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Day: May 6, 2017
Which consonant is more marked, /θ/ or /ð/?
I’ll answer this question for English, rather than cross-linguistically; I’ve A2A’d users who are more across the right typological databases. Markedness (the linguistic notion of what is the default value between two alternatives) is a confluence of several factors, and in all of them, voiceless wins. Refer Is there a rule for pronouncing “th” at […]
What are some words shared between Albanian and other Balkan languages?
I answered a related question, and so did Dimitra Triantafyllidou: Do Greek villages near Albania use Albanian words, just like those in Albania use Greek loanwords? The Greek blog article Πενήντα ελληνικές λέξεις αλβανικής προέλευσης lists 50 common Albanian words in Greek; Dimitra being in Northern Greece, she knew most of them, whereas I being […]
In English, why does the letter “υ” from Greek loanwords appear in some words as letter “Y,” but as “U” in other words?
The rule really is y, not u, for Greek upsilon. That really *really* surprised me. I went to the OED, and it didn’t tell me much: Etymology: First formed as French glucose (Dumas 1838, in Compt. Rend. VII. 109); compare Greek γλυκύς sweet and -ose suffix. The English Wikipedia didn’t tell me much more. But […]
Could Koiné be roughly divided into 6 declension types?
I *think* I read this in Signes-Codoñer, J. 2005. The definitions of the Greek middle voice between Apollonius Dyscolus and Constantinus Lascaris. Historiographia Linguistica 32: 1-33. The Ancient Greek authorities (actually Roman-era) came up with something like 60 declensions for Greek, because they were not trying to do internal reconstruction or look for regularities. (I […]
Are the vowels “ι, υ, and α” long by nature within a particular word in Greek poetry?
My command of quantitative metre is non existent, but to my knowledge a particular instance of α, ι, υ in a particular word was almost always either long or short: it was a property of the phonology of the word, and not an artefact of the metre. The quantity of α, ι, υ in word […]