Possible situations where this might happen:
- Early human culture develops in a situation where audio recording and recall is straightforward - perhaps in a place where there is an abundance of tame and very talented parrots.
- After some catastrophe that kills their parents and destroys most cultural artefacts, a group of children on a distant planet that has become separated from the rest of human civilisation grow up with a smart computer that can speak to them, and record what they say, but has no visual display.
Let's assume that in either of these situations, long-term storage of usefully large amounts of audio is possible, as is searching/indexing the stored audio (and all other things we commonly do with text manipulation, including sending it, versioning it, signing it...)
someone stumbles upon technology similar to the wax cylinder phonograph before any particular writing system has taken hold. (We can't then assume that there would initially be no issues with search, storage and transport; let's assume that in this case, the technology develops fast enough that these kinks get ironed out before anyone minds too much.)
Anyway, my question :
Would this human culture be likely to develop written language? If so, could we predict any characteristics of that written language?