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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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>First thread is here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=shamanistic%20horseshoe%20crabs

Let's pick this back up with language. One anon had an idea for Winders' "spoken" language to consist of words comprised of a series of pheromones emitted in turn. Now, although this could work, it's still a little too close to human for my tastes and (since i'm the kind of asshole who loves mathematics) I concocted an alternate system built upon this idea on the walk home from work today.

A winder's pheromone receptors are extremely sensitive and can detect not only presence and type of pheromone, but also intensity. Their "spoken" language evolved thusly:

Every word in their language consists of every standard pheromone a Winder can emit, in sequential intensity, with the most intense pheromone being interpreted as the first syllable in the word, down to the faintest being considered the last. Winders are capable of emitting 8 different pheromones, plus one identity pheromone, a scent unique to each individual. This means that the Winder language has a potential for 8! = 40,320 unique words. Their grammatical and conversational subtleties come from a few variations upon this simple system.

Names are formed in a different fashion but have the exact same length as words, consisting of the individual's identity pheromone as the prime syllable (most intense emitted) followed by only 7 of the standard syllables in the same sequentially lessened intensity pattern as that which forms a word. When introducing itself, an individual need speak only its name.

Hey you're back! Cool.

As for this system, see my last posts in the thread. This won't work because it's rather inefficient.

I'm cool with 9 pheromones, though.

When an individual begins speaking (in a casual tone), assuming it is familiar with its company, it briefly emits its identity pheromone, omitting the syllables of its name, then speaks the words of the sentence.

For ending sentences, there is a dedicated punctuation word.

Once the Winders begin to develop mathematics, numbers are represented by emitting the word for number, followed by a series of short emissions of one pheromone at a time, with each pheromone a Winder is capable of emitting representing a single numeral. Due to this, they develop a base-8 or "octal" math system.
Sorry can't quite find the post you're talking about. Why would sequential instensity not work as opposed to sequential emission?

To clarify, I meant that, in speaking a word, all the pheromones which form the "syllables" of the word are emitted simultaneously. The word is interpreted not by any chronological order or emission, but by order of intensity.
Any of the gents from the last thread here?
Yeah, I'm back.

Look at post 26614847 in the last thread.

Obviously with varying intensities, that argument isn't as valid, but I don't think an insect can emit more than one pheromone at a time in the first place. After all, pheromones evolve as an evolutionary need to communicate quickly: having a base "fear" pheromone and a "sex" pheromone and a "territory-marking" pheromone so that they can communicate simple things to each other quickly. I don't think they can emit the "fear" and "sex" pheromone simultaneously.

Also, just look at all the really wordy posts after your last post last thread. Those were mine.
Oh I read about your idea for it. Hmm... That's a good point. Just did a bit of quick research and it would seem that only one pheromone can generally be produced by an organ. So either the Winders have multiple producing organs or they have evolved one organ which behaves differently based on varying stimulus. I find the former option more plausible but, either way, both of our systems are equally viable.

If both systems of communication are viable, would that not make it likely that there would, at some time, (likely early on) be a schism between the two groups based upon their language barrier?
Actually, now that I think of it, that allows us to have multiple languages, which I was wondering about before.

One language could be the rapid-succession pheromones, and one could be the all-at-once pheromones.

This leads to the problem of the rapid-succession users becoming more intelligent than the all-at-once users because their language allows for a much more varied vocabulary, a near-necessity for advanced tech development.

Also, for the next thread, you should probably put a tl;dr in the OP so people won't be daunted and know what's going on so they can join the discussion.

Ehhh vocabulary variety wouldn't really be an issue for either I don't think. 40,320 words would work pretty well for a simple culture and I imagine that the Harmonic (all-at-oncers) would likely take a hint from the Melodic and begin using one or more words as reserved combinatory tools to chain words together and expand their language into compound words. Likewise, it would make sense that, at some point, the Melodic would begin emitting two or even three syllables at once with the same varying intensity structure as the Harmonic, just to quicken the pace of their speech as a sort of relaxed, casual dialect. Like how many humans pronounce Wednesday, "Wenzday" and February, "Febuary"

The only question is whether the cultural rift would grow too wide before their languages were similar enough to mend it or they'd do the wise thing and unify, combining the cultural advances gained by each while apart as well as a rich, merged language.
Regarding that schism; that's something we ought to just keep in mind for when we get to the stage of fleshing out their history.

