The Art of Language Invention

The Art of Language Invention

From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-building

Book - 2015
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Penguin Putnam

An insider’s tour through the construction of invented languages from the bestselling author and creator of languages for 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 Michael Jackson. 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.

Baker & Taylor
The linguist describes his methods for creating an arificial language, describing the details of word and sound formation and sentence construction and using examples from his own language creations for such television shows as the "Game of Thrones."

Book News
David J. Peterson, author and creator of languages for the Game of Thrones television series and the Syfy series Defiance presents students, academics, researchers, and general interest readers with comprehensive guide to the construction of invented languages and the international culture of language creators. The author has organized the main body of his text in four chapters devoted to phonetics, oral physiology, and the sounds of a language, word creation, the evolution of invented languages, and creating the written word. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York, New York :, Penguin Books,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780143126461
Characteristics: 292 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Dec 27, 2017

An amazing introduction to linguistics. David Peterson's humor gives the technical guide life.


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