Questions tagged [language]

For questions about the written or spoken language of a world.

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votes
3answers
103 views

What is the scientific name for an intelligent species that can breed with all other known intelligent species? [closed]

Ship log: It has been a year since we discovered the alien species that now are dubbed Venusians. Our first impression was that all of them look like extremly beautiful human females. Our second ...
3
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5answers
180 views

Could a language based on absolute pitch develop music?

For those that are arguing that without vocabularly, it isn't considered a language: From Wikipedia: Language is a system that consists of the development, acquisition, maintenance and use of complex ...
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3answers
161 views

Could a language have only five verb conjugations? [closed]

As far as I understand with my rocky, basic understanding of linguistics (and my less-basic experience with learning languages), most languages have six verb conjugations: I You singular He/She/It ...
-1
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1answer
48 views

How different from reality should a complete fantasy world be? [closed]

Consider a story set in a completely fictional place, not even necessarily on a planet, perhaps an infinite plane of uniform density or something. There is zero connection with Earth and anything that ...
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2answers
71 views

How to formulate this demonic contract? [closed]

So in my D&D world, originally only a mortal on the prime material plane could contact a demon to form a contract, but now the demons have a foothold in the world and can start offering contacts ...
26
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3answers
2k views

Is there a right/wrong way to figure out how my world name would evolve into middle English from Arabic?

My husband, who loves to help me with my problems and doesn't at all intend to complicate them :::heavy sarcasm font::: suggests that Ardu Ghaib isn't the only likely thing the Arabs might have called ...
10
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6answers
390 views

How would a civilization without reading and writing develop general-purpose computers?

Related: Technological development without writing (related to general technological development without writing) How would a society without linear alphabetic writing have devised human-readable ...
4
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1answer
146 views

All my species have their languages based on the same few words. How do I keep them from inventing more words through combining existing ones?

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 ...
5
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6answers
245 views

To what extent can a language deviate as it evolves separately from its parent language in 50+ years?

In a setting where hundreds of scientists and engineers from around the world embark on an international mission to colonize a distant Earth-like planet (the ethics thereof are out of the scope of ...
5
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1answer
161 views

What might a written language look like for a species that communicates like cephalopods?

A species I have been working on (and have asked a few questions about in the past) lives in a mostly oceanic planet and communicates with large, colourful dorsal sails. I was considering designing ...
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4answers
219 views

Should I use several languages or only one language in my fictional world? [closed]

I'm a new member in your forum, and since I want to success in my project to create a great fictional world, I would need some advices. Since I intend to "remix" our real world, I have to create ...
5
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3answers
140 views

What biology does it take to form human language (communication between species)

The story I'm writing has a lot of different races and I've been thinking about how they would all communicate. I'd imagine they'd all have different languages (and probably different languages within ...
2
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1answer
125 views

International Language [closed]

I was reading International Auxiliary Language, but I don't like their setups. Because, mostly, they use Latin alphabets! And that, my friends, cause confusions! No matter what the letter was ...
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2answers
108 views

How to create a language family? [closed]

I understand the basics of language creation, but I don't know how languages evolve or why. I know it has to do with politics, geography, and culture but I don't understand how those things come into ...
10
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9answers
672 views

Is a Language with Two Phonemes Feasible?

In one of my stories, I have a race that communicates using only two sounds: "O" and "U". This can be strung together like this: ...
4
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14answers
4k views

Is there a reliable way to hide/convey a message in vocal expressions (speech, song,…)

Assume Bob. Bob wants to convey the following, simple message (an example) to Cassandra: Walk 5 feet forward, turn around 90 degrees clockwise, walk another 4 feet and dig 3 feet into the ground. ...
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1answer
114 views

Is liquid metallic hydrogen, when used as a spacecraft fuel, a chemical fuel? [closed]

Is it scientifically sound to call liquid metallic hydrogen a chemical rocket fuel?
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1answer
106 views

Could AI create a more complex language and (if so) how? [closed]

Animals use less intelligent language, so one may assume that human language is unintelligent to extraterrestrial life. We use technology to perceive senses that we do not naturally have (e.g., seeing ...
1
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2answers
131 views

What word or phrase might a vegetarian culture use instead of “meatspace”? [closed]

I'm looking for a word or phrase that might be used in a vegetarian culture to denote the non-cyber "world", and that is not "meatspace" or "real life". The best I've come up with so far is "...
80
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48answers
14k views

Why would “dead languages” be the only languages that spells could be written in?

Note: this is an in-universe explanation, not media in general. Media in general tends to have magic written in archaic, usually dead, languages. In my world, magic is best described as fickle; most ...
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1answer
182 views

Which languages would be most useful for time travelers to learn? [closed]

Title pretty much says it all. Which languages would be most useful to a time traveler?
53
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20answers
10k views

How would an order of Monks that renounce their names communicate effectively?

In my fantasy world there exists an order of monks known as the Noncara/Non Cara (haven't decided which form looks better). The Non Cara practice a theology based solely on works. By this I mean: ...
1
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1answer
71 views

Conversational goal of a conscious talking machine [closed]

One Artificial Intelligence tech giant has created a bot much like Alexa or Siri that talks to humans, takes notes, listens to everything and communicates with external sources when instructed by the ...
28
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11answers
6k views

Creating Fictional Slavic Place Names

I have a very simple question regarding a small problem I cannot find a single satisfying answer to. I am trying to create a country with a prominent Slavic culture. In my story, an alien world has ...
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0answers
27 views

How do tongues affect speech? [duplicate]

If you had your tongue removed, would you still be able to form coherent words? What sounds would you lose the ability to make and why?
52
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13answers
14k views

Would a “ring language” be possible?

