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This sort of dialectal ring continuum might happen naturally for a population with homogeneous language origins living on a contiguously traversable, toroidal world with very limited travel distances. Essentially, a people speaking one language landed as one group on a donut without any great oceans separating its land masses. You might also be able to pull ...


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For such a language to exist, it is sufficient that the dialects differ on at least two dimensions (principal components). Given the complexity of language, this is obviously possible. For example language L1 could share set of words S1 with L2. L2 shares S2 with L2. L3 shares S3 with L1. S1, S2 and S3 are all disjoint.


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Czech-Polish dialect continuum (Wikimedia Commons, GDFL) Czech and Polish are, for most native speakers of both languages, not mutually intelligible. However, in the easternmost corner of the Czech Republic, there is a transitional Cieszyn Silesian dialect (G2 in the map above). It is mutually intelligible with the Silesian dialect spoken on the Polish ...


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More examples for you to use for research, since everyone has answered this well: Quebec French, Creole French, and French are all completely distinct. In China, there are over 104 (?) dialects. They are distinct enough that not even neighbors can understand each other, so they communicate in English instead. In Japan, the main island has it's form of ...


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Not only can it exist, it does, with Quebecois to Acadian/Chiac to true French/Parisenne People from Paris cannot (easily) converse with those from Quebec as the dialects are quite different. People from Atlantic Canada (Acadians) can converse with people from Quebec, or from Paris. Historically, Acadians and Quebecois were both from France; almost 400 ...


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I would like to add another comparison in a lateral direction - time. This is exactly how language development over time works. Grandparents and their grandchildren can communicate, but if you were to move through a few generations, you wouldn't be able to understand your ancestors anymore and vice versa, even though every 'temporal subset' was able to ...


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This situation exists in Japan. While the dialect of Tokyo has become the standard language via radio and television, each region also has local dialects. As described, occupants of neighboring regions can understand one another, but travel any significant distance, and the local dialects become mutually incomprehensible. I recall a conversation with a ...


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It's almost like Slavic languages, though the reason has more to do with history of literacy, political changes and assimilation. Slovak is mutually intelligible with modern heavily Slovakized Rusyn, which is mutually intelligible with Rusyn as spoken in Transcarpathia, which is almost mutually intelligible with standard Ukrainian, which is mutually ...


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Old Norse and Old English It's basically how languages spread in pre-modern times. Have you seen "Vikings"? There is a scene in the first season when Ragnar lands in England and meets a local landlord and his soldiers on the beach. They're not able to communicate immediately. The vikings speak Old Norse, the English - well, Old English. It's exactly the ...


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Definitely possible, although I don't know real examples from our world. The Slavonic languages on the Balkans form a somewhat broken ring, almost encircling the Hungarian and Romanian language area: Going counterclockwise from Ukrainian via Ruthenian and Slovak to (first gap in the ring) Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian and Bulgarian there is a ...


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I think that what you are asking is more or less what happened with Latin and neo-Latin languages. Take Romanian, French and Italian. They are all from Latin origin: an Italian can understand some French and some Romanian (actually Romanian sounds really similar to some South Italian dialects, while some Northern Italy dialects sound really close to French),...


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It’s not only possible, it exists as you describe. Italian, French (Provençal, really), Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese (and many local dialects thereof) merge continuously into each other, and everyone can understand their near neighbours in both directions, even across international borders where the language nominally changes, but Sicilians and Portuguese ...


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If you want the language to actually become incomprehensible, the language evolution cannot be natural. We don't want small changes in every word (e.g. a change of a vocal, a syllable omitted etc), we need to completely replace the word. And we have to do that nation-wide. Solution: Autohypnosis programmes in TV Every day people have to watch a TV program ...


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Using computers, this should be possible. So we assume the government mandates every office to be paper free and no-one is allowed to keep important documents at home. Books are replaced with e-readers, disks with cloud services, and so on. The computer networks themselves are hardened through encryption. I assume this part works well - no reason why not. ...


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You do realize that given your proposal, you're making it easier for spies? I live in a multilingual community and it's entirely common for people who can't think of the correct word in one language to switch to another for that word, even if the two people conversing are using the same language in the conversation. It happens so often that people don't ...


