forum What do you think a shape shifters language would be?
Started by @Purple-Cat location_cityThe Worldbuilder

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@Purple-Cat location_cityThe Worldbuilder

What would a species of shape shifters writing language be? What would shape shifters spoken language be? They’re alway changing, wouldn’t their language somewhat change too? Does it change depending on who’s writing or speaking? How would anyone understand each other then? Would they just make a solid language and writing system so they can understand each other? If they’re shape shifters they could be able to speak in any way, not just with lips, but with beaks or multiple animal sounds?

Dolphin sounds…….?

Idk, I want to make a language, or at least a written language for a world with shape shifters. what do you think?

Deleted user

Depends on the mechanics of shapeshifting.

If a pack or five packs of Anglophone werewolves were stuck on an island for several generations, then I imagine that the language would adapt to what they needed to refer to…There could be a word for somebody that looks like them in human form but who cannot turn into a wolf, and maybe a word for a wolf that cannot turn into a human, maybe a word for being prepared to shapeshifting (or the process of preparing and planning), and a word for being compelled to shapeshift unprepared, maybe a word for showing an allergy to traces of silver, maybe a few dozen words relating to the moon that Anglophones who are not shapeshifters would never need to develop.

Or if your shapeshifters were limited to needing to have seen or met an original model that they then shapeshift into, then there could be words for "the same person with a different face", "the rare instance of an imperfect imitation", "the consent and assimilation into their life provided by the hospitality (or other motive) of the original model", "the lack of consent of the original model, and the problems this can cause", "the inner database of other forms that a shapeshifter can present as", "partial shapeshifting", and so on.

But if your characters are cosmic beings of light wavelength made conscious, and who aim to become physical but are not good at doing so, then the language would be very different… Perhaps it's a telepathic way to transmit abstract thoughts. Perhaps it's linking one ego-mind to an infinite hive of other cosmic light being egos, and depending on the depth of the conversation the entire composite hive becomes a functionally unified consciousness. Perhaps they don't have any nouns, because everything is a verb.

But unless the culture changed, I can't think of a reason for language to change, just because the forms of individuals within that culture changed. Rather, I would think that the language they use would be one in which the structure and standards are resilient enough to encompass a community and culture with the shapeshifting feature of its members.