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Re: does Language require Deception to exist?

From:Remi Villatel <maxilys@...>
Date:Thursday, December 9, 2004, 23:21
Rodlox wrote:

> In order to have a language, does a species first need to be able to > lie/decieve/trick/fool/bluff others of their species?
> *If* a deception-free species could & did have a language, would it be > easily translatable?
> food for thought, yes?
Not much. ;-) I've already solved the problem. A species doesn't need any kind of deception to have a language. In my SciFi con-universe, the Shaqueans are empathes i.e. they feel eachother's emotions. A Shaquean would immediatly know that another Shaquean is lying, so they don't lie/deceive/trick/fool/bluff/etc. It doesn't prevent them from having a language. And if Shaquelingua may be difficult to translate, it's because it's verb-less and contains alien concepts or --at least-- concepts for which the human languages have no word (AFAIK). I don't think that the ability of lying has much impact on the language apart from removing related words/concepts. The language is a mean of communication. The transmission of false informations is just one of its possibilities but not its only purpose. Unless you consider that language itself is a lie because it only conveys an interpretation of the reality but not the reality itself. That's food for thought! ;-) The stronger impact of the inability/impossibility of lying is on the culture. How many times a day do you automatically say "Thank you" or "Have a nice day" without really thinking it? Haven't you ever heard yourself saying "That's a great idea" while thinking about a way to escape to the shore? If you can't lie, it definitively changes the way you handle such situations but it doesn't prevent you from talking about them. As for the relation between intelligence and deception, contrarly to Chris Bates, I think that people who can't lie must be much much smarter; they must always face the reality in every situation. They can't hide problems behind nice convenient little lies to please everybody and wait for the problems to come back and bite their backs, like Humans do. When in deep shit, a Shaquean don't say "I need further investigations. I won't do anything until I get reports" but "I don't know how to get out of this. Does anybody have an idea?". What is the most intelligent to say? The truth or the usual/ritual lie? Of course, in our societies, to always tell the truth isn't an appropriate behavior. -- What do you think of my new dress/shirt/jacket/etc? -- Nice, very nice! (How can they sell such horrors?) ;-) ji kaçtólu soe, [ji: ka.CtO4u so^e] (one soon until) -- ================== Remi Villatel ==================