I'm imagining a hypothetical lone organism on a planet. Something like Avatar, the movie's Eywa. I am envisioning it as a massive organism covering the entire surface of the planet but biologically one single coherent entity. It was always the only living thing in the planet. Language, to what I understand is a means of communication, be it chemical signalling between two rather un-intelligent, or sign language communication between chimpanzees or advanced vocalisation in case of humans - there are multiple entities in involved. This raises few questions, what would the alien's intellect, whatever it would mean for it be like ? From what I have searched from the internet, having a language is not a compulsion for having rational thought, so if presence of other entities is a roadblock, in having the urge to 'communicate' and thus develop a language, then communication can be entirely circumvented because there is only one organism here, still there could be rational thought. But even that would be a dubious scenario, would this 'internal language' be like human internal monologue ? There would also be important considerations involved here, being a lone entity will there be a concept of linguistic/ psychological 'I' and 'You' ? Will there be a concept of 'motive' ? What I'm asking it here and not elsewhere is because I'm more interested in investigating the evolution of linguistic artifacts in such a setting rather than psychological ones and I'm looking for answers discussing the questions I have come up with.

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    A lone, sentient being that has existed for a considerable amount of time but doesn't have an infallible memory would probably have invented a system for keeping information.
    – Domino
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 16:00
  • I think it does occur if chemical signaling counts. What is an endocrine system after all? Note that some hormones have different "meanings" to different animals, just as one sound or hand signal could have a different meaning in different languages.
    – Theodore
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


Reminds me of the movie Arrival. At this point we can only speculate, so it’s tough to say. Perhaps as research on Cephalopoda and mycelium network communication grows, we can better answer this question.

Personally, I consider dreaming to be Homo sapiens innate form of communication. Also when the majority of us are taught our primary language during adolescence, our brain’s language centers are structurally changed. However if we are to talk about a single entity then one may reason that Nature falls under that category. As a spiritual naturalist, I almost certainly believe that Nature does communicate but in a “language” that is nothing alike humanity’s concept of it. More… idk - body-language like. Energy, kinetic motion, is the common denominator at the root of my unsubstantiated viewpoint.

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