Category: Linguistics

Smyrilios

By: | Post date: 2017-09-20 | Comments: 7 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

This post is about a mediaeval Greek bird name. This post is, of course, not about a mediaeval Greek bird name at all. I coauthored with George Baloglou an analysis of a vernacular mediaeval Greek poem, the Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds (Διήγησις Παιδιόφραστος των Ζώων των Τετραπόδων). The Tale recounts a parliament of animals, who […]

Four Romaic names for Greece

By: | Post date: 2017-09-15 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Culture, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek

As ably explained in Wikipedia: Names of the Greeks, there is a tension in mediaeval and modern times between names for Greeks based on their ancient heritage (Hellenic; Hellenes), and names for Greeks based on their Roman and Byzantine heritage  (Romaic; Romioi = Romans). The tension was clearer within Greek, because Western languages used a term […]

Nilus-Nathanael Bertos (?) (ca. 1460?): On a captive freed through the prayers of priests

By: | Post date: 2017-09-13 | Comments: 19 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Literature, Mediaeval Greek

I rejoin Hellenisteukontos with a translation of a sermon possibly by Nilus-Nathanael Bertos. No, most people have not heard of him, and justifiably so. He isn’t all that good. But the sermon struck me as so… WTF, so divorced from the world I know (a world substantially informed by the Reformation and the Enlightenment), that […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why do I not appear to have a regional accent?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-14 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

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 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?

By: | Post date: 2017-08-14 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval 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 […]

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