LINGUIST List 6.657

Tue 09 May 1995

Disc: Linguistics in Science Fiction

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  1. "Ciecierski, Ande", linguistics in sci/fiction
  2. M J Hardman, Re: 6.533 Linguistics in Science Fiction

Message 1: linguistics in sci/fiction

Date: Fri, 28 Apr 95 09:17:32 ESlinguistics in sci/fiction
From: "Ciecierski, Ande" <ciecierskiroutledge.com>
Subject: linguistics in sci/fiction

Content-Length: 1214

 I'm surprised no one has mentioned _Woman on the Edge of Time_ by
 Marge Piercy. In it, a woman travels to a future time in which there
 are no more gender-specific pronouns. They use "per" for he and she
 (and his and hers if I'm remembering correctly). It was confusing at
 first, but by the end of the book, I found myself wanting to use it in
 conversation. It was a good read.

 Ande Ciecierski
 ciecierskiroutledge.com
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Message 2: Re: 6.533 Linguistics in Science Fiction

Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 11:18:43 Re: 6.533 Linguistics in Science Fiction
From: M J Hardman <afn11122freenet.ufl.edu>
Subject: Re: 6.533 Linguistics in Science Fiction

I erlier sent in two titles withou much explanation; they deserve more:
In the Motherland by Elizabeth Vonarburg is a post nuclear holocaust
book. Originally written in Canadian French it is a superb translation
into English, where English is tweaked, beautifully, such that the
feminine is the unmarked and the masculine is the marked. The society
works that way too. Original sin is masculine - playing with metal they
had brought on the holocaust.

The other is A Woman of the Iron People by Eleanor Arnason. It is a superb
read. The main character is a linguist, the secondary earthling is an
anthropologist. The main alien character is also a women. We follow the
main character as she actually learns the language, which turns out to be
a trade language. The linguistics is, of course, necessarily simplified,
and learning is amazingly rapid, but very useful as a novel about
fieldwork, and some of the difficulties, conflicts, conundrums, etc.
involved, including interaction with consultants, who they are and why
they are, and what the interaction means on both sides.

Also, I don't believe anyone has mentioned Ursula LeGuin's Always Coming
Home and her invention of the Kesh language.
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