|"Athhilezar? Watch Your Fantasy World Language" by Amy Chozick, New York Times, 12/11/2011 [^].
“The days of aliens spouting gibberish with no grammatical structure are over,” said Paul R. Frommer, professor emeritus of clinical management communication at the University of Southern California who created Na’vi, the language spoken by the giant blue inhabitants of Pandora in “Avatar.”While awaiting CodeProject's Lounge to evolve its own language (beyond "bacon," "elephant," and "sunshine" variants), I remain humbled by the complexity of human languages that evolved among groups of people living "more archaic" ways of life:
"There are Stone Age societies, but there is no such thing as a Stone Age language. Earlier in this century the anthropological linguist Edward Sapir wrote, "When it comes to linguistic form, Plato walks with the Macedonian swineherd, Confucius with the head-hunting savage of Assam.
To pick an example at random of a sophisticated linguistic form in a nonindustrialized people, the linguist Joan Bresnan recently wrote a technical article comparing a construction in Kivunjo, a Bantu language spoken in several villages on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, with its counterpart construction in English, which she describes as "a West Germanic language spoken in England and its former colonies." ...
"The corresponding Kivunjo construction is called the applicative, whose resemblance to the English dative, Bresnan notes, "can be likened to that of the game of chess to checkers." The Kivunjo construction fits entirely inside the verb, which has seven prefixes and suffixes, two moods, and fourteen tenses; the verb agrees with its subject, its object, and its benefactive nouns, each of which comes in sixteen genders. (In case you are wondering, these "genders" do not pertain to things like cross-dressers, transsexuals, hermaphrodites, androgynous people, and so on, as one reader of this chapter surmised. To a linguist, the term gender retains its original meaning of "kind," as in the related words generic, genus, and genre. The Bantu "genders" refer to kinds like humans, animals, extended objects, clusters of objects, and body parts. It just happens that in many European languages the genders correspond to the sexes, at least in pronouns. ..."Steven Pinker, "The Language Instinct" p. 27 [^].
“I speak in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness, discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or aspire to be so.” Jorge Luis Borges