Makes perfect sense to me, Misanthrope – not only am I a student of linguistics and a writer, but I’m a role-playing geek all grown up.
For invented languages, I’m sure you’ve consulted the two or three best-known examples:
The Klingon Dictionary, by Marc Okrand
- Elvish, a la J.R.R. Tolkien
There are others, of course, but using these as a starting point and adding any other real-world language knowledge you have should work fine. For what it’s worth, the linguistics program at SUNY Albany included a course in Klingon after I graduated.
For world creation, it’s always better to learn how than to just consult source books. Orson Scott Card published a guide to writing fantasy and science fiction several years ago, and I think he deals with this topic well. I don’t much care for Card for other things, but he makes some good suggestions. For hard-core world-building in a fantasy setting, you should consult the Rolemaster game supplement titled Character Law and Campaign Law.
I know that most of this info seems to be focused on a narrow field of creativity, but let’s face it: gamers and SF writers are the most prolific world-builders out there, because they have to be. Only neurotics are better at building castles in the sky, and only psychotics can live in them.