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Language Invention in Linguistics Pedagogy$
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Jeffrey Punske, Nathan Sanders, and Amy V. Fountain

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829874

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829874.001.0001

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A primer on constructed languages

A primer on constructed languages

(p.6) 2 A primer on constructed languages
Language Invention in Linguistics Pedagogy

Nathan Sanders

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the history of language construction, beginning with the earliest recorded examples of linguistic creativity and continuing with the first true constructed languages from the Middle Ages up through the Renaissance and Enlightenment, when language construction was guided largely by religious and philosophical concerns. The chapter continues by exploring more recent history, when language construction was guided more by practical goals to unite humanity. At the same time, language construction as an art form was also being developed, most notably by J. R. R. Tolkien, who set the stage for the modern era of artistic language construction requiring specialized knowledge, talent, and hard work. The chapter also discusses the emerging role of language construction as a tool for language revitalization and concludes with a summary of terms and concepts that are important to the study of constructed languages.

Keywords:   linguistic creativity, conlang history, conlang motivation, conlang typology, conlang use, conlang vocabulary

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