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Day: September 15, 2016
Why is an article inserted before a proper noun that has been qualified by an adjective?
Proper nouns in English are not normally qualified by adjectives; the adjective would be taken to be part of the proper noun (This is Lucky Phil). Some authors do qualify proper nouns with adjectives, although as this discussion notes (Adjective with proper noun), it is stylistically quite marked (“Stylistically, attributively modifying a proper noun isn’t […]
What language first introduced punctuation such as the period, comma, exclamation point, and question mark?
See Punctuation on Wikipedia. David Crystal has a lovely book out on the history of punctuation: Making a Point. As Adam Mathias Bittlingmayer indicated, there were anticipations of punctuation for a while; the notion of systematically indicating pauses (period, comma) was a Hellenistic Greek invention, which became systematic in the late Empire. Punctuation as we […]
What happened to the Greeks of the Seleucid Empire?
Where are the Seleucid Greeks? (InB4 Kalash people. We’re pretty sure they’re not Greeks.) One can only presume, they assimilated. The ruling class would have been Greek for a fair while; royalty certainly was. But there’s no reason to think the majority of Greeks didn’t intermarry. Not that we’d know much about it, because the […]
What can be lost in translation from ancient Greek?
The allusions. Which are much more obvious in Ancient Greek, because it had several quite distinct literary dialects. If you want to allude to Homer, or to the tragedians, you can easily choose a word that occurs only in Homer, or a grammatical inflection that is antiquated. And literate Ancient Greeks were meant to be […]
What are major languages which declined/extinct during Turkification of Anatolia?
All the answers posted are very good, and a more substantial contribution than I will make. I agree that in all likelihood, by the time the Seljuks came to town, the indigenous Anatolian languages were long gone, and it was all about the retreat of Greek and Armenian. But I was A2A’d. So I’ll talk […]
Was the Greek population in western Asia Minor continuous from Byzantium, or did it migrate back to Asia Minor in Ottoman times?
Motivated by discussion with Dimitra Triantafyllidou at Nick Nicholas’ answer to What are major languages which declined/extinct during Turkification of Anatolia? Citing from discussion there: The received wisdom, from: Vryonis, Speros, Jr. The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century. Berkeley: University of […]
Was Procopius referring to second half of 6th century, when he says that “some of these rascals were still Animists” or much earlier times in Arabia ?
Procopius, de Bellis I xx: At about the time of this war Hellestheaeus, the king of the Aethiopians, who was a Christian and a most devoted adherent of this faith, discovered that a number of the Homeritae on the opposite mainland were oppressing the Christians there outrageously; many of these rascals were Jews, and many […]
Did Hebrew affect all languages in the world? If so, is it the only language that affected all languages?
… The only wide-ranging influence of Hebrew I can think of is In the variants of languages that are spoken by Jews: Yiddish, Ladino, Judaeo-Greek, Judaeo-Persian, Judaeo-Arabic… for all I know, Judaeo-Chinese. In the church register of languages impacted by Christianity. And not a lot of words there. Amen, Satan and Sabbath are probably the […]