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Day: August 14, 2017
Why do many people say that Koine Greek is close to Modern Greek and distant from Attic, while grammatically it seems to be very close to Attic and still some significant distance away from Modern Greek?
Well has Dimitra Triantafyllidou’s answer put it: Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Here’s some ways in which Koine is closer to Modern Greek: Phonetics: there’s lots of disagreement about precise dates, but in lower-class Koine, potentially as few as two sounds were left to change over between Koine and Modern Greek, ɛ > i […]
Why do I not appear to have a regional accent?
Without knowing anything whatsoever of your circumstances, OP, I’ll guess you’ve picked up some supraregional dialect koine somehow. Like, I dunno, RP, or whatever has replaced RP in England these days. It’ll have a lot to do with your upbringing and your socialisation, as others have said. This kind of accent mixup is very commonplace […]
Why are there ancient, long extinct scripts (e.g. cuneiform) in Unicode?
https://unicode-table.com/en/blocks/cuneiform/ I’m going to put in a less popular answer: Because they can. Yes, there is research ongoing on extinct scripts, and scholars should be able to exchange texts in those scripts. The thing is, scholars usually exchange Sumerian, Old Egyptian, Mayan etc texts not in the original scripts, but in transliteration. The scholars are […]
Who faces more difficulty, a Greek who reads the original Koine New Testament or an English speaker who reads the works of Shakespeare?
How on earth do we quantify this? Especially given (a) we read Shakespeare in modernised orthography; (b) we ignore the pronunciation differences, unless we’re tuning in to Ben Crystal for Reconstructed Shakesperian, and Randall Buth for Reconstructed Koine; (c) there is huge stylistic disparity in the New Testament: Mark is much easier to read than […]
What would a living natural language that couldn’t change or evolve look like?
Well, what drives language change? Whatever needs drive language change would not be met by such a language. And speakers of such a language would get very frustrated. They’d be bored to death with each other. A major driver is the pursuit for novel and vivid ways of expressing a concept. You would not have […]
What sounds in your language do foreigners find hard to pronounce?
For Modern Greek, the following sounds are cross-linguistically rare, and certainly rare among European languages: ɣ ~ ʝ: γάμος, γέρος x ~ ç: χάμω, χελιδόνι ɟ [the palatalised allophone of ɡ]: αγγίζω ð, θ: δέντρο, θάμνος r: ρέμα (people really don’t deal well with trills) Initial clusters like ks, ps, vl, vr, ðr, ðj, ɣl, […]
What is the best Greek restaurant in Melbourne?
The Press Club mentioned in other answers (which are now a few years old) is the flagship of celebrity restauranteur George Calombaris, and was at the forefront of nouveau Greek cuisine. Calombaris was into molecular gastronomy before he was into nouveau Greek, and you could tell: there was tzatziki ice cream to be had. The […]
What are some of the must know linguistic theories for any linguistics student?
Add to Andrew Noe’s answer: For historical linguistics, Uniformitarianism. (Yes, I know the link describes the geological version of that hypothesis.) The notion that human language in the past worked pretty much the same way as human language works now. For structuralism, as an underpinning of how we do linguistics in general: the Arbitrariness of […]
Was there any famous Greeks called Alexander before the 1900s besides Alexander the Great?
See Nick Nicholas’ answer to Who is the most famous Greek who was named Alexander in the previous 15 centuries (one for each century)? and Konstantinos Konstantinides’ answer to Who is the most famous Greek who was named Alexander in the previous 15 centuries (one for each century)? tl;dr: for Greeks who are famous to […]
Is Yiddish a Semitic or a Indo-European language?
The answer has been given by Anthony Thompson’s answer and Chrys Jordan’s answer. I’m going to spell out a bit more the general principles at work. Fitting language history into a tree structure requires some simplifying assumptions. In particular, you have to be able to assume that a language has a single parent proto-language (otherwise […]