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Month: October 2016
Have any creoles become national languages?
Neel Lex Lumi’s answer names Tok Pisin and Haitian Creole. Add: Papiamento: “is the most-widely spoken language on the Caribbean ABC islands, having official status in Aruba and Curaçao. The language is also recognized on Bonaire by the Dutch government.” Maltese language: may or may not be a creole. Afrikaans: may or may not be […]
What is the best and most up-to date Ancient Greek-English dictionary?
Depends on your criteria. Biggest & Up to date is not English, but the now online DGE Diccionario Griego-Español . Only goes up to epsilon though, and I don’t see it finishing for another century. Biggest in English remains Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon — though the online editions don’t include the […]
Is there any psychological journal that is written in Esperanto?
My guess: no. If anyone would have written articles in an Esperanto psychological journal, that would have been the late Claude Piron, who lectured in psychology, and who also wrote a psychoanalysis of people’s attitude to international languages. (No, I’m not endorsing that kind of thing.) I’ve looked through his now defunct fan page at […]
How do you refer to your left foot with languages that only use cardinal directions?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guugu_Yimithirr_people To elaborate on Joe Devney’s answer to How do you refer to your left foot with languages that only use cardinal directions? Yes, your South foot, if you’re facing west, and your North foot, if you’re facing east. Just as geographically oriented languages will refer to it as your seaward foot if you’re by […]
Did Greek Cypriot took Venetian caraguol, Spanish caracol with the nuance “fort” to denote a snail (karaolos)?
Thanks to Eutychius Kaimakkamis and Alberto Yagos. Alberto, you have Andriotis’ etymological dictionary? Awesome! The Cypriot dictionary I opened up at random confirms caracol/caracollo as the origin of karaolos, and they confirm your etymology as “twisted”. It did not say that the etymology of caracol in turn was ultimately Greek kokhlias via Vulgar Latin *cochlear, […]
Is the Greek Cypriot and Cretan pronunciation kk = ts (zz) derived from Venetian, or is it archaic?
The question and the question details are asking different things, and I’ll address them separately. It is the doom of /k/ in front of a front vowel (i, e) to be palatalised, to be pronounced as [kʲ] > [c]. The palate is a notoriously difficult place to articulate a stop (too much surface area). So […]
Which conlang can be considered best for everyday usage?
I’ve spoken Esperanto, Lojban, and Klingon. And as I’ve posted elsewhere, I have a soft spot for Interlingua and Interglosa. There are studies, but the numbers are hazy. The numbers mentioned here though are congruous with what I know. Esperanto would be in the hundreds of thousands; Klingon in the hundreds, Lojban in the much […]
Where in the Balkan sprachbund did the invariable future tense marker originate?
A capital question. You were right, Zeibura, in the discussion that prompted this: the Balkans is a big mess of not continuously attested languages and dialects; and the only hints of whether a feature originated in one place rather than another is whether the feature is also present in Koine Greek or Old Church Slavonic—both […]
What is the origin of the surname Piliafas?
Interesting. Pilafás is a real Greek surname. Googling, the most famous instance of a Pilafas is some businessman’s son cum DJ who’s married the actress Katerina Papoutsaki. Παναγιώτης Πιλαφάς βιογραφικό – iShow.gr Whatevs. Pilafas means, straightforwardly, “Pilaf guy”. and the -as suffix weighs towards “Pilaf maker”. Pilaf, rice in broth, is an exceedingly popular dish […]
Is Facebook called a different nickname in your country?
The literal calque Fatsovivlio has shown up in Greek, but only in jocular use. (47k hits on Google.) It’s all the more jocular, because it uses the Italian loanword fatsa < faccia, rather than the Greek prosopo, for face. Loanwords are usually pejorative; Fatsovivlio sounds more like “ugly mug book”. SLANG.gr went one better, using […]