on 05/07/2001 20:35, Nik Taylor at [log in to unmask] wrote:

> Dan Sulani wrote:
>> Are we talking _language_ more or less as humans know it,
>> or other possible alien communication systems?
>> Charles Sheffield, in his "Heritage Universe" series,
>> has, as one of the main characters, an intelligent alien  something
>> like a giant insect whose language consists of pheromone-like
>> chemicals. By subtle changes in the molecules and mixtures of
>> molecules produced, the alien is capable of extremely subtle
>> communication (with those, of course, who are capable of
>> intercepting and interpreting the chemical signals).
>> Question: would your idea work for them?
> The same way.  They'd chose arbitrary scents for each of the
> "phonemes".  Of course, humans wouldn't be able to understand it.
> However, one could presumably build a machine that would automatically
> "translate" between different systems.  So, it would pick up the
> scent-phonemoids and translate them as sound phonemes.

Like the cat books in Red Dwarf? :)


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