Glossotechnia, the language invention card game

Glossotechnia is a card game in which the players collaboratively create a new language, and attempt to translate certain challenge sentences into this game-language. It combines competitive and cooperative elements, and probably has potential for use in teaching certain concepts in linguistics, though this aspect hasn't been tested yet.

Thanks to all the people who have playtested Glossotechnia, especially those who gave me feedback on improving the game: Parker Bohn, Brian Henry, Ryan Crenshaw, Mark Watson, Kathryn Kovarik, Jack Logan, Dan Segal, Greg Koeser, Alex Fink, Matthew Haupt, Kelly Drinkwater, David J. Peterson, Peter Ara Guekguezian, Sai Emrys, Lila Sadkin, Jeff Burke, David Salo, Greg Shuflin, Clinton Gordon, Raleigh Johnson, Philip, Joseph, Juliette and Margaret Henry, Mark Reed, Michael Bohn, Valeria Jones, Nathaniel, Abi, and Somer Rowe, Jacob Lindler, Jim Henry Jr., Eugenia Henry, Deanna Ehrlich, Kevin Spehar, Randy Dean, Joel and Ĵenja Amis, Amanda Furrow, Brian Distin, Ryan Connell, and Daniel Demski. I've probably forgotten some people. John Quijada didn't playtest, but came up with useful ideas such as syntax and syllable-form wildcards.

If you make your own Glossotechnia deck and play, please let me know how your games turn out, and any problems you see with the flow of the game. Especially let me know if you try out new rule variations or new types of cards, and how well they work.

Jim Henry
jimhenry at pobox dot com


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Another language-evolution game, a board game based on Indo-European sound changes
Last updated October 2009