We ought to more deeply consider some of the earliest leaps their sentience would have them making, two of these being tool-making and animal husbandry.

Stone tools make the most sense, but, considering their affinity for silence, I'd imagine they'd not be doing manual digging of any sort. (rootshaping takes care of that for them) It's definitely reasonable, however for the Winders to use harvested glowslime as a light-source. I imagine the earliest working forms of this would consist of a small mat of glowslime, harvested with a stone knife and carefully transplanted to a small rock which one could carry as it traversed unlit tunnels.

Any other ideas? If not, I think we may have to brainstorm more non-sentient flora and fauna to fill out their world a bit before we continue having them traverse it.
Bumping one last time. If anyone has anything to contribute, go right ahead. I'll likely create a 1d4chan page but this may be the last thread.
Shit. I didn't find part 2 until just now.

I really hope we can do more threads; Perhaps we should work on a quick tl;dr now?
I'm still here. Will post more soon. Am brainstormin tho.
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Alright. Lemme fanwank a bit on writing:

Given the fact that stone can absorb smells, there seems to be more advantage to simply making their writing style essentially based on that rather than any form of glyph system. Writing would entail placing different amounts of pheromone on tablets in order to create words. Obviously, much less pheromone would be used on the tablet than you would use to "speak" a word. Most tablets would have some form or divots in the tablet in order to better hold pheromones and separate different words, like lines on a paper.

Harmonics would probably end up with grid-like tablets with larger divots, since they place all the pheromones in one divot per word. Melodics would have smaller divots in lines, grouped into eight divots each, with small spaces in between to demarcate words, since each pheromone needs different divots.

Early attempts at writing might have involved forcibly removing pheromones from your own body and mixing it with other stuff to form some form of "ink". Later on, when writing is more widespread, apothecaries take over the work with "synthetic" alternatives to pheromones, possibly even a new set of analogous but entirely distinct smelling pheromones.

Interestingly enough, it's occurred to me that for winders using similar smelling pheromone-ink, this means that there's no real difference between speech and reading for the winders.

Also, on a purely speaking note, how hard would it be to steal another's identity pheromone and pretend to be them? How much value do the winders place on non-scent cues?
Nice. That makes great sense as their first writing system. It would be the most immediately apparent way for them to record information.

To preserve the information recorded in this fashion, I can see them finding/making a very deep, dry, smooth cavern and purging it of every creature which might find its way in, including glowslime, then using this cavern as a library of sorts. They'd soon refine their libraries, coming to use the most porous stone available for their tablets and using extremely thick tablets with deep divots for more important information.

These libraries are kept sealed and closely guarded due to the inherent fragility of their means of information storage. Being a Stone Sentinel is an honored position with great religious significance. The oath of guardianship is for life, not only that of the individual's incarnation at the time the oath is taken, but for all its inheritors to come.

For the most monumental events in Winder history, a Lore Cavern is erected. A Lore Cavern is a massive chamber dug to absolutely precise measurements over centuries and completely austere within, barren of even a wayward dust mote. The floor of this cavern is completely consumed by a grid of perfectly uniform 10cm wide, 2m deep cylindrical holes. Nothing is permitted to be brought into a Lore Cavern, not even a light-source, and these sacred places are highly guarded by the oldest Stone Sentinels. Highly devoted Winders called Stone Singers devote their entire existence to preserving these Lore Caverns, rising each day to ritualistically rid their bodies of all impurities, within and without, then spend the next half of the day contributing their pheromones to the pools to ensure they are not lost.

>Emulating another's identity pheromone.
I'd imagine it's practically impossible. I'd think that the Winders -look- generally identical to one another but that a great deal of their evident diversity comes in the form of that identity pheromone, with its composition being determined by numerous genetic factors, much the way humans have numerous possible skin tones, hair colors, hair types, eye colors, skull shapes, etc.

>Non-scent cues
Their body language would likely operate in a very similar fashion to that of humans and animals. Basic animalistic actions will become the implications which are attached to gestures simulating those actions. For example there would be some gesture of lowering oneself implying supplication or a forward/upward gesture (with posturing enlarging their front-facing profile) implying hostility.
Interesting. Do you think a printing press could be made, based on such a system? Hypothetically, you could make tablets quickly by setting up tubes with pheromone ink in them, arranging them in various ways, and then repeatedly printing on a tablet. Paper might even work, although only for very cheap pamphlets and posters, since it'd be easy to have smells run together if you have anything too complex on it.

