David Salo bigraphy, stories - American linguist

David Salo : biography

1969 -

David I. Salo (born 1969) is a linguist who worked on the languages of J. R. R. Tolkien for the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, expanding the Elvish languages (particularly Sindarin) by building on vocabulary already known from published works, and defining some languages that previously had a very small published vocabulary. He is a graduate student in linguistics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. (also available )

His primary professional interest is Tocharian, an extinct Indo-European language spoken in the Tarim Basin and Turfan Depression during the Middle Ages.

Salo on Tolkien's languages

David Salo's interest in Tolkien's languages arose when he read Tolkien's works as a boy. As an undergraduate at Macalester College he studied Latin, Greek and linguistics, and used the knowledge gained to improve his understanding of Tolkien's languages. In 1998 he was among the founders of the Elfling mailing list for Tolkienist language enthusiasts. In 2004 he published a linguistic analysis of Sindarin: A Gateway to Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish language from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (ISBN 0-87480-800-6). This book was reviewed in 2006 in volume 3 of the journal Tolkien Studies, and it was further reviewed in the context of Tolkienian linguistics as a whole in volume 4 of Tolkien Studies (2007).

Salo was contracted for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy to write all the material in Elvish, Dwarven, and other languages for the movies, as well as assist with other language-related items such as the Tengwar and Cirth inscriptions which appear in the movies. Salo also translated the lyrics for the movie soundtracks. Subsequently, Salo provided similar services as the Tolkien language consultant for The Hobbit film series.

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