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Month: March 2016

Is it acceptable to use “with” without an object? For example. I’m coming with. I hear this lately in Southern California. Is this correct?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

It’s a regionally restricted colloquialism, and outside of those regions it sounds odd. I’m surprised to hear it’s showing up in SoCal and Hawaii. I was aware of it in New York English, under Yiddish influence, and South Australian English, under German influence. EDIT: looks like I got my Germanic-influenced American dialects mixed up: not […]

History: Which cultures or societies went from being literate to illiterate? As in a script becoming extinct or some other reason.

By: | Post date: 2016-03-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

This is a mythological rather than factual answer, but: The Hmong people were illiterate, but they lived at the crossroads of a bunch of literate cultures—the Chinese, the Thai, the Vietnamese, the Laotians. The Hmong noticed. And they figured that they must not always have been the downtrodden illiterates that they were: surely they too […]

In linguistics, are there views other than the primacy of speech over writing?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diglossia The default thinking in linguistics is indeed that spoken language  has primacy over written, and Brian has outlined the arguments for it. But coming from another culture with the burden of diglossia and veneration for old forms of the language, I get where OP is coming from. Written language is never anterior to spoken,  […]

Which language is closest to Greek?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Following up on  Joachim Pense’s answer: Modern Hellenic languages If we include modern Hellenic languages, a (purely subjectively) ranking of the “outlier” dialects by closeness to Standard Modern Greek is: Salento Griko Calabria Griko Mariupolitan Pontic Silliot (spoken in Sille, near Konya) Cappadocian Tsakonian The dividing point for mutual intelligibility is probably Pontic, definitely by […]

How did names like Anatoly and Arcady become names in Russia?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Mediaeval Greek, Other Languages

Partial answer: from St Anatolius: Anatolius of Laodicea and Anatolius of Constantinople. Saints’ names are the default source of given names in Orthodoxy. The question then becomes, why this saint’s cult was so much stronger in Russia than in Greece—I’ve never heard of a Greek called Anatolios, and the Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit has only […]

Historical Linguistics: In simple terms, what are the laryngeal consonants h₁, h₂, h₃? What do they have to do with the word “name” in various languages? What do they have to do with Proto-Indo-European?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

This is self-indulgent of me, but this is how I presented the laryngeal theory to my poor Historical Linguistics students in 2002. Saussure (1879): let’s look at Ablaut in proto–Indo-European: e:o:Ø  Greek patéra, eupátora, patrós [father.ACC, of.good.father, father.GEN] eR:oR:R̩  where R is a resonant (jwrlmn):   R=w: Greek eleusomai, eiléːloutʰa, éːlutʰon [I.will.come, I.have.come, I.came]   […]

Has emergence of case system ever been observed?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

Though it doesn’t look like Indo-European case,  serial verb constructions have ended up turning into case markers. An instance is Chinese ba, which is primarily the verb “take”, but which has started to act like an accusative marker: “I take spear look” > “I ACC spear look”, I pick up the spear to look at […]

Where did the word Nemesis originate?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-18 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Online Etymology Dictionary Nemesis, “Greek goddess of vengeance, personification of divine wrath,” from Greek nemesis “just indignation, righteous anger,” literally “distribution” (of what is due), related to nemein “distribute, allot, apportion one’s due”. Goes on to note that the word is cognate to German nehmen “take”. Conceptually, Nemesis is the same notion as one’s “lot” […]

What is the degree of intelligibility between Standard Modern Greek and Cretan Greek?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-18 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

I’ve done the Swadesh list lexicostatistics: 89 of 100 core words, which is comparable to Russian and Ukrainian. (I get the same figure for Cypriot.) Mutually intelligible, but just. Much more now that the dialect is dying out. I was exposed to the dialect 30 years ago when it wasn’t doing as badly; so I’m […]

Is there any NLP tool that can extract affix and stem of English words?

By: | Post date: 2016-03-13 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

Yes, the Porter Stemmer is the most popular approach by far. See A survey of stemming algorithms in information retrieval  for a survey,  nltk.stem package  for NLTK implementations, and Porter Stemming Algorithm  for Porter’s own description of it. There are tweaks of it around, but noone has gone for anything different; and English being the […]

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