Tag: historical linguistics

Phanariot: an apology for Schleicherian bias

By: | Post date: 2019-01-25 | Comments: 4 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

I was recently perusing Peter Mackridge’s paper Some literary representations of spoken Greek before nationalism 1750-1801, and I got sidetracked by an incidental footnote on diacritics use in Karamanlidika in the 18th century. And now, to unpack. Peter Mackridge is the emeritus professor of Modern Greek in Oxford. He has written a wealth of papers […]

The declension of -ευς: Ionic forward to Modern Greek

By: | Post date: 2011-03-12 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , ,

In the last (but one) post, we worked out a reconstruction of the -ευς declension, to the point that we could explain the Homeric inflections. Where we wanted to get to was not Homer, but Aristophanes’ Attic. But once we have the proto-forms in place, we can use sound change rules and analogy to explain […]

The declension of -ευς: Homeric back to Proto-Greek

By: | Post date: 2011-03-08 | Comments: 12 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics
Tags: , ,

I’ve been neglecting Ancient Greek, and I don’t know that my posts on Ancient Greek are particularly quality offerings anyway. But, once again, perusing the comments of the Magnificent Nikos Sarantakos’ Blog has given me an idea for a posting—on Ancient rather than Modern Greek for a change. The post is no surprise to anyone […]

αμέτι μουχαμέτι: Semantics

By: | Post date: 2011-03-07 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

We have just looked at the development of the syntax of αμέτι μουχαμέτι, from an Ottoman Turkish noun phrase ümmet-i Muhammed “nation of Muhammad”, to the Modern Greek adverb “come hell or high water”—which arguably has ended up, in a limited sense, as a noun comparable in function to σκοπός “purpose” or όρκος “oath”. And […]

αμέτι μουχαμέτι: Syntax

By: | Post date: 2011-03-06 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

We saw in the last post the evidence for the development of αμέτι μουχαμέτι in the 19th century, from the Ottoman Turkish ümmet-i Muhammed “nation of Muhammed”, to the Modern Greek “come hell or high water”. We can already get a fair idea of how the meaning shifted, from the examples Vasilis Orfanos produced—and which […]

αμέτι μουχαμέτι, “Come Hell or High Water”

By: | Post date: 2011-03-02 | Comments: 4 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

As I alluded to in the previous post, this post is about how the Ottoman phrase ümmet-i Muhammed, “Nation of Muhammad”, turned into the Modern Greek expression αμέτι μουχαμέτι, “come hell or high water”. The material for this post is taken from the Magnificent Nikos Sarantakos’ Blog—as much of the material on this blog is. […]

άμε and άντε: Semantics Persistence in Modern Greek hortative particles

By: | Post date: 2011-03-01 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

Vasilis Orfanos wrote a magisterial post on αμέτι μουχαμέτι, which I alluded to last post, and which am using to base the next post on. (Or maybe the post after that.) To acknowledge my debt, this is a post on a topic he requested from me a few weeks back. The topic in turn is […]

Metonymy and Metaphor in Language Change

By: | Post date: 2011-02-27 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

When language changes, the innovation rarely comes out of nowhere. The typical pattern is that an existing expression is interpreted in a novel way (reanalysis); and that novelty spreads through the language (extension). For example, within my lifetime, fun switched from being just a noun to also being an adjective. That reanalysis happened in people’s […]

ξε- in compounds and phrases

By: | Post date: 2011-02-14 | Comments: 7 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , , ,

This post has been anticipated in comments already anyway; it’s the reason why I got the accent of ξέμαγκας wrong. One reason was given last post: it is much harder to predict where recessive accent goes for the -a(s) inflection than for the other inflections of Modern Greek. For masculine and neuter -o(s), feminine -si, […]

GTAGE: Losing One’s Religion

By: | Post date: 2010-07-10 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

Today’s installment of the Golden Treasury of Anglo–Greek Expressions (GTAGE) takes religion in vain. That does not mean the expressions I’m going through are blasphemous per se—although if taking religion lightly is not your thing, you shouldn’t be reading further. If anything, the expressions show how central a role Orthodox Christianity has played in how […]

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