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Month: April 2017

Why is Wikipedia in Ancient Greek and Simple French still rejected in spite of both having a strong support base?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Artificial Languages, Literature

The Wikimedia Language committee clamped down on “dead” languages and artificial languages quite ferociously, after an initial laissez-faire period. Because initially you could set up a Wikipedia in any language you liked, Latin, Old English, Gothic, and Old Church Slavonic got in. Because the Wikimedia Language Committee clamped down, Ancient Greek got rejected even though […]

Why do most modern Persian books and sites use the Naskh font instead of the traditional Nastaʿlīq font?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

Khateeb, I have no idea, but I can surmise based on: The Death of the Urdu Script – ali eteraz – Medium Nastaʿlīq script – Wikipedia If your technology is handwriting, it doesn’t particularly matter whether your writing is vertical or horizontal, or a mix of both. If you’re writing online in 2017, and you […]

Which programming paradigm is the most similar to human speech?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Well, let’s think this through. I count three programming paradigms from when I was studying computer science 25 years ago: functional, logical, and procedural. They correspond to three types of semantics: denotational, axiomatic, and operational. The first two are pristine and beautiful articulations of mathematics and logic, respectively. The last involves modelling the internal state […]

What were Noam Chomsky’s views on Panini’s Ashtadhyayi?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Complimentary, but not deep. The interwebs widely quote Chomsky saying in Kolkata, in a 10-minute speech in 2001, “The first generative grammar in the modern sense was Panini’s grammar”: An event in Kolkata. Chomsky in fact already said that in the preface of Aspects in 1965: “a generative grammar, in essentially the contemporary sense of […]

How did the Greeks represent fractions?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Writing Systems

Ptolemy, at least, expressed them somewhat clumsily, by adding reciprocals. There were dedicated symbols for half: [math]unicode{x10175}, unicode{x10176}[/math], two thirds: [math]unicode{x10177}[/math], and three quarters: [math]unicode{x10178}.[/math] Outside of those, fractions were expressed by using double prime for reciprocals, ″. So Ptolemy used ιβ″ = 1/12 a lot for geographical coordinates; and he would also use expressions […]

How can this Rilke translation be improved?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

So you seek to translate: Ich möchte aus meinem Herzen hinausUnter den großen Himmel treten. “I would like to step out of my heart,And go walking beneath the enormous sky.” I’ll start by putting in the missing accent marks 🙂 ἐκ τῆς καρδίας βούλομαι ἐκβαίνεινὑπὸ τῷ μεγάλῳ οὐρανῷ βαδίζειν I am so, so not going […]

What is the origin of the scientific name of the apple tree “malus”?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-27 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Latin, Linguistics

This has been answered already, I’ll just answer it more anecdotally. Indo-European has two words for apple, that show up in different daughter branches: *h₂ébōl shows up in Germanic (… apple), Celtic, Balto-Slavic, and probably Hittite šam(a)lu- ‘apple tree’ *méh₂lom shows up in Greek (Doric mālon, Attic mēlon), Latin (mālum), Albanian (mollë), and Hittite maḫla […]

What is said at Greek funerals?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-27 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

Constantinos Kalampokis’ answer to What is said at Greek funerals? covers everything that happens at a funeral; but I’m assuming the question is particularly after what the condolence formula is. Both Greek and Turkish are notorious in linguistics for having a formulaic expression for just about every occasion; it’s part of good social behaviour that […]

What was Clearchus’ tragic flaw?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Literature

Desmond, I have the highest of regard for you who have A2A’d me, and you have the highest of regard to me to have A2A’d me. The problem is, I don’t even know who Clearchus is. Yes, I am actually an impostor. But Wikipedia remedies that! So. Clearchus of Sparta – Wikipedia, and Battle of […]

What is written on the Library of Celsus and is it still readable easily for a modern average Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-04-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Modern Greek

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Celsus Well, there’s a whole bunch of writing on the Library. In order of size: The four statues: ΣΟΦΙΑ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ, ΑΡΕΤΗ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ, ΕΝΝΟΙΑ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ, ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΗ ΚΕΛΣΟΥ. “Wisdom of Celsus, Virtue of Celsus, Meaning of Celsus, Science [Knowledge] of Celsus”. False friend in “Science”, but no problem. The facade: I actually got this from a Google […]

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