Month: September 2009

Who first coined the term “diglossia”?

By: | Post date: 2009-09-30 | Comments: 7 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: ,

Contra the Common Wisdom of the West which I repeated at the start of last post, “diglossia” was not first used by Psichari. It’s plausible if he did, given how thorough his critique of contemporary Greek diglossia was; but Psichari wasn’t the only person critiquing Greek diglossia. The first person to use “diglossia” to refer […]

Greek diglossia and how it isn’t

By: | Post date: 2009-09-28 | Comments: 30 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: ,

The term “diglossia” was coined for Greece; in fact, it was coined popularised by Psichari, who was once of the principals in the Greek diglossia wars. But the very fact that there were diglossia wars in Greece means “diglossia” was no longer the right word to describe what was going on in Greece. Diglossia is […]

Maronite Arabic in Cyprus

By: | Post date: 2009-09-24 | Comments: 6 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek, Other Languages
Tags: ,

Cyprus, though quirks of history, has been more sanguine about linguistic diversity than Greece has been. I remember my Cypriot father’s shrugged “yeah, there were some Armenians too, and a village of Maronites“, vs my Cretan mother’s astonished retelling of her first encounter with her sister’s new (Arvanite) in-laws: “And all of a sudden… they […]

Kozani: a stab at etymology

By: | Post date: 2009-09-22 | Comments: 18 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , ,

Language Hat asks in comments to the previous post about the Wikipedia etymologies of Kozani: According to prevailing opinion, the name comes from the village of Epirus Kósdiani, the origin of settlers of Kozani in 1392. The settlement was first named Kózdiani, which then, it was changed into Kóziani, and in the end into Kozáni.[2] […]

Linguashmucks: Motorcycle Boy 1, Purity of Greek 0

By: | Post date: 2009-09-22 | Comments: 14 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , ,

Enough teasing: at last, here is the translation of Motorcycle Boy’s post “Linguashmucks” (Οι Γλωσσοκόπανοι). To lead in: my friend Diana, of the blog Surprised By Time (bringing the Mediaeval Peloponnese to life) forwarded me a link, and suggested I blog about it. The link was to an article in the Athens press (here in […]

A mutant optative in Galen

By: | Post date: 2009-09-21 | Comments: 19 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics
Tags: ,

I feel guilty, on occasion, that I blog about soft linguistics here—language and identity, spelling conventions, linguistic geography—at the expense of hard linguistics: phonology, morphology, even *shudder* syntax. It’s easy to post about diglossia, because it’s fun social stuff that everyone has an opinion about; it’s much harder to get worked up about optatives. Because […]

Lascaris Cananus: Updated

By: | Post date: 2009-09-18 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: , , ,

Well, I now have both the Lundström and the Blomqvist editions of Lascaris Cananus next to me, so I can update my preceding post on him. Thanks to your intrepid correspondent, the 1902 edition, Lundström, Vilhelm (ed.) 1902. Laskaris Kananos. Reseanteckningar från de nordiska länderna. Upsala; Leipzig: Lundequist (Smärre Byzantinska skrifter; 1)—is now online at […]

Lerna: Epilogue

By: | Post date: 2009-09-15 | Comments: 21 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

Καλοσωρίζω κάπως καθυστερημένα τους αναγνώστες του Βήματος που ενδεχομένως να βρέθηκαν σ’ αυτό το ιστολόγιο, και τους καλώ να εντρυφήσουν όσο τους βαστά στα νερά της Λέρνας… I never did close off the Lerna series of posts, on the count of lemmata of Greek and the urban legends that have grown around its misinterpretations. Part […]

Islántē: Island Of The Fish-Eaters

By: | Post date: 2009-09-07 | Comments: 5 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: , , ,

[EDIT: This post has been updated] The quiz I set last post gave me an excuse to Google Σαμῶται, and in the process to find that Lascaris Cananus is online—after a fashion. So this post is about him. Lascaris Cananus wrote a page about his visit to Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland in the 15th […]

What’s Londínon in the language of the Inglínes?

By: | Post date: 2009-09-03 | Comments: 16 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been working on lemmatising the TLG for, oh, over six years. And lemmatising the TLG includes lemmatising its proper names. The TLG is, in quantity, a mostly Byzantine corpus, even though the point of the TLG was ancient literature: the Byzantine corpus is what survived most. And in the absence of a Byzantine gazetteer […]

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