Speech?

This is the place for discussion and voting on various aspects of werewolf life, social ideas, physical appearance, etc. Also a place to vote on how a werewolf should look.
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Re: Speech?

Post by Scott Gardener » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:12 pm

My werewolves can shift all the way to wolf form, though they also can shift slightly, part-way (to the familiar and well-loved Gestalt form), or most of the way. My werewolves also conserve mass--that is, they don't weigh any more in Gestalt form than they do in human form. (Homer Simpson: "In this household, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!") So, my werewolves do have to deal with the folding brain issue. If yours don't, then I've got a cast of characters who would love to transfer to your realm. :nohowling:
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Re: Speech?

Post by Uniform Two Six » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:23 pm

Scott Gardener wrote:Homer Simpson: "In this household, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!"
Totally off topic: That was the one where Bart engineers a teachers' strike, and Lisa goes nearly insane from the lack of stimulus while the school is closed and winds up inventing a perpetual energy machine as a way to keep occupied, right?
:)

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Re: Speech?

Post by Scott Gardener » Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:38 pm

Yep, that's the scene!
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Re: Speech?

Post by Sevena » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:08 pm

partial is anything,(and that only because they are human as well)i agree that its possible for speech to be mastered after some time but "if" your a werewolf are you really gonna stop to take the time to practice human speech? :P funny thought.a werewolf standing in the forest singing his or her abc's. :lol: in werewolf form i think speech would be more behavioral and canine like.im sure we've all seen those videos on youtube or where ever that have a dog saying i love you, but they are always more just the sound of the word than a formation of the word.if that makes any sense.would that dog even being trying to say that if not prompted by its owner,probably not.
i honestly think werewolves would have their own language but i dont think it would be one dominated with the formation of words in the human sense anyway.

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Re: Speech?

Post by keweymarsupial » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:18 am

Hello. I've got a degree in linguistics, i invent fictional languages for computer games and this thread looks interesting.

Let's assume for a moment that the werewolf doesn't atrophy and regrow areas of its brain during shapeshifting, because it's probably trillions of neural connections to destroy and remake. They'd end up with moderate to severe aphasia while all their synapses grew back. That would be silly.

Also the whole thing about wolves having no facility for hearing human speech has been more or less shot down in scientific literature. PDF.

I don't know about syntax or how the language would fit together at a structural language.. but there's certain observations we can make In terms of language sounds alone by watching videos of talking huskies, etc. We know that canid physiology allows for a few things like lip-rounding (c.f. lips when canids howl vs lips when canids are panting), it allows for growling as well as howling, and dogs at least can form a few analogues to human vowels (oo/w, oh, the a in cat, the ai in air, ah as in car). I've never heard a canid make a 'y' sound. There's an 'm' in there where the mouth is closed and there's a retroflex 'r' in there, maybe an 'l' and an 'n' too. They have enough glottal control to do a glottal stop as well.

Where i'm not so sure is things like plosives which require a closure of air (sounds like t, k and p). Can a canid tongue completely shut off the airway and allow pressure to build up? Maybe not. But for B you don't need that, it's the entire mouth, so let's add that to the list.
Can a canid tongue constrict the airflow just enough to create sibilant partial airflow that allows fricatives like s, sh and f? Not sure there either.

Out of that thought experiment, you've got seven consonants (W, L, M, N, R, 7 (glottal stop) and B) and at least four vowels (OO, OH, A, E and AH) definitely, and we know that it's possible for canid physiology to pull off a diphthong (one vowel sound gliding into another). Depending on lip rounding you might get more sounds too, that is if lip rounding doesn't preclude how open the jaw can be.

Canids also have fine control over the pitch of their voice, so there's a chance they might want to use tonal vowels like Chinese or Vietnamese to make their rather limited sound bank stretch even further.

The smallest sound inventory of any recorded human language (Central Rotokas) has six consonants and five vowels with contrasting long and short length, so we're already doing better than that even if we're mostly stuck with approximants, nasals and meat breath.

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Re: Speech?

Post by Scott Gardener » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:45 pm

Good point. The act of talking throws you into a certain mind-set, that of the left brain processing ideas and interpreting them for the purpose of human social interaction. It also instantly yanks me out of other mindsets, such as visual thinking, creative meditation, or sleep. This is why I, as an introvert, I sometimes get really, really cranky. Werewolves might be all too happy to ditch human speech as part of shifting.
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Re: Speech?

