Month: April 2010

GTAGE: We have removed him John

By: | Post date: 2010-04-12 | Comments: 7 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

The Golden Treasury of Anglo-Greek Expressions (GTAGE) at (see my pretext for this thread) begins with the enigmatic syntax of the following idiom: we have not seen him yet, and we have removed him John: ακόμα δεν τον είδαμε, Γιάννη τον εβγάλαμε. The actually meaning of the phrase is rather more transparent: “we have […]

Mariupolitan transcribed through Russian ears

By: | Post date: 2010-04-11 | Comments: 9 Comments
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Writing Systems
Tags: , ,

Challenging people on what phonemes they’re hearing, when they’re analysing a language: that’s thankless stuff. There are subtle continua of phonetics, and if you’re actually doing this kind of thing for a living, you rely on spectrograms and electropalatograms, with chocolate paste to tell where your tongue is actually moving. One’s ears? They hear what […]

The status of Urum

By: | Post date: 2010-04-09 | Comments: 9 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek, Other Languages
Tags: , ,

I’ve already posted about the seesaw in the Soviet Union of the ’30s between Demotic and the indigenous variants of Greek, Pontic and Mariupolitan. As I’ve also mentioned, Greek is not the only language spoken by the ethnic group around Mariupol. A minority instead speak the Turkic language Urum. A group identifying itself as Greek […]

Shevchenko in Mariupolitan and Urum

By: | Post date: 2010-04-07 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Writing Systems
Tags: , , ,

The following are translations of Taras Shevchenko’s Testament into Mariupolitan Greek and Urum. They appeared in 1993 side by side, in a volume of (mostly Greek) translations of Shevchenko, the Ukraine’s national poet. The texts appeared in Cyrillic—including Kostoprav’s abridged translation, which would originally have appeared in the Soviet phonetic Greek alphabet. The transliterations into […]

Demotic in the Soviet Union

By: | Post date: 2010-04-04 | Comments: 8 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

In the short-lived Springtime of the Nationalities, in the late ’20s and early ’30s, the Soviet Union encouraged its multitudinous constituent ethniticies to develop their languages into modern instruments of proletarian thought. Many languages were first written down in that period, and it was a freewheeling time, just as it was in art, poetry and […]

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