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Learn to Speak Futurese

In 1000 AD the sentence was: Wé cildra biddaþ þé, éalá láréow, þæt þú taéce ús sprecan rihte, forþám ungelaérede wé sindon, and gewæmmodlíce we sprecaþ…

In 2000 AD it’s: We children beg you, teacher, that you should teach us to speak correctly, because we are ignorant and we speak corruptly…

In 3000 AD it may be: *ZA kiad w’-exùn ya tijuh, da ya-gAr’-eduketan zA da wa-tAgan lidla, kaz ‘ban iagnaran an wa-tAg kurrap…

Linguist Justin B Rye has put together Precoglang, a detailed study of how English might change in the next thousand years.

if you aren’t familiar with Comparative Reconstruction then my predicted sound changes are bound to seem wildly unlikely. If I’d shown Julius Caesar a schedule of the changes that were to turn Latin into Italian (“PS: beware the Ides of March”) he wouldn’t have believed a word of it either. And yet languages really do behave this way, with “mutations” in the system of sounds adding up to new accents, new languages, new family trees of descendant tongues

He includes notes on works of SF that feature representations of plausible “Futurese,” such as A Clockwork Orange (“next year’s slang”) and Riddley Walker (“post-holocaust vowel mutations”).

It is…exhaustive.

Also check out his Primer in SF Xenolinguistics.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted in Ephemera September 4th, 2008 by Chip
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