In the Land of Invented Languages: A Celebration of Linguistic Creativity, Madness, and Genius

Front Cover
Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperbacks, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 342 pages
Here is the captivating story of humankind's enduring quest to build a better language—and overcome the curse of Babel. Just about everyone has heard of Esperanto, which was nothing less than one man's attempt to bring about world peace by means of linguistic solidarity. And every Star Trek fan knows about Klingon. But few people have heard of Babm, Blissymbolics, Loglan (not to be confused with Lojban), and the nearly nine hundred other invented languages that represent the hard work, high hopes, and full-blown delusions of so many misguided souls over the centuries. With intelligence and humor, Arika Okrent has written a truly original and enlightening book for all word freaks, grammar geeks, and plain old language lovers.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

I have been waiting to read this one ever since I first heard of it—a book devoted to all the languages that have been created by other people. Everyday languages are organic: they have no real ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheDivineOomba - LibraryThing

It was cute. But not especially interesting. One made up language felt like another, and all the creators of language (with the exception of Klingon) seem to be meglomaniacs - trying to make the ... Read full review

Contents

Nine Hundred Languages Nine Hundred Years
3
john Wilkins and the Language of Truth
19
Ludwik Zamenhof and the Language of Peace
79
Trouble in Volapükland
105
2 Crank Pride
124
Charles Bliss and the Language of Symbols 13 Word Magic
135
Hit by a Personality Tornado
151
Those Queer and Mysterious Chinese Characters
160
Meaning Quicksand
231
To Menstruate Joyfully
241
The Klingons the Conlangers and the Art of Language 23 Flaws or Features?
255
The GoTo Linguist
264
What Are They Doing?
272
The Secret Vice
282
The List of Languages
295
Appendix B Language Samples
315

The Spacemen Speak
173
The Catastrophic Results of Her Ignorance
183
James Cooke Brown and the Language of Logic 18 The Whorfian Hypothesis
199
A Formula for Success
208
Suitable Apologies
215
Notes
323
Acknowledgments
331
Index
333
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Arika Okrent received a joint Ph.D. in the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Psychology’s Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the University of Chicago. She has also earned her first-level certification in Klingon. She lives in Philadelphia.


From the Hardcover edition.

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