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Day: October 1, 2016
Why is an Acadian French accent considered funny compared to Quebecois French, which also has a funny accent?
Answer written with no knowledge of Acadien French other than that gathered through episodes of Acadieman. Remember. Dialects never sound funny because of something intrinsic to the local phonetics. It’s always political. It’s always about the relative prestige of the speakers. And it’s not about how dialects are supposedly ill-lettered corruptions of the pristine standard […]
Why does Greece not try to retake Anatolia and Constantinople?
See also the related questions: Should Thrace and Constantinople be given back to Greece? Is there any chance of Constantinople reuniting with Greece any time in the near future? Is there any chance of Anatolia reuniting with Greece any time in the near future? Never mind it being an unwise military venture. Never mind NATO. […]
Why aren’t more people using machine learning on historical linguistics?
Please God no. For the sentiment this proposal awakens in the soul of historical linguists, refer: xkcd: Physicists Plenty of people use machine learning on historical linguistics. They usually end up being picked up by science reporters, getting all the publicity that historical linguists don’t. And when they do, historical linguists roll their eyes, and […]
Which formerly Ottoman-occupied peoples understand “s–tir” today?
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/siktir OP noted that there were many answers already stashed away under What does Siktir (سیکتیر) means in Persian? I’ll paste here the comments that Dimitra Triantafyllidou and I left there for Greek. Some quite obvious parallels with Albanian and Romanian, as reported by Aziz Dida and Diana Crețu. Nick: In Greek it just means […]
What is the best way to learn to speak Greek fluently?
There’s the generic answer: the fine old Greek saying, Η μισή ντροπή δική σου, η άλλη μισή δική τους. “Half the embarrassment is yours, the other half is theirs.” Yes. They will think you sound ridiculous, no fear of that. They will also be hugely impressed (especially if they’re in the Greek diaspora), and will […]
What did your language sound like 1,000 years ago?
Greek: 1000 years ago, the language was already Early Modern Greek. Unfortunately, we have very very very few records of the vernacular to sift from, out of the archaic Greek everyone was writing. We have the Bulgarian Greek inscriptions from 1200 years ago, but by 1000 years ago, the Bulgars were using Slavonic. We have […]
Were all books of the New Testament written in perfectly correct Koine Greek?
Revelation is notorious for its grammatical errors; google Revelation and Solecism (fancy Greek for “bad grammar”) or Barbarism (fancy Greek for “L2 Greek”). You’ll see lots of attempts at explaining it, from the straightforward “he barely spoke Greek” to “he was cutting and pasting bits of the Septuagint without adjusting the grammar” to “there’s a […]
How has pronunciation vs written form evolved in the History of English? Why is it so confusing, to the point that you have spelling contests?
Up until the late Middle Ages, English spelling (at least, as we reconstruct it) is not that bad. It is internally consistent, and, importantly, it varies from region to region, because they actually spoke different dialects from region to region. Yeah, the mute final <e> was an annoying way to indicate that a vowel was […]