Review – The Art of Language Invention

Posted January 1, 2017 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Cover of The Art of Language Invention by David J. PetersonThe Art of Language Invention, David J. Peterson

Though this is written by the linguist behind Game of Thrones’ Dothraki, this isn’t a populist cash-in type of book. It goes into the history of conlangs (constructed languages) a little bit, and then delves deep into all the ins and outs of creating a convincing one — from phonology to grammar to script. It’s fascinating, if sometimes a little hard to follow for someone who isn’t interested in building their own invented language, and thus doesn’t have something to apply the ideas to.

The book covers a lot of ground by including some case studies of invented languages as well (Dothraki, unsurprisingly, included). Less usefully for me, it includes phrasebooks for some invented languages.

Ultimately, I think you have to be pretty darn into conlangs to get much value out of this, but it is a fascinating subject.

Rating: 4/5

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2 responses to “Review – The Art of Language Invention

    • I kind of want to learn some conlangs too, but I have enough trouble with my Welsh, French and Dutch without adding one I can’t really use! Alas…

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