Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 08:56:35 -0500

From: Dan Goodman dsgood[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VISI.COM

Subject: Dialects that could have been

Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 10:17:50 -0500


Subject: Dialects that could have been -Reply

"Wow... an intersection of two of my favorite subjects, linguistics

and sf.

"But all I can think of offhand is, hmm, in _The Man Who Folded

Himself_ (time travel and changing history): when our protagonist

prevented the origin of Christianity and came back to his home place-

time, he found that not only was society enormously different, but he

couldn't understand anyone, because of the huge cumulative changes in

nearly 2000 years' worth of history due to the presence or absence of


"Lots of authors have invented languages, of course (almost all of

them really just fragments intended to give the impression of a

language, and usually badly designed); but that's another whole

thread, or list. There are a few future Englishes, some of them mere

extremes of slang, vulgarity, and/or casual pronunciation. This take

on the field is new to me. I'll keep the search churning in

background. Anyone else?"

L. Sprague De Camp's "The Wheels of If" has an English language

without the heavy French influence, and with more Scandinavian

influence. De Camp also wrote an article on "Language for Time

Travellers" -- Astounding 1938, more recently The Best of L. Sprague

De Camp.

Damon Knight's "What Rough Beast" has a few sentences in an alternate

world Canadian dialect of Yiddish.

Dan Goodman


3010 Hennepin Ave. S. #109, MPLS MN 55408