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The Fourth Kind

The first time I heard about The Fourth Kind was seeing the trailer before District 9. I was into its Blair Witch meets X-Files vibe, but I stumbled on the part where the professor claims that an audio recording contains spoken Sumerian, "the oldest language in human history." From my memory of college linguistics, I immediately was like, "No fucking way do we know what Sumerian sounds like." The distance between spoken and written was still vast, with grammatical elements like verbs (much less morphemes) still in development. But then Wikipedia sorta proved me wrong by suggesting we can at least guess at the phonemes, though it's not exactly conclusive if we would be able to recognize spoken Sumerian. Linguists out there: please help!


Not helpful and probably not even true, but Radiolab had this interesting idea that in ancient Greece, as they were spinning pottery and carving horizontal lines into it, the stylus creating the lines would have been eversoslightly vibrated by the soundwaves of nearby conversations, and if only you could filter out all the other things vibrating the stylus, it'd be right there for us to play back:: RECORDED VOICES OF GREEK CONVERSATION.

posted by alesh at 4:54 PM on September 1, 2009

That was an episode of something recently. Was it Fringe? I think so. They re-enact a crime using the sounds embedded inside glass.

posted by Rex at 5:11 PM on September 1, 2009

I saw that episode of the Fringe and thought that was total BS. I guess I was wrong. As for the movie, It looks interesting, although I can see how this concept could go terribly wrong..

posted by marrina at 11:14 PM on September 2, 2009

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