Also, I was of the thought that inheritors generally took over for their parent after death anyway. They're basically you, so changing careers would be unlikely; Although after the scientific revolution casts doubt on that, inheritors might make it more common to explore new paths.
>Scientific revolution
Yeah there's where the -real- schism will happen.

Some sort of paper-equivalent would work for sure, but with low tech, there would be no reason to invent paper, as manual writing would be too inaccurate and, without paper, the idea of a printing press wouldn't really come about.

I just thought of an invention which could bridge that gap, however. The pen. Once they had the ability to craft raw materials into even slightly fine shapes, the Winders would be able to create a simple cylindrical container, open at one pointed end. With 8 of these, one could fill them with their own pheromones on their own time and, when needed, very precisely write on smaller, more convenient tablets. A single, finely made scent-pen filled with the individual's IDP might be a luxury item, kept on one's person in the same manner as a signet ring, for signing important documents.
I can't imagine pens being a good idea; The advantage of not having to squeeze the ol' self-gland (That sounds a lot dirtier than I intended) is far outranked by the odds of you losing the thing and having so Identity Thief write a couple blank checks.

I think the printing press could come about without paper. It'd probably be preceded by an a machine to make tablets in large, similar quantities, in order to make writing easier (No more having to carve out your own tablet). After that, the machine might be adapted, like the wine press on our world, to hold pens of ink. Set them in the page order, and print a couple hundred times. Now you've got, I dunno, some list of laws, or an important religious document. (I can't imagine a full Gutenberg bible when you cant bind clay tablets)
>Signet Pen theft
Ha. I like to think they were invented, then that happened, and they were quickly relegated to use exclusively with the 8 base pheromones.

Your idea for the precursor to the printing press is great though.
Hmm. Given that history, "The Pen" might act as a MacGuffin in some action/adventure stories.
Added thread to archive.

Suggest we leave Winders as they are and expand on the air- and water-creatures, so as to allow newbies in.
Hmm yeah that sounds good. I'll get on that in about 30 minutes. Runnin errands.
Linguist here, and I jumped in after skipping the last half of the posts.

Don't use phermones for words, and don't throw away 'sequence of sounds' for words because its too 'human.' Also, 40,000 words is huge. You can explain absurdly complex ideas using SIMPLE ENGLISH, and that has a 3000 word vocabulary.

Human languages all use base units (morphemes) that get strung together to make larger units (words) which are put together according to certain rules (grammar) to make long, complex expressions that convey ideas (sentences). This same thing happens with computer programming, this same thing happens with animal communications that (maybe) are beyond simple word association, this happens in spoken language, this happens in sign language. It most likely is a 'language' thing, not a 'human' thing.

So, what? Phermone thing is still a really cool idea. Use it how English uses tone: as an intensifier. Or how Chinese uses tone: a grammatical accent.

Have them communicate through sign language. Move mandibles, or legs, or posture the body, whatever. Sign language has a much wider range of expression for the same amount of words than spoken language does--instead of being limited to sounds your body can make, you're limited to how excitedly you can gesture.
Having pheromones as a communication system allows for talking while working and not directly looking at each other.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind sign language as some third schism in the world- It is a lot bigger than earth, both due to larger surface area and the fact that these guys are gonna have a 3d, rather than 2d, living area. The only problem is that the signers would probably be less similar to the other two, since they'd probably have evolved a different brain structure to have sign language instead of pheromone language.
Going with the current naming scheme, they should be called polyphonics.
Hmm well humans, too have multiple distinct forms of communication. I suppose it is feasible for some sect of the Winders to develop sign language, especially if they happen to have a non-standard view of the planet's surface.

Gimme a moment, planning 2nd species.
Make a new thread, so people'll join.
tl;dr Binary star system, 16 planets, 15th is our Gas giant planet with smooth core. Land creature live underground called Winders, basically shamanistic horseshoe crabs.

Add a little info about the atmosphere or seas we'll be using and post that sun picture for reference.
Ha was just about to ask if I should make a new thread. One thread, coming up.
New thread here: >>26665025
Having talking as a means of communication allows for talking while working and not directly looking at each other.

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