David Peterson (The Art of Language Invention) “Conlanging”

April 12, 2016 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Hackerman Hall B17
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218
Center for Language and Speech Processing


Creative individuals have been consciously constructing languages since the 12th century. Prior to the 20th century, conlangers (language creators) had ulterior motives for creating language, be it to create a language for religious expression, a common tongue for those from different nations who shared no language, or a perfect language that would describe the word precisely and scientifically. Tolkien and modern conlangers innovated the notion of the artistic language: the language as art piece. In this talk, David Peterson (creator of the languages from HBO’s Game of Thrones) will introduce some of the tenets of naturalism, a subdivision of the artistic language movement that seeks to create languages that appear as realistic as those that occur naturally here on Earth.


David J. Peterson is a language creator and author. He has worked as a language creator on numerous television shows and films, including HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance, MTV’s Shannara Chronicles, the CW’s The 100, NBC’s Emerald City, Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, and Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. In 2014 he published Living Language Dothraki, the best-selling guide to the Dothraki language from HBO’s Game of Thrones. In the fall of 2015 David published his nonfiction work The Art of Language Invention with Penguin Books.


Center for Language and Speech Processing