In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher Babel No More by Michael Erard Talking Hands by Margalit. In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Build A Perfect Language eBook: Arika Okrent: : Kindle Store. In the Land of Invented Languages: A Celebration of Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius. Front Cover. Arika Okrent. Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperbacks.

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The Mythopoeic Society Reviews: In the Land of Invented Languages

Often these languages are an adjunct to works of fiction, but in the well-known case of the author of The Lord of the Rings, the fiction was a by-product of the invented lanv.

Arika Okrent is intrigued by languages that have been created whole-cloth–like Esperanto or Klingon or the elvish tongues of Tolkien. An experiment was proposed in Scientific American in which such a language would be developed and people from various cultures and language backgrounds would be taught to use it to see how their thinking was changed when communicating in a “logical” language.

We flew to Phoenix together, and when the plane took off, he pulled a book out of his duffel bag titled Science from Your Airplane Window. That’s interesting particularly because of what the book was slightly too early to discuss – the work of David Peterson, e.

In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent | : Books

I had xrika idea that that many people going back to the s in Europe! A Dictionary of the Speech of Tierra del Fuego.

I am happy to report that I was disappointed. Ultimately, it is, as she says, a story of failure–depending upon your definition, either very few or no invented languages have really succeeded.

Dec 20, Jimmy rated it it was amazing Shelves: And most are forgotten. She rescues language inventors, or conlangers, from the oddball bin—utopianists all, they’re the first biotechnologists, trying to leapfrog evolution and improve human life. Also Klingon is one of the most successful languages, despite the fact that it has no ‘real purpose’, as some have argued.


In the Land of Invented Languages

One that was invented to express a woman’s perspective is Laadan and has words like this: But what drives these people to create them in the first place, against all odds of mass adaption? It sets out to tell a certain story, as much about language itself as about language invention: Qatlho to author, that’s thank you in Klingon. Okrent’s style is eminently suited aika her approach, which is at once serious and playful, exemplified by her marvelous, snappy opening sentence: I loved the part about the U.

I enjoyed this; it’s very much like a series of magazine articles in the sort of magazine that only exists in my dreams.

Almost all of these are complete failures, if you define a failure of a language as one that isn’t used by anyone. But dang, what an incredibly good book. In the late 19th century, scholars were mesmerized by the idea of Proto-Indo-European as an ancestor of most European languages and wanted to create easy-to-learn languages that drew on those commonalities–of which Pf was the most successful among hundreds of attempts.

The job of the linguist, like that of the biologist or the botanist, is not to tell us how nature should behave, or what its creations should look like, but to describe those creations in all their messy glory and try to fi gure out what they can teach us about life, the world, and, especially in the case of linguistics, the workings of the human mind. ILIL does not mention them.

That story is fascinating. As a collector oof old books on invented languages we’re talking sI found myself becoming very jealous at the books that Okrent stumbles upon in her research. She peppers this subject with some of the heroes and villains behind invented languages; enter John Wilkins who construc This book is a joy.

It was full of those interesting tidbits that make you okrrnt the people in the room by interrupting them to say, “Wow, did you know that When I met him, we lived in the same New Jersey town. I can’t help throwing in another example here.


From there, there was nowhere to go but to the borders of language itself–the contact, or “mixed,” languages, the pidgins and creoles of the PMs: When a discussion of Klingon appeared on Slashdot. To be honest, it’s the only book I’ve ever read about invented languages. I would have liked more reflection on the argument that Esperanto and other auxlangs are ‘too European’, and in general it was a shame that non-European conlangs like Afrihili or Guosa weren’t discussed in the main body of the book.

Arguably Esperanto is the most successful of the invented languages, created by a Pole–it is amazing how much of the story of invented languages is driven by Poles and Russians–Esperanto focused on a different way of creating a universal language. View all 5 comments. Miller, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “[Okrent’s] langugaes is both thought-provoking and fun. Really fun book which I wolfed through, a lot of interesting anecdotes thrown in to keep it lively and I learned a lot about something I already thought I knew about.

Oct 13, Ian Tregillis rated it it was amazing. It was an odd experience ha The author looks at the history of invention surrounding well, invented languages.

Her reference to on husband.

The first chapter on him sets up a very nice story about a sweet old man and the children he helped, and yet there are suggestions of dysfunction hiding just around the corner, and I could barely contain the anticipation of finding out what was going alnd go wrong.

And the exact book I needed to get me out of the rut of non-reading I’ve been in the last 2 months. Okernt is sort of taken that gig now, Esperanto might be the most famous attempt, Klingon the most entertaining.