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Day: June 15, 2016
Why is Russian word “сидеть” (“sidet'” which means “to sit”) so similar with English word “Sydney”?
As others have said: sometimes, coincidence happens. Sydney was named for Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, and Sidney (surname) derives from Old English sīdan īege, “at the wide island”, i.e. Water-meadow. Old English sid means “wide, extensive, broad”, and is the ancestor of Modern English side. Wiktionary tells me it comes from Germanic *sīdaz, which […]
Is there a tendency for languages to gain or lose complex clusters over time?
I’m saying the same thing as JJ Hantsch, but with different emphasis. Is there a tendency for languages to gain or lose complex clusters over time? Both, but with different causes. Languages lose complex clusters through various processes of phonotactic simplification. Languages gain complex clusters through dropping vowels [EDIT: or adding consonants for ease of […]
Icelandic (language): What is flámæli?
https://www.quora.com/profile/Nick-Nicholas-5 What Lyonel said. I’m away from my references 🙁 , but see North American Icelandic. The story is that Icelanders noticed the merger in the 1920s, stigmatised it as “fisherman’s language”, and got rid of it successfully (although the link says that the e/ö merger is still around). In North America, of course, no […]