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Month: November 2016

Has Melbourne been the financial center of activities for advocates of annexing Greek Macedonia to FYROM?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: History, Modern Greek

Oh, fuck. Let’s put it this way. And for the purposes of this answer, I’m going to assert that there is indeed a distinct Makedonski minority in Greece, rather than refer to FYROM overtly. If you were an ethnic Macedonian living in Florina/Lerin or Kastoria/Kostur, you had the option of embracing a Greek identity and […]

Are linguists more likely to have a musical background?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Zeibura S. Kathau has a rather more perceptive and fine breakdown on this than I’d hope for; vote #1 Zeibura S. Kathau’s answer to Are linguists more likely to have a musical background? I’ll just add two observations. Of my fellow PhD students in linguistics, one was a composer and pianist, one a bassist, one […]

Why is the carol “peace on earth and good will to all men”, when the Luke 2:14 says “to men of good will”?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-24 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-examples-of-the-worst-translations/answer/Zeibura-S-Kathau OP, but I’m answering a question raised elsewhere by Zeibura S. Kathau. Luke 2:14? The source of the confusion is a manuscript variant. Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία[ς]. The version I as a Greek grew up with has “good will” in the nominative, εὐδοκία. “Peace on earth, among […]

What are the main differences between natural languages and Lojban?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-24 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages

Explicit predicate structure of arguments. Which throws natural language notions of case out the window (although prepositions are included as well): it really is a matter of argument #1, argument #2, rather than accusative, dative, etc. Very explicit, computer-parsable syntax, with spoken brackets for syntactic structures. Logical, rather than natural language, notions of negation. (Again, […]

Why is English one of the official languages of India?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

Writing this so that lots of other people can correct me. And because I keep passing on Mehrdad’s A2As. 🙂 English is neither the official language of UK, US or Australia. Indeed. The notion of an official language seems to have been ignored in the Anglosphere, simply because they took it as given that the […]

Why do we use number 5, in some Greek words: “You left me in 5 streets or in 5 winds”, “You are 5 (times?) orphan”, “5 t. beautiful”?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

Vote #1 David Caune. Excellent and wide-ranging answer. David Caune’s answer to Why do we use number 5, in some Greek words: “You left me in 5 streets or in 5 winds”, “You are 5 (times?) orphan”, “5 t. beautiful”? I’ll add some Greek-specific details. Modern Greek uses a few numbers to mean “lots”; they […]

What is your opinion on eurasiatic and nostratic theory?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

In my last lecture of Historical Linguistics, I brought in a guest lecturer, a fellow PhD student, who was an ardent Nostraticist. I hadn’t discussed Nostratic with him for years. To my astonishment, I watched him recant Nostratic right before my eyes. And the way he did it was by making fun of Starostin et […]

What is it like to be a kabeinto? What was it like to leave Esperantujo?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages

My bio for Esperanto says Kabeinta Esperantisto, lingvisto: “Esperantist who has done a Kabe, linguist” (for explanation on Kabe, see question details). So I guess I qualify to answer. I have been corresponding with Clarissa Lohr a fair bit in Esperanto recently. I don’t think that means I’ve un-Kabe’d though; Clarissa is hardly a verda […]

In First Corinthians 13:5, what do you think Paul had in mind when he uses the word ‘unbecomingly’ to describe what love isn’t like?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

Vote #1 Colin Jensen and Joe Fessenden, who have nailed it. To add a bit. It is the height of arrogance to fast forward to Modern Greek. But I’ll do so anyway. In Modern Greek, the adjective askhimos < askhēmōn means ‘ugly’. The etymology of askhēmōn is ‘un-shape-ish’. So unshapely, not with a nice shape. […]

Would you give up your mother tongue for a common world language, if you knew that it would unite all people?

By: | Post date: 2016-11-22 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Thx4A2A, Irene. I’d say that in Armenian, but my wife doesn’t speak it. 🙁 This is a painful question for me, as I was an Esperantist for a fair while. But even before the Espereantists split about whether the “final victory” was worth messianically waiting for, they were very careful not to convey a message […]

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