Category: Other Languages

Is it possible to use the ancient Gothic alphabet to write in English?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-25 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_alphabet One might argue that the phonological inventory of Gothic is a spectacularly bad match for that of Modern English. But then again, so was the phonological inventory of Latin. I think you can, so long as you hold your nose and write vowels as a one to one match with Modern English; you’re not […]

What is a better way of representing the /ʔ/ and /ʕ/ sounds than apostrophes or other punctuation marks?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-25 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Other Languages, Writing Systems

I’m going to take a long time to say “none”. Glottal stop – Wikipedia The most common convention in Latin script is indeed to use apostrophe; and the disadvantage of the apostrophe is that it’s easy to miss, easy to conflate with a quotation mark, and it doesn’t look like a “real” letter. The same […]

Is there a phonological explanation of why the letter “s” dropped in many French words (resulting in adding the circumflex accent)?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-24 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

Between them, Christopher Ray Miller’s answer and Brian Collins’ answer have most of it covered. There’s one more way to look at it though. French dropped /s/ at the start of consonant clusters, at the start and in the middle of words. So /sp/ > /p/, /sn/ > /n/, /st/ > /t/ etc: hospital > […]

How did old linguists in a pre medical screening world manage to figure out phonologies so perfectly?

By: | Post date: 2017-07-23 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

Articulatory phonetics was indeed done before Palatography. And not just by the Ottomans: the Korean script Hangul originated in articulatory phonetics, and for that matter both the Sanskrit grammarians and the later Graeco-Roman grammarians had pretty much had it figured out. And they could just as my students in first year were able to learn […]

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 […]

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