Esperanto for augmented reality

The other day I suggested that language might evolve in a more gestural direction, once augmented reality allows us to create visual artifacts “in the air” during face to face conversation.

It is unlikely that we will be able to come up with such natural languages merely by thinking about them. After all, the evolution of natural language is, by definition, a process that happens naturally, through actual use — and mainly through actual use by children.

On the other hand, there is a place for artificial language creation in the process. For example, Esperanto is not a natural language. In fact, there is empirical evidence that when children are taught Esperanto, they proceed to spontaneously “fix” it, converting this artificially designed language into dialects that are more like true natural language.

Yet other empirical studies have shown that when children are exposed to Esperanto, their facility for acquiring and understanding languages can improve. Which suggests that starting out by creating an Esperanto for augmented gestural reality would not be a complete waste of time.

After all, you’ve got to start somewhere.

Leave a Reply