Conlang Descriptions English Language

Gnóma: A Brief Grammatical Sketch of a Conlang

Jessie Peterson 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 husband, David Peterson. Their languages appear in TV shows and films, including Legendary’s Dune: Part Two, 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.


Gnóma is a conlang for garden gnomes, who have a grim past behind their currently pleasant statued smiles. Their language is rooted in Gothic (as that was their native language) and has been influenced by both Romani and Turkish through long periods of language contact. The description of Gnóma in this paper treats it as a natlang, comparing it to typological trends of world languages and providing a brief overview of its sounds, writing system, and grammar.

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