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Month: May 2017
Not to my knowledge. The late Larry Trask, preeminent vasconist of his time, spent a lot of leisure time refuting inane claims about Basque being related to every language on earth, and part of his armoury as a historical linguist was that such inane efforts made use of modern Basque dictionaries, whereas both what we […]
I’m wondering how the old Greeko-roman culture of Byzantine, perhaps the most sophisticated in the middle ages, just collapsed and replaced by language and culture of tribal immigrant Turks who hardly had any written tradition? For the specifics of what happened in Anatolia, see When and how did modern Turkish become the majority in Anatolia? […]
Are the many “i”-like combinations in modern Greek comparable to the “yat” and many “i”-sounding letters in old Russian orthography?
There is one major similarity between the Old Cyrillic and Greek alphabets: originally, both were (mostly) phonemic, but several of the distinct sounds represented by different letters merged later on, so that there was two or more ways of representing the same phoneme with different letters. So the letter Yat seems to have originally represented […]
I was a child in Greece, 1979–1983, and maybe not the best informed source of information on attitudes toward the North at the time. I know that in socialist circles, the notion of “The Northern Threat” (ο εκ του Βορρά κίνδυνος) was often ridiculed—surely everyone knew the Turks were the real enemy, within NATO, and […]
I’m going to answer a different interpretation of this question. If all languages have access to the same, finite repertoire of segments (phonemes), then why do they sound as different as they do? There are several answers to this. The repertoire of phonemes may be finite, but the realisation can be phonetically different. A Dutch […]
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Bon_chic_bon_genre Panos Skoulidas‘ answer is right. To elaborate: Κομψός means “elegant, clean cut”. It has ancient lineage. It does not explicitly mean that someone is fashionable; it can correspond to “classic”, and it can certainly be used approvingly by an 80 year old. Σικ, from French chic, explicitly refers to being up to date with […]
Latin confirmed with a check in the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Latin was clearly on the wane from the 7th century, but it seems not completely lost: Lawyers preserved some knowledge of Latin, often superficial, from the 8th to 11th C., and Constantine IX’s novel establishing a law school in Constantinople prescribes the teaching of […]
I’m having a lot of difficulty understanding your question, but what I think you’re asking is: can a word be both onomatopoeic (or otherwise iconic in some way), and borrowed? The lazy answer, which is in fact the default answer from what I can tell, is no: if a name is an onomatopoeia, then its […]
I had a wonderful comment about this in a similar post, and because it was a comment and not a post, and because Quora has a very recalcitrant notion of what should be searchable, I can’t find it. My fellow Greeks Nikos Anagnostou, Yiannis Papadopoulos, Bob Hannent, Konstantinos Konstantinides, Pieter van der Wilt, have all […]
Do most Greek speakers articulate the distinction between single (άμα, αλά) and double consonants (γράμμα, άλλα) in careful, enunciated speech?
No. Gemination is preserved, but only in the South-Eastern group of dialects (the most prominent member of which is Cypriot). And the gemination of those dialects does not always coincide with the orthographic gemination preserved from Ancient Greek. In all other dialects, and in Standard Greek, double consonants are for spelling only. (Just like in […]