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The Language Construction Kit

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  258 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Create plausible and realistic languages for RPGs, fantasy and science fiction, movies or video games, or international communication... or just learn about how languages work from an unusual, light-hearted perspective. The Language Construction Kit on has helped a generation of conlangers to understand and create languages. It's expanded here with coverage of ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 11th 2010 by Yonagu Books
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May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book has a very specialized appeal, to "conlangers" -- people who make up languages as a hobby. The secondary audience would be writers who want to make up a language for a science fiction or fantasy setting. Even if you don't want to create an entire language, like Tolkien's Elvish, this book gives plenty of tips for making your bits of vocabulary and phrases believable.

It also serves as a decent linguistics primer. Rosenfelder covers the basics of phonology, morphology, syntax, orthograph
Lynanne Carroll
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you're considering ANY book to help in creating a language (however basic or complex), this guide is INCREDIBLE. It's inexpensive and more than worth every penny.

Rosenfelder covers just about everything there is to cover when it comes to language construction...and if he doesn't cover it, he usually leaves a reference for you to go to that does.

My one complaint that isn't even legitimate: It's so thorough. I know, it sounds ridiculous...but I'm serious. I'm a fast language learner (I excell
Apr 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is for people who would like to get started in (or deepen their knowledge of) conlanging (constructed languages). It covers a lot of ground, and as a result, parts of it are probably going to be a little fast-paced if you don't have previous knowledge of linguistics. But Rosenfelder does a pretty good job of going through various topics that will come up in the endeavor: determining the phonology, how to handle transliteration and writing systems, syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmat ...more
Teri Anderson
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book looks like so much fun-- a real delight for grammarians and linguists. The author shows you how to create your own languages from scratch. He analyzes snippets of Tolkien's fantasy languages from Lord of the Rings along the way. I wish I'd had a book like this when I was a teenager, when I had the time to play and delve deeply into something like this. The more you know about grammar (and foreign languages), the easier this will be; however, I can see a book like this helping anyone ...more
May 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Conlangers
I've enjoyed following his website for a couple or three years now - - and I downloaded/printed the original (much shorter) version of this to aid me in my own conlang forays.

Review will follow as soon as I polish my conlang sufficiently.

I may have mentioned in passing in other reviews that some of my favorite parts in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmari
K. A. Parker
Sep 16, 2016 marked it as dropped-skimmed
I'm not leaving a starred review of this book, because I did not read it all the way through. I read about the first half before I was absolutely overwhelmed and disappointed by how bogged down I became. The more I read this book, the more I wanted to not make a conlang while simultaneously wanting to make a conlang.

The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder claims that it is a book that "is intended for anyone who wants to create artificial languages" (emphasis mine). It is a book packed
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Language Construction Kit, online, is THE resource for "conlangers" (people who make up languages for fun and profit - but you knew that already). I personally can remember printing it out at least twice in my teens. (And holy HECK that was a lot of paper!) Every example mentioned for building your language (firmly based upon actual linguistic concepts - and yes, I think this is a good companion book for an intro to linguistics class) is given with examples from either real-world languages o ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Language Construction Kit is simply a must-have for anyone starting out in conlanging. The web resource is really useful, so I had some doubts whether it was actually necessary to buy the book as well, but I couldn't resist. I was not disappointed at all.

The book is well written, clear and concise, with plenty of examples. It also manages to touch upon an impressive number of topics. As I have studied linguistics for seven years I doubted that it would have much use for me beyond learning h
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mostly an overview of linguistics and an introduction to his own invented language, Mark Rosenfelder provides a good review for already established students of linguistics and opens up a new world for those to whom it is still new territory. The format isn't the most beautiful, but it is organized fairly well. At least one of his examples of Japanese is inaccurate. He does reference many languages, which gives a nice scope to the book, and he provides a lot of resources from his website as well. ...more
Eben Mishkin
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: creative-writing
An excellent introduction to linguistics. Honestly, a better introduction than my college text books. Essentially the same topics explained better and more entertainingly. The real joy of this book is for constructing your own language though. Rosenfelder provides the basic tools for you to work with and a lot of sage advice. I own two copies of this book so I can flip back and forth without losing my place. It's very handy to continue referring back to even after you've finished it for reminder ...more
Kim Norberg
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it a lot! And I learned a lot!
The only thing I didn't like was that it was very easy to understand and very well explained in the beginning, and then it quickly moved on, and I had a hard time understanding after a certain point. I don't know, maybe it would be easier if I knew more about linguistics or had English as a native language, but now I don't.
I guess if you read it more than once (which I will, or at least certain pages), you will get it. I also have study more linguistics. A
Jason Tank
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language
It's hard to mark this book as "read" when it's really more of a reference book, or manual. You don't just read it once, you go back to it as you need it.

I will agree with one reviewer: at times, this book is TOO in-depth! It's best read with the knowledge that you can skip or skim over entire sections and still gain lots of useful info from it. When you've grown more, you can come back and be able to absorb more.

I plan to get ahold of the "sequels" (if you please) to continue my journey.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that you can come back to again and again. When I first got it, I was just starting out in conlanging and most of the book was way over my head. Now, several years and many re-reads later, I feel like I have it memorized but I'm still getting new things out of it. My only complaint is that I wish it had a bit more morphosyntax and a little less pragmatics and semantics and word lists, but it's a wonderful start.
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
The book was kinda too technical for my liking, so that explains why my rating wasn't 5 stars. However, Rosenfelder did give me ideas I can use for the artificial language I'm creating, so that's a plus
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I used Mark Rosenfelder's original online Language Construction Kit to create several constructed languages. This book expands on his already excellent work. If you are interested in making your own language or just want to know more about how languages work, this book is for you.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not just for conlangers. Rosenfelder ends up crafting an interesting and approachable overview to the field of linguistics.
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: linguistics-read
A useful guide for anybody who wants to get into conlanging. It's not everything, but it's a very good start, and helps instill some practices that are good to have.
Michael Sorrentino
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
Informative and a good place to start for those looking to invent languages for sci-fi/fantasy worlds.
Paul Davies
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
The baseline text, incredibly useful.
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Feb 29, 2012
Tri Ison
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Jan 25, 2015
C. R. Powers
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm in love, my only regret is there isn't more details in certain places.
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Dec 31, 2016
lewis warburton
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Jan 06, 2016
Tim Rudolph
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“The other problem is redundancy isn't a bug, it's a feature.” 1 likes
“...there's an inverse relationship between frequency and information content...It doesn't do you much good to understand 80% of the word in a sentence if the remaining 20% are the most important for understanding its meaning” 1 likes
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