Homecoming coverLetter IHumans are born with some kind of instinct for language and communication. Exactly what is inherited is a matter of some contention among linguists, but our species learns language in childhood. A baby is born listening to sounds, but initially does not understand them or have the physical coordination to produce language. Learning, however, is very fast, and a normal child rapidly learns to understand and speak the language(s) by which that child is surrounded.

In my science fiction the R’il’nai actually inherited their language. A newborn R’il’nian did not have the capacity to understand all of the concepts, nor the coordination to produce all of the sounds, but the language, not merely the ability to use it, was there and the first babbling generally made sense. Humans never succeeded in leaning R’il’nian, and even R’il’noids, those human-R’il’nian hybrids with the most R’il’nian genes, could at best learn R’Gal, a very simplified version of R’il’nian. To Marna, who heard it first as an adult, R’Gal sounded like a pidgin version of R’il’nian.

Most Humans could not even learn R’Gal. Part of the difficulty for Humans was that the R’il’nai were capable of distinguishing a larger number of phonemes than are Humans, which prevented some otherwise excellent linguists from learning R’Gal. But even R’Gal speakers could not generally learn R’il’nian, which involved not only sound, but also esper and empathic components.

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. Background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.Banner AZ logo

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