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What Would a Soundless Language Be Like?
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Rereading "The Story of Your Life" also got me thinking about a lot of the terminology used. Chiang uses the term "semagram" instead of "ideogram" to talk about the aliens' written language, but doesn't really justify it. An ideogram is basically a visual representation of an idea. Supposedly there is some debate over the extent to which languages like Chinese use ideograms, or whether such things even exist.

And this got me thinking about what an alien language might be like if it were completely visual (and even other modes might be weirder, like purely chemical or tactile) rather than originally auditory. We used spoken language long before writing was developed, and our written language is a reflection of our spoken one. What would a language be like if it originated as visual?

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