Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Create a conlang for a race of animate trees, that use human-shaped diagrams to represent language phylogeny.


Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Your conculture has a specific dialect for each season, but they don’t have established boundaries on when each season starts on their calendar.


Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Evidentiality is marked by the meter of a clause. Anything directly observed is iambic, hearsay evidence is dactylic, inferences are anapestic, etc.


Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Have a series of consonants that occurs mostly in words about the human body and in slang from a period about 50 years before.

These are, of course, the retro-flex consonants.


Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Get yourself some denim and make yourself a jonlang.

Remember Defiance

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

David J. Peterson received a BA in English and Linguistics from UC Berkeley in 2003 and an MA in Linguistics from UC San Diego in 2005. He created the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Castithan, Irathient and Indojisnen languages for Syfy’s Defiance, the Sondiv language for the CW’s Star-Crossed, the Lishepus language for Syfy’s Dominion, the Trigedasleng language for the CW’s The 100, and the Shiväisith language for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. He’s been creating languages since 2000.


The show Defiance aired on the Syfy network for three seasons from 2013 to 2015. It featured four full conlangs each with its own writing system. This paper details some of what went into making that a reality.

Version History

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

shadow is irjal (revisited)

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

irjal = shadow (noun) (Some things Google found for “irjal”: an unusual to uncommon term; a rare last name that can be Indonesian; a rare first name; similar írjál is in Hungarian a conjugation of the verb to write; similar Irja is an uncommon feminine Finnish first name; Irjal ash Shaykhiyah is the name of a place in Iraq; similar Irjala is the name of a place in Finland)

Word derivation for “shadow” :
Basque = itzal, Finnish = varjo
Miresua = irjal

My previous Miresua conlang word for shadow was iljar. I swapped the L and R around, which makes the new word look more similar to the Basque and the Finnish words.

The word shadow isn’t in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, although its plural can be found once in Through the Looking-Glass.

— the mild blue eyes and kindly smile of the Knight — the setting sun gleaming through his hair, and shining on his armour in a blaze of light that quite dazzled her — the horse quietly moving about, with the reins hanging loose on his neck, cropping the grass at her feet — and the black shadows of the forest behind —

Language Needed for Mystery Novel

Saturday, October 24th, 2015


Will Hodgkinson is looking for a conlang expert to create a language for a novel he is planning to write next year. In the context of the novel the conlang itself is fictional, created by one of the characters who uses it to write diary entries in it, and it serves as a kind of encryption method for both other characters of the novel and the readers themselves to crack, if they wish to do so.
The job itself consists of:

  • Developing a full conlang with a 1000-word vocabulary and a complete grammatical description;
  • Translating texts for the novel. This does not fall under the original compensation scheme and compensation for it will have to be negotiated between employer and applicant.

An orthography may be requested for the language at a later time. Compensation for it can be negotiated if the need arises.


Will Hodgkinson

Application Period

Closed due to reached deadline


The employer is looking to start writing the novel itself in May 2016. The conlang is part of the preparatory work and should be ready before then. The employer is expecting the chosen applicant to set up a working schedule with regular updates in order to keep track of progress.


$600 ($300 upfront, $300 on final delivery) for the language, grammar description and original lexicon. Compensation for translations and other additional work to be negotiated.

To Apply

Email “at” “dot” to express your interest in the project. Examples of previous work are welcome.

Note: Please assume that comments left on this post will not be read by the employer.

Daedalus et Icarus, 7

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Aqua quae eum recepit nomen ab illo tenet. At pater infelix, nunc non iam pater, “Icare,” dixit, “Icare, ubi es? Quo in loco te quaeram? Icare,” dicebat cum pennas notas in undis summis spectavit et damnavit suas artes. Tum corpus carum filii in sepulchrum posuit et terra a nomine pueri dicta est–Icaria.

la anhāri anakkāsimma pa jawēramma; ē masōwa mamāsa āl wa masōwa; samma ien λi īkarus; λi īkarus, la sāen sūkēñ; salla jarūna mo riēn sūkēñ; il samma ien λi īkarus il sema jatīāni jawāññi sū jatāoni ōl ī samma jatūrelil mo jakēlimma; ē ñamma mīsa macāna janōññū rā jajōste ī āl pa jekiēn mamōīñ jawēramma īkarja;

la anhāri anakkāsimma aqua quae eum recepit
pa jawēramma nomen ab illo tenet
ē masōwa mamāsa at pater infelix
āl wa masōwa nunc non iam pater
samma ien λi īkarus “Icare,” dixit
λi īkarus, la sāen sūkēñ Icare, ubi es?
salla jarūna mo riēn sūkēñ Quo in loco te quaeram?
il samma ien λi īkarus “Icare,” dicebat
il sema jatīāni jawāññi cum pennas notas…(spectavit)
sū jatāoni ōl in undis summis
ī samma jatūrelil mo jakēlimma et damnavit suas artes
ē ñamma mīsa macāna janōññū tum corpus carum filii…posuit
rā jajōste in sepulchrum
ī āl pa jekiēn et terra
mamōīñ jawēramma īkarja a nomine pueri dicta est–Icaria

Me and Storm Bride on Conlangery

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

I’m a few days late posting this (because reasons), but I’m very excited to post this interview I recently did with the folks on Conlangery, about the languages of Storm bride, and a bunch of other questions regarding fantasy literature and language creation. You can listen here:

We talk about:

  • How I got into linguistics and conlanging
  • Why there’s only two sentences of actual conlang in Storm Bride
  • Why most fictional languages in SFF suck
  • Ursula K. LeGuin’s Always Coming Home and other SFF works that at least try to get it right
  • How to present strange phonologies without terrifying your readers
  • Cultural appropriation issues when conlanging based on an real languages and cultures
  • Other stuff that I can’t remember.

This was the most fun I’d had in a while! Hope you like listening.

Tagged: conlang, conlangery, cultural appropriation, leguin, linguistics, podcast, praseo, storm bride