Yonagu is an imprint concentrating on conlangs, conworlds, and linguistics. You can hire us to design your book.
To order class copies or review copies, go here.
Our currently available titles include:
A Fan’s Guide to Neo-Sindarinby Fiona Jallings
Many conlangers were enchanted, or even lured into the field, by the Elvish languages of J.R.R. Tolkien: Quenya and Sindarin, which marry deep linguistic knowledge with flawless taste. Yet he was notoriously bad about documenting and finishing his languages.
Quenya (by Lord of the Rings times spoken in the Grey Havens and Rivendell as well as in Valinor) is fairly complete and polished, but Sindarin (spoken in Mirkwood and Lórien) was never fully documented, and new manuscripts that upend our understanding of the language are still emerging.
In this book Fiona Jallings has put together all the grammar that is known, plus all that has been reconstructed by fans. If you want to learn Neo-Sindarin, this is an engaging yet rigorous textbook and reference grammar. And if you are a conlanger or Tolkien fan, it’s a fascinating glimpse behind Tolkien’s creation. You will see how some of the magic works, and also be motivated to actually write down how your language works.
The “Neo-” might suggest that fans are going wild with additions, but in fact the reconstruction never creates words from scratch and carefully respects Tolkien’s work; the idea is to add only what is necessary to make the language usable. Jallings clearly indicates which bits are fan additions, and which fannish scholars are responsible for them.
$17.99 paperback, $8.99 e-book, $39.99 hardcover — 356 pages — May 2017 • More Info
The Language Construction Kitby Mark Rosenfelder
Create plausible and realistic languages for RPGs, fantasy and science fiction, movies or video games, or international communication... or just learn about how languages work from an unusual, light-hearted perspective.
It’s greatly expanded here with coverage of semantics and pragmatics, language families, writing systems, as well as sample wordlists and an annotated sample grammar.
Contains all the information any SF writer would need to make up
a reasonable alien language. And serves as quite a good introduction to
linguistic concepts for beginners, to boot.
Reviewed in Reference and Research Book News, November 2010
$14.95 print, $6.25 e-book — 270 pages — March 2010 • More Info
The Planet Construction Kitby Mark Rosenfelder
A companion volume to the Language Construction Kit, this book explains all you need to know about creating your own world: how to choose the right sun, where to put your Mediterranean climates, how to design religions and cultures... everything but language, in fact.
An essential whether you’re writing s.f. or fantasy, designing RPGs, creating movies or video games, or using nanobots to build your world from the molecules up.
There are extensive chapters on astronomy and geology, culture (including clothing and architecture), technology, magic, religion, and warfare, as well as how-to guides to making maps, illustrations, and 3-D models.
$14.95 — 371 pages — October 2010 • More Info
Advanced Language Construction Kitby Mark Rosenfelder
The Language Construction Kit has helped a generation of conlangers to create languages, while underhandedly teaching linguistics. But what's next? Is there more to learn about languages?
Absolutely! Yonagu Books is publishing the sequel, Advanced Language Construction (a.k.a. The Language Construction Kaboodle). Three hundred pages of more: a new section on how to write a reference grammar; new topics such as logic, sign language, pidgins, and language acquisition; and a beefy section exploring morphosyntax.
Whether you're creating a conlang for the ages or just want to learn about linguistics in the LCK's fun yet accurate way, Advanced Language Construction is just what you need.
$14.95 — 278 pages — July 2012 • More Info
The Conlanger’s Lexipediaby Mark Rosenfelder
Are you done yet? Oh my, no. Once you've created a grammar, you still face the hardest and longest task of all: creating words. And for that, you need this book.
Its heart is a dictionary of over three thousand etymologies, from all over Indo-European, Chinese, Quechua, and elsewhere. You can use these as a starting point for creating words; and more importantly, to start thinking about how words are created.
To help in this, there are discussions of derivation, classification, etymology, and metaphor— the linguist's tools for understanding how the lexicon works.
Lots of divergences from English are given… not "cute words we don't really need" as you'll find in some books, but everyday words that work differently in other languages.
Making words also inevitably involves quite a bit of real-world knowledge— everything from kinship terms to chemical substances to military ranks to how color perception works. All this is presented briefly but clearly.
$15.95 — 422 pages — November 2013 • More Info
The China Construction Kitby Mark Rosenfelder
For two thousand years China has been the most populated region of the planet, and usually the richest and most technologically advanced as well. For the last few centuries the West gave it a run for its money, but on historical scales that’s looking more and more like a temporary blip.
This book is aimed at anyone who’d like to know more about China. It includes a historical overview, sketches of the major philosophies, chapters on cosmology, architecture, clothing, technology, and literature. Plus meaty grammatical sketches of both Mandarin and Old Chinese, and a close look at the writing system.
For conworlders, there's plenty here to keep you from creating the same old Eurofantasies.
$15.95 — 400 pages — October 2015 • More Info
Against Peace and Freedomby Mark Rosenfelder
A comic sf novel from the author of the Language Construction Kit. There are fifty human worlds, but as there is no faster-than-light travel they are only loosely grouped together as the Incatena. Problems are brewing in the South Sector: a totalitarian dictatorship on Okura, a corporation-run colony on New Bharat. Diplomatic Agent Morgan is sent to see what's going on and stop it. Or, as is more likely, die trying.
Befitting the author of the Planet Construction Kit, there is extensive information about the Incatena online.
$13.95 print, $3.99 e-book — 307 pages — August 2011 • More Info