Category: Other Languages

How come the Hebrew words for 6 and 7 are so similar to their Latin counterparts, while the other digits aren’t even close?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-21 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

There has been speculation that Indo-European borrowed its words for ‘six’ and ‘seven’ from Semitic, or that they reflect a common ancestral (Nostratic) element. Nostratic is not a mainstream theory, and there has also been significant scepticism about borrowing, especially if the Proto–Indo-European for ‘six’ is closer to *weḱs than *sweḱs. I’ll note that PIE […]

What do sophisticated, neutral, and unsophisticated typefaces from different writing systems look like?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

This is not the most sophisticated of answers; but one bugbear of all type designers outside of the Latin script (and Cyrillic, thanks to Peter the Great) is recent font kiddies slavishly copying the design of Latin fonts. Particularly serifs. Type designers in other scripts hate serifs. Serifs are a Latin thing; Peter the Great […]

Which languages use a bare dental click for a plain no? Did this originate from a single language and spread to others?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-12 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek, Other Languages

Dental clicks – Wikipedia Dental clicks may also be used para-linguistically. For example, English speakers use a plain dental click, usually written tsk or tut (and often reduplicated tsk-tsk or tut-tut; these spellings often lead to spelling pronunciations /tɪsk/ or /tʌt/), as an interjection to express commiseration, disapproval, irritation, or to call a small animal. […]

What is the origin of rhyming poetry? Is it strictly European-based?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-08 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Other Languages

In fact, though Rhyme – Wikipedia is very coy and tentative about stating it, there is good evidence that European rhyme originates in Arabic rhyme, via the Andalus; Arabic has used rhyme extensively since the sixth century. There is occasional rhyme in Classical Greek and Latin, but that is an effect, not a structuring principle. […]

Why are unicode characters outside the BMP called astral?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-05 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

Thank you for the A2A, Jelle Zijlstra, and why do I suspect that you’ve read my page Astral Planes? There’s 17 * 65536 characters in Unicode. Each 65536 characters is called a Plane. The first plane, the BMP, is the plane that most characters you will ever encounter are in. Only two other planes are […]

Could toponyms “Trebižat” (in Herzegovina) and “Trebizond” (in Turkey) be related?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-01 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

Trebizond is derived from the Ancient Greek Trapezous (genitive Trapezountos, hence Modern Greek Trapezounda), meaning ‘table-like’, and referring to the mountain formation in the area. Per People and Culture: Trebižat River, There are two theories on how the river got its name. The first one says that it was named “Trebižat” because it escapes from […]

What’s the most unusual script/alphabet?

By: | Post date: 2017-06-01 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

A close companion to What in your opinion is the ugliest/most unappealing script? Cultural familiarity is going to defuse anyone’s opinion; so you won’t get many responses nominating Latin, or anything originating on the same continent as Latin. Is it Lontara alphabet, optimised to be written on palm leaves? Is it Vai syllabary, which aesthetically […]

What languages accept the use of mesoclisis and/or endoclisis?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-30 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Other Languages

Part of the problem is going to be that the terminology can get idiosyncratic to a language. I was not familiar with the terms endoclisis and mesoclisis, though I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere a description of an Italian dialect that sounds like what you’re describing as mesoclisis. If we treat the Indo-European preverb as a […]

What was the role of the Turkish language in the Balkan sprachbund? How was Turkish affected by it or how effected it?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-29 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

All Balkan languages have borrowed substantial Turkish vocabulary, and all Balkan languages have borrowed some Turkish affixes. However, the Balkan Sprachbund is defined through the convergence of grammars, rather than just their borrowings from a common source. It is defined by shared morphological categories and syntactic constructions: a convergence such that, if you replace a […]

Are the many “i”-like combinations in modern Greek comparable to the “yat” and many “i”-sounding letters in old Russian orthography?

By: | Post date: 2017-05-27 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Modern Greek, Other Languages, Writing Systems

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 […]

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