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From the Message Box - To'ul Language - Printable Version

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From the Message Box - To'ul Language - stevebowers - 08-28-2013

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Quote:A message from the Orion's Arm Website:

Type: General Comment
Message: Could someone make a page for the language To'ul'ha'loss?

Any ideas?

RE: From the Message Box - To'ul Language - Dfleymmes1134 - 10-18-2013

(08-28-2013, 05:50 AM)stevebowers Wrote: This message was sent to us via the contact box on the site

Quote:A message from the Orion's Arm Website:

Type: General Comment
Message: Could someone make a page for the language To'ul'ha'loss?

Any ideas?

Dazhuang would be welcome to contribute ideas if (s)he ever sees this.

To'ul'ha'loss the To’ul’h language.
I can’t say much beyond general design considerations..


*There should probably many languages to mention, not just the one of To'ul'ha'loss. However, the descriptions of any of the languages can allow for a variety of explorations of how the To’ul’h could speak and write.
*Going off what I read in the To’ul’h article, their spoken language will have a wider range of sounds than humans.
Since the To’ul’h have ecolocation as well as electromagnetic senses, their To’ul’h to To’ul’h communication could probably involve plenty of ecolocation chirps as well as other sounds, so I suspect there could be an element of interplay between verbal and ‘echolocation sight’. Though apparently bats use different frequencies to echolocate than to speak.

*Written language could have a very different barrier from human languages- that of requiring highly durable textures. Carving symbols in stone for permanence needs the design consideration that hundreds of To’ul’hs might run their limbs over the writing- though they can probably read by echolocation instead. If there is an equivalent to books, they might need to be thicker and heavier to accommodate textured writing. Inclusion of metals in ornate writing can have the additional ability to communicate with the To'ul'h electromagnetic sense. (Would small bits of metal actually be sensed?) Braille might be a good starting point for imagining how work will be written. Perhaps punching holes in sheets of leather or metal, or a thicker paper equivalent.

*Early To’ul’h writing can probably originate through marks pressed into clay tablets, which are then baked. Beyond that, it might occur that writing is slightly more resource-intensive for To’ul’h than for humans, due to the texture-based nature of their writing. It might also have the consequence that their languages, in general, need to be more efficient (more meaning per physical symbol) with their glyphs.

(04-27-2007, 10:16 AM)Encyclopedia Galactica: Toul'h Wrote: To'ul'hs do not have the usual graphic arts known to humans, except in the form of textures and incisions on a suitable surface. Their written records are designed to be detectable by touch or by sonar: glyphs or ideographs carved into a surface, or runic inscriptions, or Braille-like bumps and hollows, depending on the language and culture. Sculptures are usually intended to be pleasing to the touch, or to give interesting patterns when scanned with a sonar chirp.

*Their texture carvings can can act as signposts in areas where touch-based writing is not possible, but echolocation is.
*The Incan writing of quipus might occur in a few more places than in human civilization, so it might be that early To’ul’h writing (and perhaps later on too) is based in textiles that contain a wide variety of textures and materials. Later on, when mechanical devices are invented (if they are), sewing machine-like devices might provide an alternative to typewriters.

RE: From the Message Box - To'ul Language - Drashner1 - 10-18-2013

Hmm. Regarding baking clay tablets...given the conditions a Toul'h finds comfortable, would it be possible to maintain a moist clay at all? Maybe this is covered in the EG on them (I hadn't checked before writing this), but the thought just occurred.

I like the idea of sonar based reading and writing as well as touch based systems. Given the density of their atmosphere, would different frequencies than Earth based lifeforms use work better?

Finally, I've heard it suggested that creatures like dolphins can use their sonar to 'see' the interiors of things like other dolphins. Is this actually doable and what role might it play in how Toul'hs see or read things?


RE: From the Message Box - To'ul Language - Drashner1 - 10-18-2013

A notion that just occurred: Might a Toul'h book be something like a record? Able to produce sounds when played or scanned with sonar or something? Or An etched surface that produces something meaningful to a Toul'h and is fairly portable. Not sure if it would work in their environment, but just a thought.


RE: From the Message Box - To'ul Language - stevebowers - 10-18-2013

Some sounds in the To'ul'h language might replicate the sounds received when scanning familiar objects; so the noun signifying 'skywhale' might resemble the echo received when a skywhale passes by. This would make it tricky for a human to understand the language - it's the old 'what is it like to be a bat' conundrum.

RE: From the Message Box - To'ul Language - Matterplay1 - 10-21-2013

I'd be fascinated to see more along those lines. Something to keep in mind is that the most famous To'ul'h language is but one of many hundreds or thousands or more of living, naturally-evolved modes of communication. To quote from the article:

Quote: Eventually a common language (the ancestor of To'ul'hoss) and an associated meta-culture of knowledge grew up; a way for scholars across the ages to communicate with one another, as well as for To'ul'h traders and diplomats from distant regions to carry out their business. This language had the status that Sanskrit, or Latin, or the written form of Chinese, assumed in Old Earth's human societies, but it was even more influential and eventually became universal on To'ul'h Prime. Texts that are thousands of years old can still be read by educated To'ul'h, and written history in the Braille-like glyphs favoured by the To'ul'hoss speakers extends back tens of thousands of years.

So this one language is a special case.

For written I can imagine that clay tablets are a possibility. And yes, at their home planet's temperatures clay and mud are possible. Fired clay, as opposed to dried clay, would likely have been expensive, since the biosphere is poor in fuels and the atmosphere doesn't support combustion very well anyway. I imagine that carved materials, or something resembling paper that has dimples and scratches in it (I can even imagine something like a real-world Braille typewriter) might serve.