The Art of Language Invention

David J. Peterson

Monday, 12 Feb 2018 at 8:00 pm – Great Hall, Memorial Union

David J. Peterson created the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for HBO's Game of Thrones as well as the Dark Elves' Shiväisith language for Marvel's Thor: The Dark World. A linguist by training, Peterson offers an overview of language creation, covering its history from Tolkien's creations and Klingon to today's global community of conlangers. He will share stories of how he built Dothraki and Valyrian and discuss the essential tools necessary for inventing and evolving new languages. Peterson is the author of The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building and Living Language Dothraki. Quentin Johnson Lecture in Linguistics and Part of LAS Week
David J. Peterson has been creating languages since 2000, and working on Game of Thrones since 2009. He became the alien language and culture consultant for the Syfy original series Defiance in 2013. He has also worked with the CW’s Star-Crossed and Syfy’s Dominion as a language creator, and in 2014 joined the crew of the CW’s The 100. He helped found the Language Creation Society in 2007.

Peterson graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA in English and linguistics, and received a Master's in linguistics from the University of California, San Diego.

Cosponsored By:
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Miller Lecture Fund
  • English
  • International Studies Program
  • Linguistics Club
  • Linguistics Program
  • Quentin Johnson Lecture Fund
  • World Languages & Cultures
  • Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government)

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