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Day: August 18, 2016
Why does Esperanto use the letter Ŭ?
Hm. You didn’t ask why the letter looks like that, which I’ll answer anyway: Italicised й: й Wikipedia Ŭ suggests it was formed by analogy with proposed Byelorussian ў. Like someone else said on Wikipedia:  Now, why <ŭ> and not just <u>? Zeibura, you dawg, you know that I love this kind of […]
Why do the Romani people in Bulgaria and Greece speak Turkish among themselves?
I don’t know the full answer, and I’m not seeing enough of an answer in Wikipedia. Let me put together what I know. There have been Roma in Greece for the better part of a millennium; we know linguistically that they went through Anatolia and Greece on the way to Europe, there is Greek in […]
Which Greek stronghold with Catholic administration was the last to survive the Ottoman conquest: Crete, Cyprus or other?
As I pointed out in commenting Niko Vasileas’ answer, the Morea was reconquered by the Venetians after close to two centuries of Ottoman rule, whereas Tinos was under continuous Venetian rule right through to 1715. Add to this the odd situation of the Ionian Islands. They remained under Venice until 1797. Then they fell under […]
When, and why, did the word ‘sure’ become so ubiquitous at the start of answering a question?
I’d like to thank my wife for arranging access for me to the State Library of Victoria (for free!) Inter alia, this gets me access to the OED. OED? First attested use: 1651, in a trial transcript: Att. Gen. Was Mr. Love present when this letter was read? Far. Yes sure, he was present. First […]
What languages did people in Anatolia/Turkey speak prior to the arrival of the Seljuk Turks?
Originally Answered: Which languages were spoken in Anatolia and modern Turkey when Turkic arrived? I’m touched by Anon’s A2A’ing assumption of my omniscience, but I’m going to Wikipedia here, to confirm my vague hunch that the Anatolian languages of yore were long, long gone by the time the Seljuks came to town. Anatolian languages and […]
What are the two most studied foreign languages in your country? (excluding English)?
To my amusement, when I googled for this in Australia, I found that I know the researchers that came up with the latest research on this. The latest research I found was 10 years ago, though (which is why I know them); and I don’t think the numbers will have stayed the same. http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/… As […]
Is there a way to accent an “e” to make it sound like “ah?”
I echo other respondents in expressing frustration at the vagueness of the question. In English, there are two diacritics that can be applied to <e> to change its pronunciation. <è> is occasionally used to ensure that the <e> is pronounced and not silent. Grave accent The grave accent, though rare in English words, sometimes appears […]
If all indo european languages come from one language, does that mean that it used to be one people who spoke that language?
Probably, but not necessarily. As the astute Joachim Pense put it (answering this question, rather than the OP’s question): Joachim Pense’s answer to Linguists believe Proto indo European is the root of all those European languages. Does this mean that at one time everyone spoke the same language? No. Proto-Indo-European is a reconstruction that has […]
Has Komnenos/Komnena survived as a Greek surname in modern Greece?
The question about this is always whether it’s a survival or a revival. The Greeks of Cargèse for example convinced themselves that their main clan (the Stephanopoli) were descendants of the Comneni, and got the paperwork from the King of France to prove it. As a result, almost everyone from the village is now surnamed […]