Post by FoxKnight » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:28 pm

Trinity wrote:
FoxKnight wrote:
Trinity wrote:@Fox Knight, I'll try but I can't promise the world. ;) Old habits die hard after all.
lol Sorry if that came out like sheer disgust. I was using the italics ironically but after reading it again it didn't really doesn't read that way
Text is dry and emotionless. You had made a good point. :) Just acknowledging it. So no worries! :)
O.o Text is dry and emotionless now?

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Re: Speech?

Post by Trinity » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:49 am

FoxKnight wrote:
Trinity wrote:
FoxKnight wrote:
Trinity wrote:@Fox Knight, I'll try but I can't promise the world. ;) Old habits die hard after all.
lol Sorry if that came out like sheer disgust. I was using the italics ironically but after reading it again it didn't really doesn't read that way
Text is dry and emotionless. You had made a good point. :) Just acknowledging it. So no worries! :)
O.o Text is dry and emotionless now?
Uhmn yes. This is why it's easy to "read into it", or have ti seem like it's been "read into" One cannot properly convey emotional intent or mind set. What one person my type as sarcastic someone else may read as being rude or obnoxious, or angry, or... etc... because text is itself dry and emotionless. :)
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Re: Speech?

Post by Scott Gardener » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:22 pm

I want to hear more from keweymarsupial. A linguist's opinion is what this thread needs. Kxalti!
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Re: Speech?

Post by keweymarsupial » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:45 am

Scott Gardener wrote:I want to hear more from keweymarsupial. A linguist's opinion is what this thread needs. Kxalti!
Na'vi, eh? :) OK, some more thoughts you shall have.

Past the physiological realities of wolven muzzles, Werewolf Speech would probably be completely secondary as a language. I figure if werewolves can just eventuate out of the blue, their hunting skills aren't going to be like wolves. Wolves have their entire lives to practice working as a team and learning to hunt things down. Maybe they've got an instinct to hunt but i don't know if it would necessarily come to them fully formed.

It might be to the advantage of werewolves to have a set of secret words and terms that they can use whatever their form is, and for those words to be comprehensible no matter how much language cognition they're capable of. So in that case the words would probably not be for long philosophical conversations. Quick simple words for quick simple ideas.

Unless of course there's private culture and ceremony to be done too, in which case that might benefit from some space in the language as well.

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Re: Speech?

Post by WerewolfKeeper3 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:51 am

So basically it's back to each person's own idea for the werewolf...
OKay... to be honest my were's talk like you or i do, because we, the human race, evolved speech. So why couldn't a werewolf who evolved from a wolf, do the same? As for the muzzle issue, i imagine they can speak and move their mouths and tongues in a way that you wouldn't be able to/barely be able to tell if there were minor problems, like the were avians i have having beaks. I can imagine you might hear a slight whistling sound when they spoke like humans, but other than that, there wouldn't really be an issue...

Why is it i'm getting more and more the idea that it's a good thing i stopped writing my story?
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Re: Speech?

Post by FoxKnight » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:20 pm

WerewolfKeeper3 wrote:So basically it's back to each person's own idea for the werewolf...
OKay... to be honest my were's talk like you or i do, because we, the human race, evolved speech. So why couldn't a werewolf who evolved from a wolf, do the same? As for the muzzle issue, i imagine they can speak and move their mouths and tongues in a way that you wouldn't be able to/barely be able to tell if there were minor problems, like the were avians i have having beaks. I can imagine you might hear a slight whistling sound when they spoke like humans, but other than that, there wouldn't really be an issue...

Why is it i'm getting more and more the idea that it's a good thing i stopped writing my story?
...werewolves evolved from wolves now? As far as I knew, werewolves were people who turn into wolf-like beings and had no ancestry nor genetic relationship with wolves

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Re: Speech?

Post by WerewolfKeeper3 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:36 pm

FoxKnight wrote:
WerewolfKeeper3 wrote:So basically it's back to each person's own idea for the werewolf...
OKay... to be honest my were's talk like you or i do, because we, the human race, evolved speech. So why couldn't a werewolf who evolved from a wolf, do the same? As for the muzzle issue, i imagine they can speak and move their mouths and tongues in a way that you wouldn't be able to/barely be able to tell if there were minor problems, like the were avians i have having beaks. I can imagine you might hear a slight whistling sound when they spoke like humans, but other than that, there wouldn't really be an issue...

