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Interacting with members of the Human species on Earth does require some linguistic ability. Obviously, this can be facilitated with a Babel Fish, but, it's possible you wioll haven end up stuck there with nothing but a Library, and your wits, to rely on. And there are places you'll be lucky to see a Library. Creatures without tongues should not be put off communication using language, as, many parts of Earth are genuinely cosmopolitan, and charitable, in the range of stimuli they will acknowledge as language - but, beware, stimuli you generate should be within the "audbile" spectrum for Humans, about 2.7kHz (!check this!). Please remember, this is a species that generally benefits from having a little under half an arthropod at the end of each arm.

Beings seeking a guide to the working limits of acceptability of various kinds of artificially generated pseudo-language are referred to footage of innovating guitarist Jimi Hendrix at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

The physics of hearing is due to be covered elsewhere in the Guide, as is a reasonably comprehensive list of metaphoric and linguistic constructs used by Humans during language-training. However, it should be remembered that linguistics itself is considered to be in its infancy and we hope the following list of common, but misleading, metaphors and similes you might encounter in linguistics text-books in libraries will help those beings stranded, from time to time, without Babel capability.

Misconceptions of typical linguistics textbooks

Number one:
Languages have a "fossil record"

Whilst it's true that there are words in many modern language groups that can be postulated to have come from the same source, the theoretical language Proto Indo-European, citing 'Beowulf' as a "fossil" record of English may, in linguistics circles, provoke the same response as citing "Curse of the Mummy" as valuable RKOlogical evidence to the customs of Ancient Egypt and is far more likely to lead to a protracted discourse on the merits of various books listing the probable sources of English Place Names at dinner parties than find you a lift there.

Diachronic research covering the late Paleolithic, early Mesozoic and pre-Cambrian periods, perhaps using whalesong as a non-linguistic reference for basal phonetic drift, would undoubtedly be highly-valued by some linguisticians, many of whom would be willing to provide you with some kind of recording media for the task.

Beings should be aware, however, that the taking of photographs is discouraged - it is thought that some kinds of eddies, possibly triggered by the quantum uncertainty of photons wavering between chemically catalytic and photo-electric valencies, may adversely disrupt computer-generated reconstructions made during the current era. And whilst it's true that, often, corrective extrapolation maps can be postulated - from photo-isobars of differential gradients at edge-definition thresholds - to filter these areas without necessarily causing photosterility in surrounding areas, researchers are requested, for the moment, to stick to the temporally-friendly sonic spectrum with its clearly defined, and non-relativistic, ceiling.

Number two:
linguistics textbooks are not the place to discuss speed reading techniques

Readers seeking clarification on the extent of arthropoidal characteristics in Humans are advised that, among the various organic prosthetics that have evolved in the Human species, the eyes are distinctly mammalian. Arguably the shortest brain-world interface the species posesses, the eyes work in sharp contradistinction to the visual apparati of arachnid and insectoid creatures, processing information in the visual spectrum within a sealed unit, by way of focussed projection through lenses onto a field of tiny rods and cones. And it is these light-sensitive rods and cones that, in sighted Humans, may facilitate speed-reading, a developable ability that very few linguistics text books really give much coverage to.

So how does speed-reading work?

For Humans, who developed written languages only comparatively recently, much of reading is an exercise in pattern recognition. There is the recognition of the 26 letters in both cases, and various numerals, diacritics and puntuation marks. The feat this might seem at first is, possibly, mollified by the extensive taxonomies of flora and fauna generated, and preserved, verbally within societies prior to the development of writing. As such, it is possible to absorb written information without necessarily focussing upon it. Though you may need to sleep on it.

Another element of speed-reading, though, does seem, firmly, to be linked to recognition and memory on a larger scale, in the same way that seeing someone complete a level of a video game often gets you through the level quicker yourself.

It's not something that seems to make it through to text-books, though, except books purely about how to speed read. Which is odd because very few linguists would argue that written language isn't language, and many claim to explore and explain the various ways people do receive and process linguistic communication.

Number Three:
their examples are insightful

It's an interesting one, this, as, some researchers have reported they found, at times, the examples of ungrammatical sentences given in textbooks handling, say, linguistic analysis, can turn out to be entirely acceptable in a dialect they're familiar with.

Number Four:

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