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From glosso- (language) +‎ -poeia (making); coined by J. R. R. Tolkien.


glossopoeia (uncountable)

  1. The creation of constructed languages for artistic purposes; language so created.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tolkien to this entry?)
    • 1978, Jacques Derrida, Alan Bass (translator), Writing and Difference, 1990, page 240,
      Glossopoeia, which is neither an imitative language nor a creation of names, takes us back to the borderline of the moment when the word has not yet been born, when articulation is no longer a shout but not yet discourse, when repetition is almost impossible, and along with it, language in general: the separation of concept and sound, of signified and signifier, of the pneumatical and the grammatical, the freedom of translation and tradition, the movement of interpretation, the difference between the soul and the body, the master and the slave, God and man, the author and the actor.
    • 2000, International and Area Studies, University of California, Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics and Semiotic Analysis, Volume 5, page 153,
      Still more curiously, English offers a second pair of homophones — “hew” and “hew” — with a quite similar range of antonymous meanings, opening the possibility of a glossopoeia of a most cunning and pleasing sort.
    • 2007, Carl F. Hostetter, "Languages Invented by Tolkien", In M.C. Drout, ed., The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, pp. 332,
      In short, we see a movement from language creation as a utilitarian and thus shared endeavor toward glossopoeia that is at once strongly abstract and artistic in pursuing and expressing a private and personal linguistic aesthetic and that is rigorously historical and systematic, susceptible within the fictive construct to the scientific tools of historical philology: an aspect of language creation nearly if not entirely unique to Tolkien.
    • 2009 May 12, Tashi “Cracking the Mayan Code on Nova PBS”,, Usenet,
      I don't have any idea what you are talking about. I don't equate Glossopoeia with Mathematics, it is the creation of language.