Why is it i'm getting more and more the idea that it's a good thing i stopped writing my story?
...werewolves evolved from wolves now? As far as I knew, werewolves were people who turn into wolf-like beings and had no ancestry nor genetic relationship with wolves
Knew that was going to bite me sometime...
let me rephrase: my werewolves evolved from a wolf like species. they could change shape, from wolf to anthro wolf. according to my story, the shapeshifters, vampires and humans all have a common ancestor in the shifters. it gives vampires the ability to change form and in human, it gave them the ability to evolve into what we are now, probably by allowing more positive mutations to occur than negative. in this, humans also have a latent gene that allows were animals or vampires to turn them, something along the line of the turner activating a certain sequence that says "this is what you're going to become". I also have a whole host of other things about this...
good lord that actually came out good this time...
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Re: Speech?

Post by Noir-Okami » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:58 pm

I have my werewolves speak normally. It's handwaved by the way the jaw and teeth are set being different from a wolf's.
I'm working on a werewolf novel, while liking to stay up late at night and going to college. I'm going to be sleep-deprived when this is all said and done. :sleepy:

Anthony Brownrigg, I hope you have the best of luck with Freeborn. RedEye, I also wish you the best of luck with Wulfen Blood. And for a bit of luck for both of you... :ducktoss3:

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Re: Speech?

Post by Volkodlak » Tue May 06, 2014 10:49 am

I agree with posters before me that speaking with wolf muzzle would be hard. If you are still you when changed i think most newbies would try too speak, but it would be hard and words wont be very understandable without practice so as others said i think WW with full wolf muzzle will resort too body language, but the most determined will be able too talk, but clearly not so good as us(humans), but wouldnt WW with short muzzle be able to speak better than WW with long muzzle?
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Re: Speech?

Post by Terastas » Wed May 07, 2014 1:05 am

Uniform Two Six wrote:
Fullmoonstar wrote: I would even say that it would be hard(not impossible) for them to understand human language in their wolfform, since their ears would also change during the transformation.
My dog comes running whenever I utter certain words, for instance "squirrel" (I'm not even remotely kidding here), because he's come to associate those words with fun things to chase up trees. He will even come running from another room in the house, even when the (now forbidden) word is spoken casually in conversation.
Give your dog a pair of human ears, however, and "squirrel" might not sound the same way.

Easiest way I could think of to "relearn" English would be with audio tapes. Not necessarily those speech therapy tapes, but anything spoken-word like Monty Python or a stand-up comedy album. The beauty of those is that they're easily memorized, so the werewolf, after shifting, could play one of them and compare -- could see just how different the parrot sketch sounds with a different pair of ears. Could be that he can make sense of it, or it might be so drastically different that he gives up on it altogether.

Speech I wouldn't rule completely, but it would come with similar problems; the werewolf would have to experiment and relearn how to talk all over again. And few things can frustrate a man more than having to learn to do something he'd already learned once before, especially something so basic that he once took it for granted.

Throw in the fact that he's in a form he should endeavor to be in as little as possible, and he'll probably not have much interest in practicing at all.
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Re: Speech?

Post by Uniform Two Six » Thu May 08, 2014 8:04 pm

Terastas wrote: Throw in the fact that he's in a form he should endeavor to be in as little as possible, and he'll probably not have much interest in practicing at all.
Personally, I'd want to be able to communicate in a transformed state. "Don't shoot" would be a good phrase, for instance.

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Re: Speech?

Post by Volkodlak » Thu May 08, 2014 11:29 pm

Uniform Two Six wrote:
Terastas wrote: Throw in the fact that he's in a form he should endeavor to be in as little as possible, and he'll probably not have much interest in practicing at all.
Personally, I'd want to be able to communicate in a transformed state. "Don't shoot" would be a good phrase, for instance.
i would like to be able to talk in other form too, but question is would others understand you becouse you have long muzzle and canines and probably difrent tongue too. Thats why im asking if werewolfs with short muzzle could talk better than ones with long muzzle?
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Re: Speech?

Post by Chris » Fri May 09, 2014 9:35 am

Uniform Two Six wrote:Personally, I'd want to be able to communicate in a transformed state. "Don't shoot" would be a good phrase, for instance.
I think when it comes to "don't shoot", there's really only a few possibilities... 1 - whoever has (a) gun(s) has fast reflexes and is quick acting at the sight of a perceived threat, not giving you time to say anything, 2 - they're not too fast so you're better off getting out of the way and running off just in case, or 3 - they're too shocked to shoot at all, where it would be best to run away (if you don't trust who's there to not want to hurt you) or fall into a submissive pose and never make any fast movements (if you do).

