Ignite Ann Arbor 8
In 2013, you can't navigate the latest fantasy blockbuster without a phrasebook…and that might not be enough. Zooming light-years past Esperanto and Klingon, modern artistic constructed languages like Avatar's Na'vi and Game of Thrones' Dothraki are designed to be as complex — and complicated — as natural languages. (Think how you could never remember when to use the subjunctive in high school French.) But if someone told you to reverse engineer English to figure out how to create a new language, where would you even start? See how linguists today are doing just that to take the craft of the grand-daddy of artlangs, J.R.R. Tolkien, to the next level.