When we write speculative fiction, we presume that people will keep on talking in languages as we do today. Sometimes, the story lies in the near future, so there’s no need to change how the characters talk or even the little cultural connotations embedded within the language, presuming they will always mean the same. We don’t need to presume something would disrupt the language system in that near future.
But in stories, where the future is either distant or non definitive, the languages might actually be archaic in the form known to us today.
Talking takes a lot of effort and consumes energy, that might be saved by a natural process of a less energy consuming and less demanding system unlike the system of symbols, rules and syntaxes imposed by the languages of today.
Humans evolved from chaotic sounds, to meaningful ones, to drawing, to telling stories and recording history, to talking, to writing and so on. There’s nothing that says they’ll stop evolving.
I know that telepathy was introduced as one way of evolving to a sort of muted communication. I think we’ll get there but we won’t stop making sounds, it’s an important means of self expression and a creative one as well.
I always have the dilemma of how to make my futuristic characters talk. Are they going to use the same salutations or the same cultural references as we do today? What kind of humor would be common among them, including all the other elements of popular culture?
I was talking once to a colleague of mine and I told her that I think, one hundred years from now, humans won’t be talking the way we do today. Probably not even write the way we did today, unless they stop evolving for one reason or another. Hopefully, they won’t.
I told her that they will produce sounds in a more sophisticated manner and will convey their thoughts in a condensed way.
Robots or artificial intelligence will play a role. In some of my stories, I have them but what I have more is the next generation of humans who are going to be ‘enhanced’ in a way to be, let’s say, more efficient.
In fact, I am fascinated by this idea, but in regards of the language part, the technology of communication and the involvement of robots in humans daily lives will force languages to change.
I envision a variety of languages that is in mid way between mathematical formulas (since mathematics along with physics create the massive rules of this universe and probably other universes as well) and the creative part of languages of today.
I would be so thrilled to read a novel or a story written in one of these languages.
I firmly believe that humans (homo sapiens that is) will always be programmed to respond to storytelling.