Month: February 2011

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 […]

κατσούλι “kitten”: where did the cutesy /ts/ come from?

By: | Post date: 2011-02-21 | Comments: 14 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , ,

Tom Recht had a simple question in comments the other day, which admits of an almost simple answer. There is a catch, in that there is no clear phonological reason for what has happened, and I offer an unconvincing guess at it. Tom Recht’s question: I’m curious about the word κατσούλι, which is intriguingly similar […]

Accent on compounds with inflection switched to -as

By: | Post date: 2011-02-17 | Comments: 10 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , ,

In the survey of compound accentuation on that I’m about to start on, I’ve left out compounds switching inflection. These inflections, I had reasoned, bring along their own accentuation; and since the whole word was being reaccented from scratch, that new accentuation is recessive. Which is clearly the case when the switch in inflection […]

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, […]

Accent in Modern Compounds: Further Speculations

By: | Post date: 2011-02-12 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

I’m doing a quantitative survey of accent location in Modern Greek compounds, because the foregoing speculations have been rather irresponsible, absent hard data. Having thought about the issues some more—and being irresponsible, I’m making some more speculations about factors which influence accent location. We can put them to the test later. If the second half […]

Accent in Modern Compounds: Speculations

By: | Post date: 2011-02-08 | Comments: 10 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , ,

Ancient Greek had mostly recessive accentuation in compounds, as we saw last post; there are exceptions, some nice, some messy, and a major group of exceptions with verbal nominals. If an Ancient Greek compound survived into Modern Greek, it had no reason to change accent location; we saw that for simple words as well, two […]

Accent in Ancient compounds

By: | Post date: 2011-02-06 | Comments: 13 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics
Tags: , ,

We left off with the tendencies on how to accent words in Ancient and Modern Greek. But our target (or at least, my target) is to work out the rules behind the accent of ξέμαγκας, a compound. Which means we now get to look at the rules for how to accent a compound in Ancient […]

How Greek accentuation works

By: | Post date: 2011-02-06 | Comments: 6 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , ,

In a previous post, I accented ΞΕΜΑΓΚΑΣ “the un-mangas, the ex-mangas” as ξεμάγκας. Nikos Sarantakos pointed out the correct accent is ξέμαγκας. I see why that is the correct accent, though it still looks wrong to me. To explain why, I’m going to spend the next few posts building up to this explanation of what […]

Aspiration questions

By: | Post date: 2011-02-02 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

Nikos Sarantakos raised a few points about my previous post in comments. Rather than give a post-length response in comments, here’s a post-length response as a post: “b) hypercorrection re aspiration has produced some words that managed to get accepted like μέθαύριο or εφέτος.” Why those hypercorrections—”day after tomorrow; this year”, and not others? They’re […]

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