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How do scientists uncover phenomena and explain their connections? How do engineers design machines, methods and infrastructure? At omega tau, experts give detailed answers. Over the last ten years, we have produced over 350 episodes in which we dug deeper, until we ran out of questions. Join us on our journey through the world of science and engineering: the closer you look and listen, the more interesting things get.


episode 276: Linguistics, Conlangers and Game Of Thrones' Dothraki

Guest: David J. Peterson    Host: Markus Voelter    Shownoter: Stefaan Rillaert

Conlangers are people who design human languages, either just for fun or for use in works of fiction, often TV series or movies. My guest, David Peterson, has designed several languages, including the the Dothraki language featured prominently in Game Of Thrones. In this episode we use Dothraki (and English, and a bit of German) to introduce the basics of linguistics, i.e., the science behind natural (and in this case, designed) languages. We also discuss a few specific of Dothraki, and how it gets used in Game Of Thrones.

  • David’s Book (paper, Kindle, audio book)
  • David’s Google Talk

Introduction 00:01:51

David Peterson | David Petersons' book 'The Art of Language Invention' | Game of Thrones | Dothraki | Linguistics | Esperanto

Dothraki 00:04:36

David Petersons' Dothraki talk at Google | Game of Thrones books | Noun | Grammar | Adjective | Verb | Object | Subject | Preposition and postposition | Inflection | Compound | Language Creation Society | Grammatical case | Article | Actors about Dothraki in Game of Thrones | Dothraki conversation in Game of Thrones

Ingredients of a language 00:18:31

Phonetics | Phonology | Syllable | Intonation | Tone | Vowel | Consonant | Fricative | Grammatical gender | Morphology | Lexicon | David Peterson on the Lexicon Valley podcast | High Valyrian | Syntax | Place before time word order in English | Ordering of adjectives in English | Flexible word order in Latin | Emoji | Inverted question and exclamation marks (in Spanish) | Rhetorical question | Pragmatics | Speech disfluency | Semantics | Lexicographer | Urban dictionary | Guy Steele's keynote on "Growing a language" | Singular 'They' | Minimalist languages | Basic English | Alphabet | Twitter 280 characters

Developing Dothraki 01:50:14

Eskimo words for snow | 'How to invent a language' in Wired | Phonology


 2018-01-17  2h11m