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Month: July 2016

If a language dies does a culture die also?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-28 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, General Language, Linguistics

Language is one of the primary vehicles of culture, and expressions of cultural distinctiveness. But it is not the only one. When a language dies, the language community has been linguistically assimilated into another community (assuming the community hasn’t been genocided). That is typically associated with cultural assimilation. But not always. As a counterexample to […]

How many placenames have been Turkicised in Turkey?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-28 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Other Languages

If by Turkicised, OP, you simply mean “made to adhere to Turkish phonotactics, and often Vowel Harmony”, the answer is indeed most if not all. To add to Pierrick Jaouen’s examples, stin Poli (to the City) > İstanbul, is Nikea (to Nicaea) > İznik, Oinoë (mediaeval Greek /ynoi/) > Ünye, Ikonion > Konya, Kaisareia > […]

Which was the most southern border city of Byzantine Empire, before Arab conquest?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: History, Mediaeval Greek

Since Andrew has blocked me, I have to add a correction here to Dimitris Sotiropoulos on https://www.quora.com/Which-was-… Iotabe is identified tentatively with Tiran Island, 27°57′N 34°33′E Syene is Aswan, 24°05′20″N 32°53′59″E Berenice Troglodytica is 23°54′38″N 35°28′34″E So Iotabe is not the southernmost point, unless Dimitris has evidence for an alternate identification of Iotabe as being […]

Were the classical greek drama texts complete?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-25 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages, Literature

Given the addendum from OP: https://www.quora.com/Were-the-c… (which I’ve added to question details): The bulk of Ancient Greek drama that has survived has survived as part of the postclassical school curriculum, and has been transmitted through manuscript. Even so, we know that bits of the text that the authors must have written (for the text to […]

Are there any scientific publications with swear words in them?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-25 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Well, there’s the classic ENGLISH SENTENCES WITHOUT OVERT GRAMMATICAL SUBJECTS by Quang Phuc Dong of the South Hanoi Institute of Technology (pseudonym of James D. McCawley, 1967), and several others in that vein. But that’s linguists writing about swearing, not swearing per se. (There’s was quite a trend of little “who, me?” bombs in linguistic […]

In Modern Greek, is there any difference between “I have said” and “I have been saying”?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

έχω πει, the perfect tense, is only used in perfective contexts (completed actions); so you can’t use it for “I have been saying”. You will use the imperfect, έλεγα, for that. So Greek makes no distinction between “I was saying” and “I have been saying”. The English “I have been saying” looks like it’s both […]

Why is the Greek letter phi translated into English as “ph” and not “f”?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, English, Linguistics, Writing Systems

Because when Latin started transliterating Greek, φ was still pronounced as /pʰ/: a p followed by an h. The shift of /pʰ/ to /ɸ/ to /f/ occurred later (the first evidence for it, Koine Greek phonology notes, is from Pompeii.) Answered 2016-07-22 [Originally posted on http://quora.com/Why-is-the-Greek-letter-phi-translated-into-English-as-ph-and-not-“f”/answer/Nick-Nicholas-5]

Why are there relatively few personal names shared between Indo-European languages?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Other Languages

Brian is of course correct that naming simply isn’t as stable as, say, the Swadesh-100 list of core vocabulary, or for that matter syntax (VSO, SOV, SVO). Things change much more quickly now than they used to, so you could object to Brian’s example. In English, the most popular names change radically every couple of […]

Does the word Medical have any relation with the Medes people?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-21 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

At first, I thought “oh come on!” Then I thought “hey, I should check.” Now I think “probably not, but it was worth checking”. medical comes ultimately from Latin mederi “to heal, give medical attention to, cure”: Online Etymology Dictionary. In turn, this ultimately derives from the Indo-European stem *med– (Pokorny’s dictionary), “to measure; to […]

Do languages other than English have a numerical concept similar to “dozens”, plural?

By: | Post date: 2016-07-21 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Modern Greek has borrowed duzina from Venetian, so that does get used. What is more idiomatic is the suffix –arja added on to tens-words, meaning “approximately”. So ðekarja “around ten”, triantarja “around thirty, thirty-odd”, eksindarja “around sixty, sixty-odd”. [EDIT: correction to hundreds] Also ðjakosarja “two hundred-odd”, triakosarja “three hundred odd”, up to enjakosarja “nine hundred-odd”; […]

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