David J. Peterson

Master language creator David J. Peterson offers a captivating overview of language creation, covering its history from Tolkien’s creations and Klingon to today’s thriving global community of conlangers. He presents the essential tools necessary for inventing and evolving new languages, using examples from a variety of languages including his creations, punctuated with references to everything from Star Wars to Michael Jackson.

Along the way, behind-the-scenes stories lift the curtain on how he built languages like Dothraki and Valyrian for HBO’s Game of Thrones and Shivaisith for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. His presentation is an inside look at a fascinating culture and an engaging entry into a flourishing art form-and it might be the most fun you’ll ever have with linguistics.

David has worked as a language creator on numerous television shows and films, including HBO’s Game of Thrones, where he created both Dothraki and Valyrian languages, Syfy’s Defiance, Syfy’s Dominion, the CW’s The 100, the CW’s Star-Crossed, Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, and the upcoming Emerald City on NBC and The Shannara Chronicles on MTV. In 2014 he published Living Language Dothraki, the best-selling guide to the Dothraki language from HBO’s Game of Thrones. His newest nonfiction work is The Art of Language Invention with Penguin Books.

He has a background in academic linguistics, having earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics from UC Berkeley and a masters degree in Linguistics from UC San Diego. He served as a cofounder and original board member of the Language Creation Society, and served as its president from 2011 to 2014.

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