A ring species is a species, in which a population migrates in two directions and the population remains continuous as it migrates so that each subpopulation can breed with its neighbors, however when ...
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17answers
5k views

How to make a language evolve quickly?

Imagine a world in which the language barrier is a means of propaganda defence. In this world, one of the primary concerns of each country is the migration of natives, since they know their native ...
6
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2answers
485 views

Which sounds could a tongueless person produce?

In my world, officials dealing with sensitive information have their tongues amputated. Naturally writing and a special, government-only sign-language are the main forms of communication, but ...
3
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3answers
336 views

A collective noun for a group of spaceships [closed]

A shrewdness of apes, an unkindness of ravens, a murder of crows...I wonder how to call a collection of spaceships often seen in the proximity to my planet that is apparently a fruit of a particular ...
24
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7answers
5k views

Would a primitive species be able to learn English from reading books alone?

A species that hasn’t developed any form of written or spoken language learns to speak English, or any modern language for that matter, and it becomes prevalent in their future society. To summarize, ...
19
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14answers
4k views

How would a solely written language work mechanically

I am trying to make a language for a fictional world and I am wondering how a species without vocal chords could communicate via written language
9
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1answer
280 views

How can people adjust spoken language to adapt for the discovery that they live on a non-orientable surface?

Follow up to How can orientation-discriminating people keep their views when it turns out they live on a non-orientable surface? To quickly summarize the world, their are rightie and leftie people ...
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5answers
140 views

Is that possible to make a world in which no one needs to speak? [closed]

In my ideal world, everyone will be very very Intelligent. By that I mean everyone can think and feel what other people around them think and feel, so no one needs to talk with each other. Everyone ...
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1answer
84 views

How would a species with crustacean-like “mouths” sound when speaking? [closed]

What might their language sound like? Would they have any speech impediments to contend with speaking a Common language?
6
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3answers
480 views

Is a more visual language possible using spoken words?

I once participated in a contest. People grouped in pairs. The two members of each pair sit back-to-back. They can neither see each other nor what the other is doing. I was the one who opens an ...
30
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14answers
11k views

Is it practical to make English the global language?

The Hegemony since day 1 of its formation in 2041 has enforced a single global language for: education, legal documents, announcements, and for communication between citizens across the various states ...
35
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17answers
12k views

Can the number of letters in alphabet suggest how advanced civilization is?

Let's suppose we intercepted a message in an unknown language. We were not able to decipher it, but we were able to decode it. Meaning we know the letters but not the meaning of the words in the text. ...
5
votes
2answers
267 views

Verbally communicating with a no-lips, no-nosed, spiked tooth alien

In my world, humans encounter an alien species. They want to communicate verbally with each other, so I'd like to know what sounds could be shared by both species. The species has no/very thin lips, ...
2
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0answers
247 views

How to create naming conventions for a fantasy society with its own language? [closed]

I'm not a proper linguist or anything, but over the years I've created a fairly basic language for a magic people that I use in my D&D games. So far I've got by with them being ancient and long ...
12
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3answers
676 views

What factors would affect the choice of direction of script writing to the inventor of a new writing system?

i.e left-to-right, right-to-left, top-to-bottom etc. My guesses so far : righty/lefty person, material on which writing is done, tools by which writing is done etc. But I'm not able to convince ...
1
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0answers
106 views

If a civilization lands on a new planet and comes into contact with native tribes, how would their language change over time? [closed]

So around 13,000 years ago, a group of refugees from a planet with Greco-Roman culture and technology were kicked off of their planet by what were essentially space vikings (space travel is done via ...
9
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4answers
617 views

Speaking three sentences at the same time?

TL;DR - I want my angelic race to have the ability to speak in a way in which up to three sentences are communicated at the same time. (Assume English for the sake of simplicity. I want physiology ...
6
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6answers
337 views

How could a species that breathes through its skin develop spoken language?

I've been working on a fantasy race recently of sentient bipedal salamanders (sorta) and was talking with a friend about them until one of us realised that since they're amphibians they would breathe ...
8
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2answers
454 views

Could an alien evolve to speak through its anus?

Humans can speak making precise movements of our tongues, teeth and vocal chords. I want a sentient creature whose carnivorous mouth-parts are completely unsuitable for speech to be able to ...
24
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36answers
8k views

Why would a telepathic species use spoken language? [duplicate]

I'm currently designing an advanced alien civilization that has achieved telepathy. The idea is that each one of their species has a small device merged with their brain that can allow them to ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Natural gas based communication

In the faraway land of Backeye, people have developed a secretive language called Pasgas. Rather than enunciating words, or forming them with gestures, Pasgas speakers communicate by passing wind. ...
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3answers
109 views

Derogatory Terms for Martian/Ceresian/Deimosian/etc [closed]

What are some ideas, preferably based in clever word usage, puns, or some such, for derogatory terms or slurs (of varying intensity) for the inhabits of Mars/Ceres/Deimos/Venus/Jovian moons/other ...
7
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6answers
904 views

Getting Past Phonetic Limitations [closed]

For the sake of making things much, much simpler, most worlds I'm familiar with have a defining feature of language: there is a common language. This allows for universal communication and overcomes ...
9
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1answer
230 views

What would languages descended from Esperanto look like? [closed]

Esperanto itself is mostly derived from/reminiscent of English, Polish, Russian, German, French and various romance languages (or so I’ve heard). In a post-apocalyptic future where the survivors ...
15
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12answers
3k views

Universal translation and nonsense lyrics

I've been drafting a science fiction story that places a lot of emphases on the vastness of culture. One way technique I've been using is language and the hassle of translation. Earth has abut 4,500 ...