Juliette Wade and Sheila Finch. The Language of the Silent. (Fantasy and Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2016)

fsf160304Finch’s ‘Guild of Xenolinguist’ stories have been a feature in F&SF for almost a quarter of a century. It’s a few years last one appeared, which I haven’t felt as a loss as I never did engage with them, and had invoked my Perogative of Eschewment in terms of reading them. I could never engage with a conceit that with an unutterably alien alien, nuances of language would be a stumbling point, and felt most of the stories featured issues to be resolved that two humans with an otherwise shared experience but different languages, might come across.

Here Finch teams up with linguist Juliette, and the conceit of the story appears to be that the protagonist linguist loses her hearing in an accident, which of course makes the xenoliguistic process more problematic.

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