"From Elvish to Klingon shows clearly what makes invented languages fascinating - their logic, beauty, fun, and (often) high moral purpose." - The Boston Globe
"Written by a variety of expert scholars and linguaphiles, From Elvish to Klingon is both informative and accessible, and offers something for uninitiated novices, fluent users of invented languages, and everyone in between." - Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America
Introduction by Michael Adams
Linking all invented languages, Michael Adams explains how creating a language is intimidating work; no one would attempt to invent one unless driven by a serious purpose or aspiration. He explains how the origin and development of each invented language illustrates inventors' and users' dissatisfaction with the language(s) already available to them, and how each invented language expresses one or more of a wide range of purposes and aspirations: political, social, aesthetic, intellectual, and
Chapter 1: International Auxiliary Languages by Arden Smith
From the mythical Language of Adam to Esperanto and Solrésol, this chapter looks at the history, linguistics, and significance of international or universal languages (including sign languages).
Chapter 2: Invented Vocabularies: Newspeak and Nadsat by Howard Jackson
Looking at the invented vocabularies of science fiction, for example 1984's 'Newspeak' and Clockwork Orange's 'Nadsat', this chapter discusses the feasibility of such vocabularies, the plausibility of such lexical change, and the validity of the Sapir-Whorfian echoes heard in such literary experiments.
Chapter 3: 'Oirish' Inventions: James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Paul Muldoon by Stephen Watt
This chapter looks at literary inventions of another kind, nonsense and semi-nonsense languages, including those used in the works of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett.
Chapter 4: Tolkien's Invented Languages by Edmund Weiner
Focussing on the work of the accomplished philologist J.R.R. Tolkien, the fifteen languages he created are considered in the context of invented languages of other kinds.
Chapter 5: Klingon and other Science Fiction Languages by Marc Okrand, Judith Hendriks-Hermans, and Sjaak Kroon
Klingon is the most fully developed of fictional languages (besides Tolkien's). Used by many, this chapter explores the speech community of 'Trekkies', alongside other science fiction vocabularies.
Chapter 6: Logical Languages by Michael Adams
This chapter introduces conlangs, 'constructed languages'. For example, Láaden, created to express feminine experience better than 'patriarchal' languages.
Chapter 7: Gaming Languages and Language Games by James Portnow
Languages and games are both fundamentally interactive, based on the adoption of arbitrary sign systems, and come with a set of formal rules which can be manipulated to express different outcomes. This being one of the drivers for the popularity of invented languages within the gaming community, James Portnow looks at several gaming languages and language games, such as Gargish, D'ni, Simlish, and Logos.
Chapter 8: Revitalized Languages as Invented Languages by Suzanne Romaine
The final chapter looks at language continuation, renewal, revival, and resurrection - in the cases of Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton - as well as language regulation.