How I created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones by David J. Peterson, OUPblog, July 26th, 2014
David J. Peterson is a language creator who works on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance, and Syfy’s Dominion. You can find him on Twitter at @Dedalvs or on Tumblr.Peterson created the languages Dothraki, Valyrian, and Irathient. Conlang is now in the Oxford English Dictionary. Peters reviews the entire history of artificial language creation from Hildegard von Bingen in the 12th century to the current conlang craze. He mentions the three major epochs of language creation: the philosophical/scientific languages, languages intended for international communication (Esperanto, etc.), and finally conlanging proper as the creation of languages just for fun. The first major, and isolated, conlanger in this last category was J. R. R. Tolkien. Conlangers were isolated from one another until the first Conlang Listserv appeared in the early 1990s. Conlangs of the last type cultivate rather than eliminate the idiosyncratic irregularities of natural languages.
Peterson reviews the methods of creating these conlangs.
The first, which I call the façade method, is to create a language that looks like a modern natural language by replicating the various features of a modern natural language.The second method is Tolkien's method, the historical approach.
With the historical method, an ancestor language called a proto-language is created, and the desired language is evolved from it, via simulated linguistic evolution. The process takes a lot longer, but in some ways it’s simpler, since irregularities will naturally emerge, rather than having to be created by hand.Peterson proceeds to discuss the conceptualization of time in conlangs.
The OED entry caps a quarter-century of the conlanging craze, so different from earlier times when conlangers were largely unaware of one another's existence.