David J. Peterson

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Born
in Long Beach, The United States
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Influences
Virginia Woolf, Joseph Heller, Vladimir Nabokov

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April 2008

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My name is David Peterson, and I'm a language creator and writer. I'm the author of Living Language Dothraki, and the forthcoming The Art of Language Invention. I've been creating languages for television shows and movies since 2009. The productions I've worked on (and languages I've created for them) are: HBO's Game of Thrones (Dothraki, High Valyrian, Astapori Valyrian); Syfy's Defiance (Castithan, Irathient, Indojisnen); Syfy's Dominion (Lishepus); the CW's Star-Crossed (Sondiv); the CW's The 100 (Trigedasleng); Marvel's Thor: The Dark World (Shiväisith); and Showtime's Penny Dreadful (Verbis Diabolo).

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David J. Peterson I was already familiar with Enochian prior to my involvement with Penny Dreadful. While I like the idea of tying John Dee fictionally to VD, the…moreI was already familiar with Enochian prior to my involvement with Penny Dreadful. While I like the idea of tying John Dee fictionally to VD, the quality of his work is such that it just didn't make sense to make any reference to it. It's basically coded English; an amateurish effort. It didn't make sense to take his actual material and try to fit it into VD.(less)
David J. Peterson Verbis Diabolo is different from anything I've ever done. First, it's a posteriori, which means that all the words and grammar come from other—in this…moreVerbis Diabolo is different from anything I've ever done. First, it's a posteriori, which means that all the words and grammar come from other—in this case, real world—sources. Specifically, the sources were Arabic, Akkadian, Middle Egyptian, Attic Greek, Latin, Farsi and Turkish. Second, VD was not intended to be a language proper. I looked at the language as an art piece. VD is supposed to be a language twisted in form; wrenched from Earth's languages. Many words that meant something in a given language are taken and reversed phonetically to produce the equivalent VD word. Sometimes the reversal came with a reversal in meaning, as with justa, from Latin, which becomes atsüü, "vile". Also pieces of words from many different languages will often be combined to produce portmanteaux which may have nothing to do with the original meanings of any of the parts.

In addition, though there are patterns in the language, sometimes the patterns are broken for no reason. A word which has meant the same thing every time one has heard it will suddenly have a new meaning in a new sentence for no discernible reason. Words will change orders to subvert previously attested patterns; words will be pronounced differently for no reason at all; the auxiliary, one of the few bits of predictability in the language, will move or drop out entirely.

All of this combines to produce something that doesn't sound an awful lot like a language, and I think that's true. It defies attempts to learn it, meaning that the only way to actually speak it is to be touched by the devil. In effect, that was the point.

So yeah, I had a lot of fun with it! It's far different from anything I've ever done in the past. It sounds really weird. I've been pleased with the performances thus far. I'll get to your second question tomorrow. :)(less)
Average rating: 4.06 · 943 ratings · 198 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Art of Language Inventi...

4.05 avg rating — 836 ratings — published 2015 — 5 editions
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Living Language Dothraki: A...

4.17 avg rating — 70 ratings — published 2014
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The Speculative Grammarian ...

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4.36 avg rating — 22 ratings — published 2013
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The Zaanics Deceit (Cate Ly...

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Dialect: A Game About Langu...

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Moominpappa at Sea
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I'm a Shark
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David Peterson David Peterson said: " Amazing!

This is perfect! I cannot wait to read this to my child! Little shark ain't scared of nothing! (Except maybe spiders.)
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The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson
"I am a complete and total language nerd, so I was heavily predisposed to liking this book ... and it really did not disappoint. I wish he would have used more "real life" examples from existing languages to illustrate some of his points and exampl..." Read more of this review »
The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson
“If the actors speaking Dothraki or High Valyrian or Castithan or whatever make a mistake, who would know but the creator? Who would care? The truth is probably one in a thousand people will notice, and of those who do, maybe a quarter will care. In the 1980s that amounts to nothing. In the new millennium, though, one quarter of 0.001 percent can constitute a significant minority on Twitter. Or on Tumblr. Or Facebook. Or Reddit. Or”
David J. Peterson
The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson
"At long last I understand what "ergativity" is, and nothing can stand in my way!

This book is a primer in the basics of language and linguistics as well as a kind of "how-to" in the mysterious craft of building a language in a bottle. Linguists tal..." Read more of this review »
The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson
"The Art of Language Invention was one of those books that I felt sad finishing because I knew that even if I read it again I could never have those exact feelings of amazement and wonder a second time. This book is fantastic and while it is a guid..." Read more of this review »
More of David's books…
“If the actors speaking Dothraki or High Valyrian or Castithan or whatever make a mistake, who would know but the creator? Who would care? The truth is probably one in a thousand people will notice, and of those who do, maybe a quarter will care. In the 1980s that amounts to nothing. In the new millennium, though, one quarter of 0.001 percent can constitute a significant minority on Twitter. Or on Tumblr. Or Facebook. Or Reddit. Or”
David J. Peterson, The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building

“Those who are able to do other accents well or who can make themselves sound like a native when speaking another language are incredible at imitating other vowel sounds. Consonants”
David J. Peterson, The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building

“To hear the effect of height, what you should do is mouth, in order, the vowels in meet [i], mate [e], met and Matt [æ]. Don’t actually pronounce them. While doing this, take your thumb and forefinger and flick the skin underneath your back jaw. This will produce a hollow popping sound (something like clapping your palm over an open bottle). As you move from the higher vowel to the lower vowel, the tone of that hollow popping sound will actually get higher. You can repeat the example with moot [u], moat [o] and mot and hear the same result.”
David J. Peterson, The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building

“If the actors speaking Dothraki or High Valyrian or Castithan or whatever make a mistake, who would know but the creator? Who would care? The truth is probably one in a thousand people will notice, and of those who do, maybe a quarter will care. In the 1980s that amounts to nothing. In the new millennium, though, one quarter of 0.001 percent can constitute a significant minority on Twitter. Or on Tumblr. Or Facebook. Or Reddit. Or”
David J. Peterson, The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building

198681 WorldconYA — 4 members — last activity Sep 08, 2016 08:52PM
Do you read YA? Do you like Science Fiction / Fantasy? Have you read and loved books written by authors such as Leigh Bardugo, James Dashner, Marie Lu ...more



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