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Re: OT: Asking for help

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Sunday, November 18, 2007, 3:39
Sai Emrys wrote:
> 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 > >