Re: Phonetic Transcription
- Hallo conlangers!
On Thursday 02 May 2013 07:02:30 H. S. Teoh wrote:
> On Wed, May 01, 2013 at 11:48:01PM -0700, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews
> > I'm not sure either. Yemorans have a complex vocal system, and there
> > are speaking hairs and a vocal . Maybe they have a glottal stop. Given
> > that Yemorans can't eat and talk at the same time, they have two
> > mouths. The mouths don't open at the same time. The outer and inner
> > mouths aren't visible at the same time. There are also three breathing
> > forms, normal, conversational, and eating.
> Wow. Sounds like you may need to invent your own system, if the native
> speakers of your language have such fundamental differences in their
> vocal apparatus.
Obviously. If the Yemoran vocal tract is so different from ours
(as would be expected from what little we know about their anatomy)
and produces a different set of sounds than humans, IPA is not
really much of use - some homebrew transcription system will be
necessary. But first Nicole must come up with a good idea of what
the Yemoran vocal tract is like, lest she once again gets entangled
Many science fiction authors goof their alien languages that way.
When I read Alan Dean Foster's Humanx novels, I was perplexed by
this: he described the language of the vaguely insect-like Thranx
as consisting of "clicks and whistles", yet gave names of Thranx
such as _Ryozenzuzex_ which did not at all sound like that. (The
species name _Thranx_ itself is a case of this, too.)
> Though you probably still want to use some kind of
> adaptation of IPA for the sake of the rest of us, so that we have some
> kind of reference point to go on.
Depends on to which degree such an adaptation is practical; it
may indeed rather be misleading than insightful. It makes no
sense mapping alien sounds to IPA symbols that show no natural
relationship to the alien sounds; I'd prefer an abstract
transcription of the alien sounds over an attempt to squeeze
them into an anthropocentric procrustean bed.
... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
"Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
- On 4 May 2013 14:28, Dan Henry <rdanhenry@...> wrote:
> The difficulty for bioradio communication is that communicative abilitiesPerhaps they come from a planet in a binary (or formerly binary)
> evolve to use existing sensory capabilities. Radio senses will only evolve
> in an environment in which practically useful radio data exists fairly
> consistently over long periods of time. It may well be that an environment
> that would favor such senses would produce life too alien for us to
> understand their psychology in any depth, much less imagine it from our
> armchairs. Or not. It depends on how universal our own notions of
> intelligence prove to be. One has a great deal of freedom in speculating on
> alien biology/psychology, as we are extrapolating from a single reference
> point of terrestrial evolution.
system around a pulsar, which puts out quite a but of radio energy.
That would pretty alien. Or maybe there're just a lot of large storms,
and being able to sense lightning flashes from far away is useful.
I think we can get a bit more prosaic than that, though. Earthly
lifeforms can produce pretty strong electrical charges, and can detect
very faint electrical charges incidentally produced by the activity of
other animal's nervous systems, but our nerves somewhat oddly don't
actually work on electrical conduction. It's not too difficult to
imagine alien life that *does* have electrically conductive nerves
(electrically conductive biomolecules are not particularly hard to
come by), in which case the starting and stopping of current in their
nervous systems would produce faint incidental radio emissions which
other animals could sense for hunting purposes.
> If you wanted to actually work out such a system of natural radio language,I'm not sold on that. Human sonic language isn't distinguished from
> you'd do best to start by figuring out what the radio sense was originally
> evolved for. Communication would probably use frequencies near those of the
> sources of interest, but not the same frequencies, so that communications
> and navigational (or whatever) radio did not interfere.
other natural sounds by being in an offset frequency range, but by
having different frequency mixture characteristics.