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Day: December 2, 2015
What language uses 7’s and !’s?
Squamish language uses <7> conventionally to substitute for IPA <ʔ>, and I can imagine other languages doing so if their Romanisation was influenced by linguists. Squamish doesn’t use <!>, which turns up in Khoisan languages for clicks (Exclamation mark). Not convinced there’s a language that uses both, but who knows… For the same reason of […]
What is the difference in Greek between κοίταζε and κοίταγε?
In practice: none. κοιτάω and κοιτάζω both mean “to look”, and are just morphological variants—of a kind quite common in Middle Greek, as new present tenses were being reconstructed from aorists. (Both -αζω and -αω verbs could have -ασ- aorists; so working backwards, you could end up with either present tense.) There’s a slight register […]
What does it feel like to speak an almost extinct language? Does one feel a responsibility to carry it on to future generations? Does one try to practice it and not forget it?
I’ll quote what someone else in that position said (originally posted about on my blog: .sig quoting Marcel Cohen, corrected; see also Language Regained). Marcel Cohen was a Jewish author writing in French. His first language was Judaeo-Spanish (aka Djudio, Ladino), which he barely remembered as an adult. As a one-off, he wrote a memoir […]