Trying to talk would bring its own complications, such as a misunderstanding of intent. If you try to say anything in a wolf or gestalt-like form, there's a good risk they won't understand the words you're saying, especially if they're shocked and/or scared (ever seen videos of a dog that's trained to say "I love you"? even when I listen for it I can barely make it out, let alone if I'm armed and am surprised by a "monster"). They could take it as a threatening growl, in which case you give #2 time to make the shot, or may push #3 into shooting out of desperation. IMO, you're better off securing your safety first before trying to communicate with human speech in a form that's not designed for it.

Now, of course it would be beneficial to be able to talk, if only for practical purposes. There could also be situations where someone else attempts to start a dialog with you, and being able to talk back could defuse a still-dangerous situation. But at that point, it comes down to how likely you think such a scenario would be vs. how much you're willing to be in wolf/gestalt form to practice. It also depends if you have someone else that's able to coach you while you're in that form (it'll be difficult to know if you're speaking well if you're the only one there; you don't hear yourself like others will hear you), and how well you can keep focused on that task without getting strong urges to go do something else like hunt or sleep or whatever.

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Re: Speech?

Post by Volkodlak » Fri May 09, 2014 10:29 am

Chris nice post, as for:
Chris wrote: It also depends if you have someone else that's able to coach you while you're in that form (it'll be difficult to know if you're speaking well if you're the only one there; you don't hear yourself like others will hear you), and how well you can keep focused on that task without getting strong urges to go do something else like hunt or sleep or whatever.
i agree it would be very good if you hava a someone, but best would be if that someone is also speech therapist, but for learning by yourself we are living in 21st century so you can use voice recorder or smartphone.

i think talking would be best way too deal with frighten loved ones/friends because submissive pose would work if you were a dog, but you are for them a werewolf or a monster if WW would do this infront of me i would try too leave and in my point of view if you try too defuse a situation talking would be best option if you cant i would try too avoid animal like behavior(submissive pose) and use human behavior.
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Re: Speech?

Post by Terastas » Fri May 09, 2014 12:12 pm

The benefit of sign language would be that it would solve the problem at both ends: The werewolves would have the benefit of knowing that they're "pronouncing" it correctly, and the humans wouldn't need to worry about being heard differently.

Yes, it sounds like it would be a pain in the tail to learn a new language, but if you're only interested in learning basic "must know" things like how to spell your name or ask where the john is, it's easy enough.

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Re: Speech?

Post by Volkodlak » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:30 am

i just watched Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and i tought that Caesar like speech could be possible its understandable, but not as good as our speech
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Re: Speech?

Post by Uniform Two Six » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:12 am

I have nothing to add (especially since I have no intention of paying $15 to go see this thing), other than to say that since the premise of the movie is that a plague of some sort has decimated the human race, then Charlton Heston was wrong, and they didn't "blow it up".
:P

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Re: Speech?

Post by Tovarich_Volk » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:49 pm

A couple of things here. Does the braine completely change to a canid brain, or is there still human intellectual capacity?

From what I've noticed, dogs have very short attention spans and memories. Imagine, in a fairly subjective sense, a two year old kid with profound ADD, but a quickly focused attention to anything small and fast moving. Now for a wolf, imagine that same prey drive even more heightened, but with the intellect of a five year old kid, again with profound ADD.

I would think that the capability for speech would be pretty much nonexistant for a werewolf in full wolf form. However were we to assume that the werewolf were to retain their intellect in transformation, the ability would be at best limited due in part to the mouth and throat structure. If said theoretical werewolf were able to exert the effort to talk, it would most likely be very slurred, like somebody with a profound speech impediment only much worse. --You could probably understand what they were saying if you knew said werewolf well enough in shifted fom to become accustomed to the limitations of their vocal range.

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Re: Speech?

Post by Volkodlak » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:59 pm

Tovarich_Volk wrote:A couple of things here. Does the braine completely change to a canid brain, or is there still human intellectual capacity?
well we all have diffrent opinions on this question, but in my view brains do not change at all and only way that someone snaps and go crazy is if he could not keep his mind in one piece during the transformation or any other reason normal humans would snap too.
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