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Let me quote a comment from the user barbecue: I think there are too many flawed assumptions in this question: The idea that you can have a language which is both secret and commonly known; the idea that you must train teams of translators rather than simply grabbing native speakers off the street and forcing them to help you; having modern technology ...


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Building on @Hoyle's ghost answer: Don't mutate whole language, just enough (hundred?) common words which if used by a spy, will identify the spy as using obsolete version of language. This will require whole population be dedicated in protecting the new version of the language. So ie traders talking with neighboring nations would have to be trustworthy ...


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Requires a culture shift, but if you can convince people to strenuously avoid taboo words, or words that sound like taboo words, or replacements for taboo words that have been used so often that they themselves become taboo, you can end up with fairly rapid language change. This isn't just theoretical; the Dyirbal (pronounced like "gerbil") language spoken ...


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The Best You Can Do Put Children in Creches If all kids are removed from their parents and placed in a controlled environment from early childhood, they can be taught whatever conlang the government wants. It doesn’t get you a situation where people switch to new languages at age fifty, sixty and seventy, but it might get you a situation in which a thirty-...


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Languages generally do not change that fundamentally in 10 years. We who are native English speakers in America still understand most of what Shakespeare wrote in England over 400 years ago (and the rest we get with a bit of training). Your best hope is some type of hybridization. Specifically, a creole. A creole language, or simply creole, is a stable ...


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My answer has to be a bit of a frame challenge. I'm going to try to answer it as best as I can, but there are fundamental issues with a language changing that fast in a modern society which simply prevent a straightforward answer from occurring. You cannot have a "modern society" without a written language, much less with a language which is intentionally ...


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Name people after common objects, then stop using those words when they die. Exactly this practice is described in Frazer's The Golden Bough: Further, when the name of the deceased happens to be that of some common object, such as an animal, or plant, or fire, or water, it is sometimes considered necessary to drop that word in ordinary speech and ...


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How about physical changes? If you get a sore throat and stuffed nose, your ability to correctly pronounce and speak the language is significantly reduced. Yet you can still be understood by most. Now this normally won't change the language, because people usually get better. What if they didn't? What would happen if most of the population got a stuffed ...


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I am afraid that 10 years is to short a time to mutate a language beyond comprehension. People who grow up in a linguistic environment are pretty much set in their ways when they leave their teens. This is the reason that older generations end up sounding archaic to their grand children. Change through mutation takes at least a full generation. Another ...


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You Can't. Language evolves to be sure; there are words in the English language today that weren't in it when I was in school, and we pronounce (and even in some rare cases spell) some words differently to what we used to even in my lifetime. The thing is, even disregarding the anchor point that writing provides to a language by its very existence, the ...


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We are a good halfway to that. You just need to increase the communication rate, so that language mutation happens more often. Also give a generous spread of technological advancement. Take a simple sentence as example: Lol, I have been pwned. Ping me on WhatsApp. I get it, you get it. Should my grandparents be alive and should I tell them that ...


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The Church manages the transformation through hymn and prayer. When the mandated Sunday visit to church comes around every week all the old favorites are sung by rote - the meaning and significance of each is well known from childhood and is invariant over the lifespan of your citizens. When the time comes for the next cycle - for the old tongue to die - ...


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Generate a constant stream of scandals that make common expressions politically incorrect. Add aggressive prosecution of people using oldspeak because you want to avoid offending the party that phrase now insults and you have a built in way to root out spies.


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Clearly, there are two languages. One is used in daily interactions by regular people. Nobody cares if a foreigner overhears their dinner plans. Well, maybe targets of assassination. The second language is used in official correspondences within the government. To protect official correspondences from being translated, they are protected by a cipher. ...


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With substantial training and practice, a tongueless person can learn to speak again. Intelligibly. Your characters may choose not to do that though. Also, I frame challenge your assertion that people who are drunk/high enough to have fine motor ability impaired can not use sign language. If you're so impaired that you can't sign at all, then you're ...


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In Hindi language (India), the alphabets are arranged in order of the way they are pronounced using a combination of tongue, teeths, lips, mouth roof and nose. Refer this link for pronunciation details. As per the details present in this link, the sounds described as "Guttrals" and "Labial" are the sounds that one can make without a tongue. They are: a, ...


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