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Science Fiction - How to Talk to an Extraterrestrial

Discussion in 'Supernatural & Unexplained' started by Tom, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Dec 6, 2004
    Gulf Coast
    Me Human, You Alien: How to Talk to an Extraterrestrial
    Jonathan Vos Post

    (c) 1996 by Emerald City Publishing

    We assume that the ET is not a super-linguist who already knows English,
    or can learn it while you are still getting a grip on the situation. We
    assume that he does not carry the equivalent of a Universal Translator (a
    probably impossible gadget) or The Klingon Dictionary: The Official Guide
    to Klingon Words and Phrases6 by Marc Okrand. No, we must think long and
    hard about what Language is, and how our experience with human languages
    might extend to ET languages (Xenolinguistics).
    Francis P. Dineen, Georgetown University Institute of Languages and
    Linguistics, says that there are 11 characteristics of language.7 He was
    thinking of human languages, so we will need to make a few adjustments.
    He lists:
    (1) Language is Sound
    (2) Language is Linear
    (3) Language is Systematic
    (4) Language is a System of Systems
    (5) Language is Meaningful
    (6) Language is Arbitrary
    (7) Language is Conventional
    (8) Language is a System of Contrasts
    (9) Language is Creative
    (10) Languages are Unique

    Language is Sound. Or is it? Most humans speak and listen to language,
    using the same fleshy articulatory equipment to produce speech sounds and
    to hear them. The sounds may appear strange to you, but they may be
    accurately described in terms of the movements of organs such as vocal
    cords, tongue, lips, and teeth. But the primacy of speech is not
    absolute, given the importance of writing, and the use of various sign
    languages. We have no evidence yet that the ET uses sound, or writing, or
    sign language, so we must immediately find out what MEDIUM is used for
    language signals in the ET.
    Your science team, since they arrived, has been observing the ET with
    every scientific instrument imaginable. Ask them which medium the ET
    seems to be emitting the most complex signals in:
    (a) Light
    (b) Sound
    (c) Smell
    (d) Taste
    (e) Touch
    (f) Posture
    (g) Biomorphic Writing
    (h) Biological Vectors
    (i) Direct Nerve Contact
    (j) Exotic Radiations
    (k) Telepathy
    (l) Combinations

    Now scroll down to see each of these explained.
    (11) Languages are Similar

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