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Month: January 2016
Why is ‘pronounciation’ spelled as ‘pronunciation’ in English?
Brian Collins’ answer is impeccably correct for why pronunciation was not spelled pronounciation after the combination of the Great English Vowel Shift and Trisyllabic laxing (a long vowel three syllables back is shortened, as in insane ~ insanity). But all the answers aren’t really answering why pronunciation is still being pronounced pronunciation. Let’s look at […]
Why isn’t Cyprus part of Greece?
Greece got most of the Aegean islands from the Ottoman Empire in 1913, after the Balkan Wars. There were three exceptions: Greece did not get Imbros and Tenedos (Gökçeada and Bozcaada), because of their strategic importance right outside the Dardanelles. When the invasion at Gallipoli happened, the British (and ANZACs) were based at the next […]
What other logical languages are there other than Lojban?
Lojban is begotten from Loglan; Lojban is a schism of Loglan, and seems to have taken most of the Loglanists with it. Loglan also begat Guaspi, although I don’t think that it got much of a following (and its inventor is also a Lojbanist). That’s the Loglan family of logical artificial languages that I know […]
Why do we need to capitalize “I” and the days of the weeks in English?
No disagreement with the answers here. I’ll philosophise a bit more generally: Each language authority or community ends up with a particular set of conventions about punctuation and capitalisation—or borrows them from a more prestigious language. You only become aware of alternate ways of doing things if you’re exposed to other communities. And it only […]
Is it true that some non-American children who watch American TV shows have adopted that accent?
My parents were first generation immigrants to Australia. My mother had no English when she came here. My father had high school English, but no Australian accent. My parents worked in their fish and chip shop attached to the house, so much of the daytime I was reared by Sesame Street; I interacted with my […]
Why is the word “all” spelled this way instead of “aal”?
Billy Kerr’s answer to Why is the word “all” spelled this way instead of “aal”? is right, but lemme add a bit to it. While English spelling looks pretty random, there is a predictability to it if you assume that it used to make sense in Middle English. So through a particular vowel change in […]
Who are the hardest Greek and Latin authors to read?
Second hand answer, based more on what I’ve heard than what I’ve read. Agreed with Dimitra Triantafyllidou in general, but it’d be good to hear from more classicists. Homer is extremely far away from Attic in time and (to some extent) dialect. So in terms of vocabulary and grammar, it might as well be Phrygian […]
What is the etymology of “archetypal”?
As the Googles will tell you, from Greek arkhetypon (ἀρχέτυπον): arkhē, meaning start, beginning, and typos, stamp, impression (originally: a blow). Literally: an initial stamp, an initial impression. And the meaning the word had was pretty close to “archetype” from the beginning: LSJ Adjective: “first-moulded as a pattern or model, archetypal”, used by Philo to […]
What is the difference between Illocutionary act and Illocutionary force?
Per Illocutionary act and What is an illocutionary act? , it’s always been messy. One take is: The illocutionary act is a speech act: something that the speaker does by speaking. It often expresses an intention that the world matches what the speaker says—that their assertions are accurate, their promises sincere, their commands obeyed. But […]
What are the difference between illocutionary acts and implicature given the sense that both suggest implied meaning or are they just the same?
Implicature is a kind of implied meaning. It’s a default assumption underlying what you are saying, though it can be cancelled out. An illocutionary act is what kind of change in the world you are trying to realise through what you are saying. The implied meaning is not really part of it; it’s more about […]