Terence's Reviews > The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building

The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson
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bookshelves: science-general, science-language-linguistics

I might have given this book four stars. The first three chapters, "Sounds," "Words" and "Evolution," were interesting and contained some useful information I can use in developing my own conlangs.* The fourth chapter, "The Written Word," was of minimal use to me and I skimmed through a lot of it.

What I couldn't stand, however, was the writing. Peterson continually interrupted himself to make what he clearly thought were amusing asides. Since they weren't, it made reading tedious.

If you are at all interested in constructing languages, then I would recommend this book to you. Aside from the style, Peterson clearly presents the building blocks of a language and useful tips on creating one.

* My own interest in conlangs began when I read The Silmarillion way back in '78 and fell in love with the all too small Elvish dictionary that was included. When I was around 14, I began developing my own imaginary world, which I still work on to this day and for which I've created several languages. I'm a dilettante conlanger so I've only focused on one language, the dominant tongue of that region of my world most fully realized in my imagination, but I've constructed the skeletons for a variety of others in an effort to avoid having every place and personal name sound the same.
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Reading Progress

August 1, 2016 – Shelved
August 1, 2016 – Shelved as: wish-list
December 22, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 22, 2016 – Shelved as: science-general
December 22, 2016 – Shelved as: science-language-linguistics
February 5, 2017 – Started Reading
February 8, 2017 –
page 66
22.6%
February 9, 2017 –
page 159
54.45%
February 10, 2017 –
page 209
71.58%
February 11, 2017 – Finished Reading

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