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Month: August 2017

Why do Israelis love Stelios Kazantzidis’ music?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-18 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Music

I’ll give Stelios Kazantzidis – Wikipedia’s take, but I’m very interested in hearing from Israelis why Greek Levantine-flavoured music, and his in particular, appear to have had such resonance in Israel. In Israel, he was a musical icon. Many of his songs were translated into Hebrew and performed by the country’s leading singers. Yaron Enosh, […]

How different is the modern Greek alphabet from the ancient one? Other than the fact that ancient Greek had only capital letters, does the alphabet also contain letters that modern Greek speakers do not use?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-18 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Writing Systems

In antiquity, every city had its own variant of the Greek alphabet; they varied not only on shape of letter, but also on which letters they used. Athens undertook a spelling reform in 403 BC, under the archonship of Eucleides, which adopted the Milesian variant of the Ionian alphabet, including the letters eta and omega. […]

Are you Greek? And if yes then where in Greece are you from?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-18 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

A far from straightforward question for those of us in the Greek diaspora. My dad does not speak a word of Pontic Greek. But this Pontic revival song, sung by Stelios Kazantzidis towards the end of his life, shook him: stixoi.info: Πατρίδα μ΄ αραεύω σε Five houses have I built; unhoused from all.A refugee from […]

Why use the term straight instead of heterosexual?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-16 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

Let me answer a different question. As I wrote on A cis lament for the Greek language and How to say transgender in Greek, the Greek language has a Greek term for transgender, diemphylikos. Trans Greeks were involved in coining it. The Greek peak body of LGB (with only token T) uses diemphylikos. Greek trans […]

The Ancient Greek Language: Is it similar to Modern Greek? The first link states that modern Greek descended from ancient Greek, however the second link says otherwise. What is really the truth? (links are down in the “answers” area)

By: | Post date: 2017-08-16 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

I’m to take seriously a doctor’s tongue-in-cheek commentary in a medical journal, as evidence that Modern Greek is not descended from Ancient Greek? Quoting a phrase book as his authority? Over an answer with contributions from several good minds that know both languages, including some (like me) with academic training in linguistics? Really? A guy […]

Does “nigh” have the same etymology as “near”?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-16 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

The five answers given quote the facts, but I’m afraid they don’t understand the facts. Nigh comes from the original Old English word for “near”. Near comes from the Old Norse for “nearer”. It came to England with the Vikings. They are not the same etymology. They are related (cognate) words, just as shirt from […]

What would it be like to have a made up language as your first language?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Artificial Languages

If you’re being brought up to speak Esperanto or Klingon or Lojban or (in the case of Itamar Ben-Avi) Revived Hebrew [yes, I’m calling Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s work a made up language], the main issue you’d run into is not having anyone but your parents, and maybe occasionally your parents’ weirdo friends, to use the language […]

What influence has Bollywood had in Greek music?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Music

Material drawn from forum thread ΙΝΔΙΚΑ ΚΑΙ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΤΡΑΓΟΥΔΙΑ. There is a book on the influx of Bollywood tunes into Greek music: Ινδοπρεπών αποκάλυψη. Manuel Tasoulas & Eleni Ambatzi. 1998. Ινδοπρεπών αποκάλυψη [Revelation of the Indian-styled]. Athens; Περιβολάκι, Ατραπός. Bollywood productions were very popular in Greece in the 1960s; my mother remembers watching them as […]

Is it mathematically possible to create a language where terms describing complex ideas can be made up starting from simpler ideas, with simple logical reasoning in real time, so that knowing vocabulary is not necessary?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

I’m sceptical to what extent mathematics enters into any reasoning about human language (and Lojbanists actually highlight that language is not reducible to truth-conditional logic). But much of what you’re saying is the bet behind Natural semantic metalanguage, which tries to define every concept ever in a language that looks like English, but that has […]

How do you say ‘the thing about the eagle’ in ancient Greek?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

I have been edified by the margent: I have found out that the Iliad means ‘The thing about the lion’ and I was just wondering how one would say, ‘The thing about the eagle’. No. No it doesn’t, and you need to slap whoever told you that in the face. Iliad means ‘The thing about […]

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