are more like mammals than any other class, they also > have features of other kinds of animals. So some kind of pheromone > system is certainly possible. But for the reasons you mention, its > potential uses would be fairly limited.
Mind, the reasons I gave are valid for humans. There's no reason in principle why pheromones couldn't have chemical identifiers for both sender and recipient, for example. Or have variable degradation. Or be projected (a la spit)...
> > Well, think about the ways in which we can convey emotion (and the > > various hypothetical "free variation"s) other than through sheer > > pragmatics. Suppose all that was actually grammatical? What might it > > carry? > > On the one hand, it could be some aspect of meaning that affects an > entire utterance. So it would still be a modifier, but possibly > something like an evidential modifier. Alternatively, you could end up > with a language where the speaker (to human ears) would be giving off a > different emotion with each word: "zar" with an angry voice would mean > one thing, but "zar" with a weary voice would mean something completely > different. That could be interesting, and potentially more realistic > (alien-sounding), but when it comes down to it, I don't really want a > language that sounds like what a realistic alien language might sound > like. The chances of anything like human consonants and vowels being a > part of an alien language must be really low.
Mm. That's probably right; it'd also make reading their emotions that much more confusing, and possibly lead to all sorts of diplomatic hilarity. :-P I guess that asks a fundamental question, then - what *do* you want the language to sound like? And do you want it to be human-usable?
> Signed languages are interesting, but writing becomes a problem. I'm > sure there must be signed languages, but I've got enough to keep me busy > with just the vocal languages.
Take a look at David Peterson's "sign language IPA" (SLIPA). Not saying it's not still a fair endeavor to attempt, but there are resources to make it smoother. ;) - Sai


Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>