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204124Universal language for communicating with space aliens

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  • Lorinda J. Taylor
    Jul 25, 2014
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      I just discovered how to comment by email in the CONLANG-L group without going into Listserv where my password won’t work!
      I haven’t read every post in this discussion, but it seems to make the assumption that all extraterrestrials are more advanced than Earthers, so we will be able to communicate through some version of artificial intelligence or computer language. The chances are that our first contact will be with a more primitive species that we meet by going to their planet. If they communicate using an oral language or a gesture language, normal processes of interaction (pantomime, pictures, etc.) will work in the long run. But what if they use some inaccessible method? That’s my premise in my novel The Termite Queen, where the intelligent termites, who are all deaf and where only a third of the population has eyes, communicate by sending EM signals through their antennae directly from and to the brain. Humans don’t even realize they have language or are intelligent until a couple of astute anthropologists recognize intelligent behavior quirks. So a preconstructed compute language is of absolutely no value here. It takes human ingenuity and a conlang to do the job.
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