Subscribe to Blog via Email
Day: December 26, 2016
What are the differences between standard modern Greek and the Griko dialect?
I am delighted to be A2A’d this question. There has been long-running, nationalistically driven, and tedious argument about how old the Greek dialects spoken in Southern Italy are, with to and fro from Italian linguists and Greek linguists, and with the great Romanist Gerhard Rohlfs kinda weighing in on the Greek side. There is a […]
Linguistically speaking, are Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian different languages or dialects of a modern Norse language?
There’s one hiccup which I’m surprised other respondents have not brought up, Habib le toubib. There are two standard languages of Norway, and a mess of dialects in between. Norway used to be ruled by the Danish. The official language of Norway at the time it gained independence, Bokmål (“Book Language”), has been uncharitably described […]
Instead of creating Pinyin, why didn’t the CCP use IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)?
Practical Roman alphabets do need to stick as close to ASCII as possible. Particularly before computerised typography, getting hold of letters outside the Latin-1 and Latin-2 repertoire (letters and standard diacritics) was painful, and you’d avoid it if you could. So if you had a choice between tʰiantɕʰi pu xao and Tianqi bu hao … […]
How did the pre-Persian Semitic peoples of the Levant, Assyrian and Babylonian call the Greeks?
As OP clearly knows (by his “pre-Persian” restriction), the main Semitic name for Greeks, Yunan, derives from Persian contact with Ionian Greeks. We know that the Hittites used the term Achiyawa to refer to what we reasonably guess were the Achaeans; that’s contact dating from Mycenaean times. From Greek Contact with the Levant and Mesopotamia […]
Do letters exist?
Phonemes exist. That’s one of the key findings of 20th century linguistics. Where do they exist? In the Noosphere I guess; but they are mental constructs which underlie not only our articulation of language, but also our mental organisation and understanding of language. So unlike a lot that is in the noosphere, they do have […]