Thursday, July 26, 2007

Linguistics and Science Fiction

The supplemental fiction reading for the July 23, 2007, IS group meeting was The Embedding, by Ian Watson. A detailed review of the book can be found on the Tenser, said the Tensor blog.

Gordon Ramsay, a research scientist at Haskins Laboratories, points out The Languages of Pao by Jack Vance. The back cover of the book notes, "It's one of the extremely few science fiction novels ever based on the science of linguistics."

Lance Nathan, a graduate student in the MIT Dept. of Linguistics has a Linguistics and Science Fiction page.

Maggie Browning, an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Princeton University has a Linguistics and Fiction list. She says: "Most of these are from Mike Maxwell's posting to the Linguist List (19 Mar 1995). Others are from a list posted to the sci.lang newsgroup. None of the comments are mine."

The Linguistics & Science Fiction Newsletter is written and published every other month by Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D. (linguistics), from the Ozark Center for Language Studies. Suzette is a writer, artist, linguist and poet. The newsletter is available by e-mail only, in plain text, and is free to members of the Linguistics & Science Fiction Network (annual dues, $5.00). To receive the current issue as a free sample, send an email request to: Suzette is also the author of Native Tongue, a science fiction novel in which
" ...Earth's wealth depends on interplanetary commerce with alien races, and linguists --a small, clannish group of families --have become the ruling elite by controlling all interplanetary communication."
On her Linguistics & Science Fiction Interface page Suzette says:
"I am a grandmother of ten with a Ph.D. in linguistics, and a science fiction writer. I'm interested in the intersection between the use of language as a mechanism for solving humanity's problems and the use of science fiction as a laboratory for exploring those linguistic solutions. "
Justin B. Rye has created A Primer in SF Xenolinguistics.


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