In an interview recorded in 2006, on Mur Lafferty's "I Should be
Writing" podcast, Tracy Hickman talks about conlanging to support the
worldbuilding for a fantasy epic.  He talks briefly about Tolkien's
work, then says, in short, that for authors who don't have in-depth
knowledge of linguistics it's probably safer and easier to model your
fantasy world's language(s) on whatever foreign language(s) you know
best rather than try to make something up from scratch; he says the
conlangs in his books are mostly based on Indonesian (which he learned
fluently while a missionary in Java in the mid-1970s), Latin and

The file is
ISBW #36 - Tracy Hickman Interview.mp3
downloadable at

The stuff about conlanging starts at 9 minutes 30 seconds and runs
about 8 minutes.

I wonder how many fantasy novels currently working their way through
publishers' pipelines were written under the influence of that
interview?  Mur Lafferty seems to have a pretty large following among
novice fantasy/sf authors.

Has anyone else read Tracy Hickman's books?  Can you comment on the
conlangs in them?  The way he talks in the interview, I infer that his
conlangs have syntax and semantics and aren't just naming languages.

Jim Henry