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Month: May 2017

A cis lament for the Greek language

By: | Post date: 2017-05-31 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Today, I felt sad for the Greek language. As I was describing on Nick Nicholas’ answer to Does modern Greek still have Latin prefixes and suffixes?, Greek has withstood the pressure to make like the Western languages for millennia. Oh, the common folk borrowed words from Latin and Turkish and Italian and Albanian, but scholarly […]

How did it come to the letter Y (ypsilon) having the sound value of a consonant?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Writing Systems

That outcome of <y> is specific to English, and as Y – Wikipedia says, it is through the influence of the obsolete English letter yogh, which was conflated with <y>: Yogh – Wikipedia The letter yogh (Ȝ ȝ; Middle English: yoȝ) was used in Middle English and Older Scots, representing y (/j/) and various velar […]

Does the middle voice of τιμάω (τιμάομαι) in Attic Greek usually have an active (i.e. Epic: “to avenge”) or a mid/passive meaning (“to be honored”)?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Perusing the entry for τιμάω in Liddell–Scott, the negative meaning you mention is not Epic, and first turns up in Plato and Aristophanes; LSJ describes it as an “Attic law term”. The transition is: to honour (since Homer) to award (as an honour) (in Tragedy) to award a penalty to someone, including a fine or […]

Does modern Greek still have Latin prefixes and suffixes?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-31 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Evangelos Lolos’ answer to Does modern Greek still have Latin prefixes and suffixes? gives the prominent Latin affixes of Modern Greek. No, I’m not going to cite them here. You’re going to have to go over there and upvote him yourself. The suffixes Evangelos quotes are vernacular; they aren’t part of the whole apparatus of […]

Why do Australians prefer plain easy English over rich English?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

The other answers are good, but I like to step back with questions like these, to the cultural context. In former times, expertise and professional use of language were elite activities; people who would use language professionally had an education that encompassed the literary canon and rhetoric; and the dominant literary aesthetic prioritised an extensive, […]

Why are the taxes so high in Greece?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, History, Modern Greek

Excellent answer from Alket Cecaj, Alket Cecaj’s answer to Why are the taxes so high in Greece? Clientelism is how it started The government must provide; there isn’t a native notion of ground roots enterprise and small government. If the government must provide, well, that costs money. So far, as Alket argued, that’s no different […]

What other races have the Greeks absorbed?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, History, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

Here’s a laundry list. Some to a greater extent, some to a lesser. Some as cultural assimilation, some as more straightforward displacement. Pelasgians (or whatever the pre-Hellenic population of Greece was) Minoans (who are presumably the same as the Eteocretans) Eteocypriots Lemnians (assuming that their language, which looks related to Etruscan, is not Pelasgian) The […]

What languages accept the use of mesoclisis and/or endoclisis?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Other Languages

Part of the problem is going to be that the terminology can get idiosyncratic to a language. I was not familiar with the terms endoclisis and mesoclisis, though I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere a description of an Italian dialect that sounds like what you’re describing as mesoclisis. If we treat the Indo-European preverb as a […]

What is the English translation for Greek ενέλιξη?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

Well, I had no idea what the answer was. But I did know that evolution in Greek is εξέλιξη, as an element-for-element calque: both mean “out-twisting”. And ενέλιξη means “in-twisting”, which should correspond to Latin(-derived) involution. And I looked up the definition of ενέλιξη, and it gave me a bunch of geometrical stuff: ενέλιξη (from […]

How can I get Esperanto taught at my school?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages

Kaylee Lowe’s answer to How can I get Esperanto taught at my school? Read now for the general principles at work. This answer is the added detail. Kaylee Lowe correctly points out the added constraint of standardised testing and curriculum support; you can’t just waltz in to a school with a copy of Jen Nia […]

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