I remember a short story or maybe novella about a first contact. The powers in place bring in a renowned linguist (female, iirc) and her team to help communicate with the aliens.

Working off the aliens' physiology, she works out their way of thinking and representing information. There was some visualisation involved, but they may actually have been studying "spoken" language.

In the end, communication was established and, iirc, the linguist started thinking in the alien patterns as well.

I seem to remember reading the story in Lightspeed magazine in recent years, but I can't find it. It may have appeared somewhere else.

Does anyone have better memory than me?

  • 1
    Just to clarify on the tag rejection, we don't tag story-id questions with author names retroactively.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Dec 22 '20 at 1:58

Is it possible this might be "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang as per this answer? It involves a female linguist studying an alien language and starting to think in its patterns. It was in the December 2012 issue of Lightspeed (issue 31).

A film, Arrival was released in the United States on November 11, 2016, just for future reference.

  • That's it, thanks! I forgot about the time-perception thing so I did not recognise the connection to the other question from its title. Should we close as duplicate?
    – Raphael
    Aug 19 '15 at 12:35

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