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Why language is humanity’s greatest invention by David Peterson

Why language is humanity’s greatest invention by David Peterson

Why language is humanity’s greatest invention by David Peterson

David Joshua Peterson is an American language creator, writer, and artist, who has constructed languages for television and movies such as Thor: The Dark World and Doctor Strange and the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for the television series Game of Thrones.

In this thought-provoking presentation, Peterson argues that language transcends mere communication—it is our legacy, our way of conveying what it means to be human.

Peterson begins by emphasizing that civilization rests upon the existence of language. He humorously illustrates how studying, preserving, and inventing new languages contribute to our understanding of collective humanity. Here are some key points from his talk:

  1. Language as More Than a Tool:
    • Peterson challenges the common perception that language is merely a functional tool for communication. Instead, he asserts that it is a profound reflection of our minds and spirits.
    • By studying languages, we gain insights into our shared human experience. Each language offers a unique perspective on the world, revealing cultural nuances and diverse ways of thinking.
  2. Creating New Languages:
    • As a language creator, Peterson has designed languages for various contexts, including fictional ones like High Valyrian for “Game of Thrones.”
    • He believes that inventing new languages is an enriching endeavor. It allows us to explore novel ways of expressing ideas and emotions.
  3. High Valyrian and Dothraki:
    • Peterson gives a quick lesson on High Valyrian, one of the languages he created for the popular TV series “Game of Thrones.” He also mentions Dothraki, another fictional language he contributed to the show.
    • These constructed languages add depth to the fictional world, but they also serve as examples of linguistic creativity and cultural richness.
  4. Linguistic Tolerance and Respect:
    • Peterson advocates for greater linguistic respect and tolerance. He believes that all languages, including endangered ones, deserve celebration as living expressions of human culture.
    • Rather than dismissing certain languages as unworthy of learning or preserving, we should recognize their value and uniqueness.

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Written by pragya singh

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