Jeanine Adkisson’s talk at Clojure/West is about designing and prototyping a language using Clojure.
Lisps have been used for a long time to prototype other languages. Scheme was designed and used for just that purpose. The most popular books on compiler design often start with Lex and Yacc, which are just really old tools built when memory was so restricted you had to do your parsing in stages. Instaparse is way better for quickly exploring syntax. And since lambda calculus (which Clojure is based on) is computationally complete, you’re in good hands exploring the entire range of computational semantics.
However, these are just generalities. Jeanine Adkisson will likely bring wit and depth to the talk, as she did in her Clojure/conj talk. She’s a language designer, so she’s got plenty of experience to draw from.
As an interesting background to language prototyping in Clojure, check out Bodil Stokke talking about her language Bodol.