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Month: February 2017
What is the first language that had order for letters in alphabet, and how did people decide to use this particular order?
See Michael Moszczynski’s answer to How did the alphabet get its order? Who came up with the order of the alphabet? The first such language was Ugaritic, several centuries before Phoenecian. As Michael Moszczynski points out, two alphabetical orderings of Ugaritic survive, one via Phoenecian, and one via Ge’ez into Amharic. He concludes that, while […]
Is there any word which cannot become a conceptual metaphor?
I’m not strong on cognitive linguistics, but it’s an intriguing A2A. What does it take for a word to become a conceptual metaphor? The meaning it expresses needs to be transferred to an analogous conceptual domain from its normal meaning; as a result of this, some of its meaning is preserved (the meaning that survives […]
How long would it take for English from anglophone countries to become separate languages?
I’m pretty much agreeing with Dmitriy Genzel’s answer: Dmitriy Genzel’s answer to How long would it take for English from anglophone countries to become separate languages?. If you look at my related answer to How long would it take an isolated group of people to develop what would be considered their own language?, you’ll see […]
How long would it take an isolated group of people to develop what would be considered their own language?
This is a question linguists don’t want to answer, because it raises the spectre of glottochronology. Glottochronology is an assumption made in the fifties, that a core 100 or 200 words of vocabulary in all languages would be lost at a constant rate. The figures that a study came up with was 86% retention per […]
When did Melbourne first develop its large Greek community?
It’s doubtful the Greek population of Melbourne ever exceeded 300k; and the more Greeks assimilate, the harder that is to count. I think it could be argued that Chicago had a larger Greek population at least at one point. Thessalonica has a population over a million, so Melbourne was never the largest Greek city outside […]
What is the plural of specimen?
The Latin plural is specimina. specimina – Wiktionary reports it as an alternative to specimens, but I have never seen it used. The examples it gives are from a 1949 textbook on colour perception. Answered 2017-02-27 [Originally posted on http://quora.com/What-is-the-plural-of-specimen/answer/Nick-Nicholas-5]
What are some differences between the Greek of Greece and Cypriot Greek?
Cypriot Greek is one of the South-Eastern group of Greek dialects, along with Chios and the Dodecanese. So the differences between the Greek of Rhodes (in Greece) and the Greek of Cyprus are less far apart than the Greek of Athens and the Greek of Cyprus. In fact, if you aren’t finely attuned to the […]
The correct pronunciation of ‘H’ is aych, so why do people say ‘haytch’?
Is there a /h/ in aitch? No? Well, you won’t be surprised why someone thought it was a good idea to insert one, then. Every other letter names has something to do with the letter sound it represents. Even allowing for English orthography. Answered 2017-02-27 [Originally posted on http://quora.com/The-correct-pronunciation-of-H-is-aych-so-why-do-people-say-haytch/answer/Nick-Nicholas-5]
If you were the Byzantine emperor in the 14th century, what would you do to prevent the fall of your empire?
In 1300? That would make me Andronikos II Palaiologos. Well, I’ve done the best I can with the Venetians and the Genoese. I’ve played them off each other, but I don’t have the money or the navy to get rid of them. I’ve done what I can with dynastic marriages as well. The Ottomans are […]
How can I, as an 18-year-old first year college student, help in Kumaoni language conservation?
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumaoni_language There will be different answers depending on who speaks the language, where, what the community attitudes are to it, and what kinds of resources you have access to. One starting point is Kat Li’s answer to How can modern society preserve dying languages? From Wikipedia, it seems Kumaoni is in the same category as […]