A. Walker Scott

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My Early Fascination with Culture and Language

Posted on June 1, 2018 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Anyone who knows me learns pretty quickly that I am fascinated with cultures and languages. Often people ask me why or how I became so interested in these aspects of what it means to be human. I usually just say "This is the way God made me," and leave it at that. And on a very fundamental level, I believe that is probably the best answer. I'm wierd this way. But I got to thinking about my personal history the other day, and realized that I could see hint...

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Alien languages, part 2

Posted on January 24, 2018 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Last time we looked at examples of Esperanto, a constructed language meant for real-world use, being used in speculative fiction (mostly sci-fi) as a standin for either an alien language, or a future language of Human society. And we also touched on the fact that the Esperanto used in these contexts is sometimes sloppily translated (even smacking of lazy use of Google Translate) with ungrammatical usage. This time we'll look at natural languages that have...

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Alien Languages, part 1

Posted on January 17, 2018 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Alien languages have shown up in sci-fi for a very long time. The 1951 movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, includes the famous line Klaatu barada nikto, which has become a part of popular culture. Klingon, Sindarin, Quenya, Black Speech, Dothraki...sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV and books abound with brief examples, or sometimes just hints about, alien or non-human languages.

Tolkien's languages a...

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Why aliens?

Posted on January 17, 2018 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Sci-fi is a big field, and there are so many sub-genre that you can get dizzy trying to keep track of them all. So what is it about aliens that attracts me more than ray guns and spaceships? It's the possibilities for exploring cultures and languages, and odd ways of looking at the universe. 

When I look at cultures here on Earth, the variety is amazing. There are so many different ways of doing the same es...

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