I'm working on building a science fiction story, one which I wish to employ some social advances on language- namely, that the common language for humans is far more gender neutral in respect towards fellow humans and encountered aliens. The problem is, I have no knowledge or experience in linguistics, nor do I have much of an idea of the evolution of language outside what I've learned from books like Bill Bryson's "Made in America."
Now, I'm already completely aware of current proposed gender neutrals- I've visited the various gender and sexuality related wikipedia and other encyclopedias.
What I want to know is this: Are there any currently existing languages in the world from which I can borrow gender neutral honourifics from? Something that might be a replacement for "Sir" and "Ma'am", and for "Mr." and "Mrs."?
And are there any neutral pronouns? I'm only slightly familiar with the Finnish word "hän" in that someone from Finland passingly mentioned that they use one word for "him" "her" "she" and "he," which is "hän," and that's why they always felt uncomfortable using anything other than "they" in English. :p
So yes, thanks in advance for every contribution. :)
Edit: I really appreciate all the input, and the more well advised advice on the entire idea of borrowing from other languages. You've all given me a lot to think about and consider, and in the end I might avoid entangling other languages. As for the people who did contribute their knowledge of other languaes, thanks for giving me some perspective.