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Day: May 7, 2017
What is the etymology of “Thisbe”, the name of the famous mythological character?
I looked up Dr. W. PAPE’s Woerterbuch der griechischen Eigennamen. Dritte Auflage neu bearbeitet von Dr. Gustav Eduard BENSELER. Vierter Abdruck. Braunschweig, 1911, the big old Greek dictionary of proper names. The best it had to offer is Suda’s gloss of the noun thisbē as ‘funerary urn’ (σορός): SOL Search. The Thisbe mentioned by Ovid […]
What is the etymology of “Pyramus”, the name of the famous mythological character?
I looked up Dr. W. PAPE’s Woerterbuch der griechischen Eigennamen. Dritte Auflage neu bearbeitet von Dr. Gustav Eduard BENSELER. Vierter Abdruck. Braunschweig, 1911, the big old Greek dictionary of proper names. It brings up the Byzantine authorities’ guesses, and they lean towards ‘wheat’. The Etymologicum Magnum says that the river Pyramus was so called διὰ […]
What do the accents (acute/grave/circumflex) of Ancient Greek sound like?
From what we can work out, including the evidence from the ancients, and as consolidated on Ancient Greek accent – Wikipedia: If the syllable was short: an acute meant High pitch, and a grave meant Low pitch. (In reality, it meant neutral pitch.) If the syllable was long, break the syllable up into two Morae. […]
What are some good books or stories to read in Esperanto?
The Esperanta antologio: the anthology of Esperanto poetry. Get hold of the first edition, rather than the second; yes, the first edition stops at 1957, but it has commentary, which is very useful, and the 1984 edition inexcusably got rid of it. Lingvo kaj vivo: 1959 collection of essays by Gaston Waringhien, Esperanto lexicographer and […]
How is it determined that an ancient language had pitch or stress or tone accent?
In the case of Ancient Greek, it’s actually quite straightforward: We know that words had accents, because the ancients made up signs for accents. Words having accents is the norm in language anyway. We know that normally only one syllable per word had an accent, because that’s how the ancients wrote their accents. At the […]
How can we determine how old a dialect is?
Nick Nicholas’ answer to Which language is older, Persian or Arabic? There’s no such thing as an older language. Similarly, there is no such thing as an older dialect. Sure, for example, the English of England has been spoken in the same place for 1500 years. But the English of America retains a bunch of […]
How can I connect between the phonetic and the words meaning?
It’s a pillar of semiotics that you can’t: Ferdinand de Saussure’s renowned Arbitrariness of the Sign (Arbitraire du Signe). Sound symbolism is an exception to the Arbitrariness of the Sign, and it’s an exception that Saussure was aware of, and addressed (see http://personal.bgsu.edu/~dcalle… quoting his Course): it’s a marginal exception, and as signs become conventional […]