very cool conference poster on the phonetics of alien names in star trek. "An analysis of the phonotactics of alien names in the Star Trek franchise suggests that writers are relying on implicit phonotactic knowledge in conveying ‘alien-ness’. In particular, word onsets with low frequency in English are over-represented in alien names, and illicit onsets are repaired recoverably, consistent with markedness subversion." [pdf link]

also found that "increasingly visually alien characters receiv[e] slightly more phonotactically novel names" (though I'm curious about how the researcher made decisions about what makes for "visual novelty")

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it seems like this 1988 phd dissertation (referenced in the poster) remains the most thorough theoretical treatment of "ludlings" (language games like pig latin, verlan, etc) in the literature it is. almost 600 pages. and typeset. entirely with a dot matrix printer

(speaking of verlan, I am upset that in the course of a decade of French classes I took across middle school, high school and university, to my knowledge not a single teacher ever mentioned its existence, leaving it up to me to web search basic garbage like "meuf" and "chelou" while watching netflix like some kind of baby and/or space alien)

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@aparrish I studied French for 15 years and I only learned about verlan when I was actually staying in France for the summer, from the teens I was staying & hanging out with.

Also is “feum” part of verlan, because in the 90s that’s what they’d moved on to, at least in northern France.

@courtney being able to watch shows on netflix in french has been so eye-opening—I understand now how people inundated with English-language entertainment kinda get a leg up on learning the language (for better or worse). (though I have no idea about "feum"?)

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