What Invented Languages Can Tell Us About Human Language

The cat's tail is big.

How inventing languages helps us understand the psychology of language. Hash yer dothrae chek asshekh? This is how you ask someone how they are in Dothraki, one of the languages David Peterson invented for the phenomenally successful Game of Thrones series. It is an idiom in Peterson’s constructed language, meaning, roughly “Do you ride well today?” It captures the …

The writing system of XXiiaaxi: Connecting a world with its language

When putting a lot of work into building an interesting conlang, I think it is important to have a way to show off the way everything fits together. You have to balance the way the language sits within its constructed world with its own linguistic properties. One way that I have highlighted the interesting properties …

How to teach linguistics to school students

Last week was a busy week at Queen  Mary Linguistics.  Coppe van Urk and  I ran a week long summer school aimed at Year 10 students from schools in East and South London on Constructing a Language. We were brilliantly assisted by two student ambassadors (Dina and Sharika) who, although their degrees are in literature rather than linguistics, are …