Jessie Sams has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a professor of linguistics at Stephen F. Austin State University for 13 years, where she created a conlanging course and taught students how to construct a language from the ground up. She is now a full-time professional conlanger and works with her partner, David Peterson. Their languages appear in TV shows and films, including Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, Pixar’s Elemental, the Peacock’s Vampire Academy, and Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem. They host the weekly livestream LangTime Studio on YouTube, where they create new languages from scratch and share the process.
In this essay, Jessie Sams discusses some of the major personal hurdles she has to overcome as a conlanger, and introduces a new personal conlang she’s working on, Zhwadi.
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