Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How Do They Do It?

How do fantasy and sci-fi writers come up with alien languages and names? Do they actually build up a lexicon of grammatical rules and structures a la Tolkien or that guy who created Klingon? Or do they just throw a bunch of random syllables together till they come up with something that sounds passable? "Let's see, jo'druba? No, how about zi'wrikbor? No, that's no good. Ooo, I know: ta'veren! That one's a keeper!" Inquiring minds want to know!

And no, this has nothing to do with my New Obsession.

Nothing at all.

Um, forget I said anything.

*whistles innocently and backs out of the room*


Zinger said...

Well, if you give sci-fi to most people and say, "Read this," their first response will most likely be, "What was this guy smoking?" So, there's your answer.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Hmmm, interesting observations. So, you wouldn't happen to have an idea of what it is the could be smoking, do you? Not that I would wan to partake of such a thing, of course, my asking is merely a way for me to quench my thirst of knowledge.

It has nothing to do with my New Obsession.

Look, behind you, R. Kelly, and he's got a gun!

*runs quickly away*

Cap'n Cluck said...

Lewis Carroll and Dr. Seuss made up plenty of words. However, these were not new languages, nor were they writing sci-fi. Given that languages are a collection of words using rules to tie them all together, I would assume that some sort of thought and planning would have to go into creating a new language. Otherwise, all you have is Jabberwocky and sometimes a Sneech.

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."