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About the book
  • Published: 4 April 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143126461
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.00

The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, The WordsBehind World-Building


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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.

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. 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. Here 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.

  • Pub date: 4 April 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143126461
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $32.00

About the Author

David J. Peterson

DAVID J. PETERSON was born in Long Beach, California in 1981. He attended UC Berkeley from 1999 to 2003, and received a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Linguistics. He then attended UC San Diego from 2003 to 2006, where he received an M.A. in Linguistics. He's been creating languages since 2000, and working on Game of Thrones since 2009. In 2011, he became the alien language and culture consultant for the Syfy original series Defiance. In 2013, he joined the crew of the CW's Star-Crossed and also Syfy's Dominion as a language creator. In 2007, he helped to found the Language Creation Society, of which David has remained a proud member. He is the author of The Art of Language Invention, to be published by Penguin Books in 2015.

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Praise for The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, The WordsBehind World-Building

“David Peterson's language work transformed our show, investing it with a sense of reality and history that would have been impossible without him. There's nothing like the real thing, and David Peterson is it”

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, co-creators of the HBO series Game of Thrones


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