What I want this system for:
Language wouldn't be 'the one cool thing' only intelligent creatures have and all cultures would be as far/as close from understanding each other as from understanding wild animals.
You wouldn't trust anybody you can't see.
You wouldn't believe somebody who doesn't use body language as well, because they might be speaking literally a completely different language.
- Hunter and prey would lure or distract each other by speaking. They could randomly shout words at each other to check if or how the other species' culture uses them.
- Think of all the intercultural word plays. There would be so many fun games based on language.
How my ideal 'word' behaves in a language:
- It should have a clear start and a clear ending.
- In each language, a word should have a reasonable amount of meaning on its own without context.
- Pronunciation of a word shouldn't change its meaning in a sentence.
- The overall 'meanings' in each language should be evenly distributed over as many words as possible. (If one culture or species would rely on a word like 'run' to describe every second activity they do, a lot of fun would be lost)
It's highly unlikely that physically completely different creatures would produce similarly sounding noises with similar strength. That's why I'd give them a pair of really, really bad ears that only hear a certain frequency. The species could only check if there is input or if there is no input with them - 'binary ears'. I thought, they might all have somewhat the same rythm of breathing. Their noise producing organ has time to make nine or ten 'noise units', before they have to breathe again. This would be the 'official length' of every word. Multiple sources of noise would be detected and differentiated by an additional sonar system... that's about it
The creatures have no reason not to breathe inbetween words, combine small enough words that both have empty 'noise-units' at the end within one breath or even completely wreck the system by not using audio-dependant languages at all.
Do you know any important factors I'm missing that could completely avoid or help solving the problems I'm left with?
A link to some article about multiple severly different species from earth using the same medium for language with shared expressions would help a lot.
Hope my english wasn't too bad. Thanks for your time.