Welcome to Quantum Muse, a science fiction and fantasy ezine. Welcome to Quantum Muse, a science fiction and fantasy ezine. Your banner could be here! Find out how!
Digital Voodoo.
Posting the finest in science fiction, fantasy and alternative writing and artwork. For free. In our sober moments...
   Reader's login    |    Writer's login
Return to Discussion Topics Page

mark211"tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'?" Thoughts on language and the the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis in SFF?2016-09-18 04:13:20
mark211For the uninitiated, "tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh'a'?" means "Do you speak Klingon?" and is just one of the many fascinating things you can find via the Klingon Language Institute's website (http://www.kli.org/ - for the more curious out there, you can even take an exam in the language if you wish!).2016-09-18 04:17:24
mark211As you all know, alien languages have long been an important feature in SFF writing and as people who are concerned with creating alternate worlds and realities, I wondered what anyone's thoughts were on the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis which Wikipedia describes as: "a concept-paradigm in linguistics and cognitive science that holds that the structure of a language affects its speakers' cognition or world view. It used to have a strong version that claims that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories. The more accepted weak version claims that linguistic categories and usage only influence thoughts and decisions."2016-09-18 04:19:53
mark211Such a concept is obviously important to SFF writers, even if all the dialogue and script is written in English and not a single word of alien or goblin appears. So what do you think? Does the language an elf or an Arcturan speak influence their character and personality and how they see the world? What implications might this have for when you are trying to write about interactions between humans and snarks, grizzlekin and mermaids, or astronauts and Betelgeusians? 2016-09-18 04:24:17
RTIt makes me turn the show off or shut the book. I don't mind subtitles in any language, however, fake languages are just a pain-in-the-ass since they really do not carry the true weight of feeling that a movie in Chinese or German can from a native speaker. And really, if I wanted to work with a side-by-side translation, I would rather, for me, spend the time and effort with Latin, German, Chinese or even regional English dialects. 2016-09-18 08:03:34
GordonRowlinsonjlSovbe' Sujatlh'e'ylmev2016-09-18 12:05:54
RT@ Gordon

Same to you Buddy!! (with a NJ/NY salute)

I have no idea what you wrote. RT

2016-09-18 14:13:02
GordonRowlinsonnot yap WA'Hol. veQDuj'oH DujIIj'e'. I just found out being a nerd is fun.2016-09-20 13:33:00
RT"The Ambassador from the Abell 270 cluster waives consecutive translation."2016-09-21 11:02:44
MagonianA kind of converse theme occurs in In Asimov's short story The Talking Stone. The alien there is silicon based, naturally isolated in the asteroid belt, indistinguishable from a piece of rock and therefore, not so surprisingly, initially as uncommunicative as one. But as it has a capacity for telepathy it overcomes it's cognitive dissonance and establishes a connection with the story's human protagonists - alas with tragic consequences. 2016-09-21 21:33:48
Magonian#overcomes ITS cognitive dissonance... Sorry, damn autocorrect, honest.2016-09-21 21:52:59





Enter the code above to post comment:

Enter a screen name:

Or login to make comments without the code
Enter your comments:





We shamelessly accept handouts!

Give generously to the United Wa - uh, we mean Quantum Muse. It keeps Mike off the streets from scaring small children and the Web Goddess from spray painting Town Hall - again.
Enter your tip amount. Then click on the tip cup!


Quantum Museletter! Be the first to know when new stories and artwork have arrived.

Subscribe to Quantum Museletter by filling out the following form.



Enter the code above to verify entry:
Your email address:
Your name (optional):
 

Do you like this site?
Recommend it to a friend by pushing the button below!