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Borg

I suspect this isn't anything particularly unusual about Earth; Gharr and Zane just aren't used to planets that are still in the early stages of globalization (or unification by other means). Wikipedia lists only 33 language families that have more than a thousand current speakers, and I would guess that the cutoff for a language family having a good chance of surviving long-term is at this point significantly above a thousand speakers. Globalization inevitably means that speaking one of the world's major languages provides educational, economic, and social opportunities that smaller languages can't match; it's much gentler than conquering areas and outlawing the use of the local language(s), but in time the result is largely the same.

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glitterboy2098

given that they were shocked to find that earth is more advanced than their initial estimates, ( https://leavingthecradle.com/comic/49 ), which apparently were derived purely from our telecommunications signals, i get the feeling that it *is* unusual in their experience. but they also found humanity to be more aggressive and xenophobic than they're used to ( https://leavingthecradle.com/comic/47 ), which might well play a factor in preserving languages.. presumably the species they're used to dealing with wouldn't be as territorial, and would not have their world fractured into so many sovereign nations at the same level of technological development.

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Anthony_Lion

Dozen is a word I would NOT expect him to be using accurately or at all this early.

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Regular

Well, his native number system is base 12, so that's exactly what I would expect.

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Wouter215

I think I liked Zane's reaction to this revelation on page 46 better.

Perhaps most other alliance planets never had such harshly separated population groups like Earth has had. Leading to such diversification of cultures & languages.

Also, are we just skipping over the Pizza plotline?!

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Senior

I'm wondering the same. They know about civilizations in the alliance and have likely been able to study those not in the alliance. So for all the comparisons made between the Raharr and Humans the languages seems to be the one that stands out for both. Or, as Gharr notes, the sheer number of "language groups" which suggest early spread of humanity across Earth but very little interaction after that spread and languages which have developed over the millennia with very little common basis or later interaction to pass on language back and forth.

I'm suspecting this might simply be a more unique aspect of Earth's geography and changing geography through those millennia after the initial migration... But just how long of these "Ghosts" been on Earth?

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Wouter215

I assume that the Ghosts are information beings like Quantum, So I expect their influence was limited until the proliferation of global information networks. (Telegraph lines, all the way up to the modern satellite network internet)

It could be a general property of humans that as groups lose contact for some time that their language & culture start to diverge. Even the next town over from where I live speaks with an accent that might as well be a different language.

And compared to the other planets that we know of (including mars, venus, etc.) earth is pretty dynamic, with all the tectonic movements, rivers forming and drying up, volcanoes, etc.

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Senior

I'm afraid you're conflating the differences being a matter of accent, dialect, language, or language family here ... not that they were not all generated by (temporary) isolation from each other, but bringing forth an entirely different family is mostly connected to an "off on another continent" scenarios, Finno-Ugric notwithstanding.

Which brings us to the fact that human migration across the face of Earth would have been a lot less restricted if there weren't all that blue stuff getting in the way, a constraint that the other planets do not currently present. Or at least I'm not aware of any papers on long-term language development on Mars back when it did have surface water. Maybe once we get to explore Europa ...






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TRIVIA
Raharrs are the most numerous species in the Alliance, making up more than half of its total population.