I've created a race of nomadic robots, but am having trouble finding a culture to base their language off of. They're peripatetic nomads, meaning they travel around offering goods and services to any friendly people they come across, but most nomadic peoples of this style either use the languages of their country, or the language is too fluid and natural to be suited for machines.

  • Are you seeking a natural language basis? Otherwise, languages like ROILA or Lojban might be better suited, as they are already intended to be machine-recognizable languages. – Richard Mar 18 '19 at 16:00
  • Hello and welcome to the site. Unfortunately this question in its current form isn't a good fit for the site. We like questions to be specific and, if possible, objectively answerable. In principle you could base a robotic language off any human language and culture. – curiousdannii Mar 18 '19 at 23:28
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    Could you edit this question to give a lot more detail, to explain what you mean by basing a language off their culture (are you thinking in terms of the vocabulary needed for a nomadic culture?), and to explain more why the nomads you've considered are not good options for you? What does it mean for a language to be "too fluid and natural" for machines? – curiousdannii Mar 18 '19 at 23:28
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    I think this is a perfectly valid question, asking for inspiration to kick-start developing a conlang. Not all questions are directly about the shape of a language, see eg this one: conlang.stackexchange.com/questions/119/… – Oliver Mason Mar 19 '19 at 9:14
  • @OliverMason That question is much more specific and doesn't really have much in common with this question IMO. As I wrote above, there's lots of scope for improvement with this question, so I hope it will be edited soon. – curiousdannii Mar 20 '19 at 4:06

Humans in such kind of situation devolop a Pidgin specifically for trade. It is arguably easy not only for humans but also for robots: no complicated ingredients in syntax nor morphology, and also usually a simple phonology.

  • Interesting point. Robots which are able to produce any sound would probably not have to worry much about phonology and could just produce sequences of beeps, but they would stick to the sounds pronounceable by the people they trade with. – Domino Mar 25 '19 at 21:56

How about Polynesian languages? The people travelled far distances, their culture was very spread out, and they don't really have a country that 'owns' the language.

A further positive aspect is that you can pick up basic Hawai'ian on Duolingo; this quickly gives you a feel for the language. It's VSO, so sounds unusual enough to Western cultures who are more used to SVO. It would also be very plausible for machines who might process knowledge in predicate calculus (as in eats(cow, grass)).

The vocabulary has a strong English influence, due to the colonialisation by the Americans, who made teaching the language illegal, but you will probably adapt that anyway to choose your own words.

  • Thanks, I’m going to look at their culture as well as their history and add Yiddish vocabulary as well – The Jaunty Fool Mar 23 '19 at 19:54

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