Look who’s Tolkien now: inventing languages
What are invented languages? How are they created? Do they have a place in the modern world?
Invented languages have been used for hundreds of years, perhaps most famously in books and TV shows such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Conlang (a shortened form of constructed language) entered both Oxford Dictionaries and the Oxford English Dictionary in 2014. In this discussion, conlanger David Peterson, author Michael Adams, and Deputy Chief Editor of the OED Edmund Weiner answer your questions about invented languages.
Michael Adams, Author: Michael Adams is currently Professor of English at the University of Indiana and the editor of American Speech. He is the author of numerous linguistic works, including Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon and From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages.
David Peterson, Writer and Conlanger: David Peterson is a writer and conlanger who created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for HBO’s Game of Thrones. His latest book, The Art of Language Invention, was published in 2015.
Edmund Weiner, Deputy Chief Editor of the OED: Edmund Weiner joined the staff of the OED in 1977. As well as co-editing the Second Edition, he is the co-author of The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary. He also co-authored the chapter discussing Tolkien’s invented languages in Michael Adams’s book From Elvish to Klingon.
Katherine Martin, Head of Content Creation at Oxford Dictionaries: Katherine Connor Martin joined the OED as an editor in 2003 and now also works on current dictionaries.