The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves to Sand Worms, the Words Behind World-Building

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Penguin, Sep 29, 2015 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 336 pages

An insider’s tour through the construction of invented languages from the bestselling author and creator of languages for Legendary's Dune, the HBO series Game of Thrones and the Syfy series Defiance

From master language creator David J. Peterson comes a creative guide to language construction for sci-fi and fantasy fans, writers, game creators, and language lovers. Peterson offers a captivating overview of language creation, covering its history from Tolkien’s creations and Klingon to today’s thriving global community of conlangers. He provides the essential tools necessary for inventing and evolving new languages, using examples from a variety of languages including his own creations, punctuated with references to everything from Star Wars to Janelle Monáe. Along the way, behind-the-scenes stories lift the curtain on how he built languages like Dothraki for HBO’s Game of Thrones and Shiväisith for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, and an included phrasebook will start fans speaking Peterson’s constructed languages. The Art of Language Invention is an inside look at a fascinating culture and an engaging entry into a flourishing art form—and it might be the most fun you’ll ever have with linguistics.

The Art of Language Invention includes a new chapter on phrases, specifically, word order, negation, question formation, pragmatic concerns, relativization, and subordination, providing a complete introduction to language creation and linguistics. Invented languages featured in the book now include Chakobsa from Legendary’s Dune, Trigedasleng (or Grounder) from The 100, Méníshè language from Motherland: Fort Salem and Ravkan from the Netflix series Shadow and Bone.  

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mitchanderson - LibraryThing

If you have any interest in language, do not dismiss this book based on its title. While the fantastical implications may cater to a particular audience, they certainly don’t invalidate the wealth of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paul_S - LibraryThing

Would probably be more interesting to someone who's a fan of the Game of Thrones TV show. This should've really been disclosed on the cover as half of the book revolves around and is illustrated by ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
SOUNDS
25
The Sound of Dothraki
89
WORDS
97
Irathient Nouns
153
EVOLUTION
159
THE WRITTEN WORD
209
Evolving a Modern System P Typography
247
Postscript
259
Acknowledgments
266
Glossary
282
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

David J. Peterson began creating languages in 2000, received his MA in Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego, in 2005, and cofounded the Language Creation Society in 2007. He has created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance and Dominion, the CW’s Star-Crossed, and Thor: The Dark World. He has also created languages for many other television shows, such as the CW's The 100, Netflix's The Witcher, and Showtime's Penny Dreadful, as well as films such as Marvel's Doctor Strange, Netflix's Bright, and Legendary's Dune.

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