Archive:

Day: December 28, 2016

Would Greek Cypriots accept the return of the north of Cyprus if the Turkish Cypriots were expelled?

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Posted in categories: Culture, Modern Greek

I’ll second Spyros Theodoritsis. Yes, Greek Cypriots killed Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus in intercommunity violence. Yes, there was de facto partition of the island since 1963. Yes, if you talk to at least some Greek Cypriots for long enough (as I did with my uncle there), you’ll work out that despite their professed desire for […]

Why did the Ancient Greeks refer to Ancient Blacks (the Ethiopians) as ‘blameless’ and ‘favored by the gods’? Also, what does it mean?

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Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Culture

(Oh, God, not Afrocentric history, anything but that.) Afrocentric pages online say Diodorus Siculus said: “The Aethiopians (Ethiopians) are high favored with the gods, they were the first of all men created by the gods and were the founders of the Egyptian Civilization.” Diodorus Siculus actually says this: LacusCurtius • Diodorus Siculus Now the Ethiopians, […]

Why can’t we perceive onomatopoeia in other languages as easily as in our native language?

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Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

René Alix has basically covered it in his answer (Vote #1 René Alix’s answer to Why can’t we perceive onomatopoeia in other languages as easily as in our native language?) But there’s something that’s only implicit in René’s answer, that I’ll make explicit: No actual dogs really sound like that. And so you get the […]

What is the twenty-third letter of the Latin alphabet?

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Posted in categories: English, Other Languages, Writing Systems

I see what you did there, OP. Yes, the 23rd letter of the Latin alphabet depends on which version of the Latin alphabet you’re using: there’s no universal 23rd letter, because there’s no universal repertoire of Latin letters. Some languages have fewer letters than English. Some have more letters than English. Some languages count letters […]

What does a linguist think of Albanian as he first starts to study it?

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Posted in categories: Linguistics, Other Languages

Vote #1 Sam Ahmed: Sam Ahmed’s answer to What does a linguist think of Albanian as he first starts to study it? As someone who’s both Greek and who was looking for things about the Balkan Sprachbund, I had the same reactions. With the added component of “… God, this is just like Greek” a […]

What are the distorsions in the various (French, German, etc.) versions of the Erasmian Ancient Greek pronunciation?

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Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek in teaching – Wikipedia Wikipedia enumerates English, French, German, Italian. I’ll list the pronunciations that I would deem wrong from the currently accepted reconstruction of Ancient Greek. I’m not even going to list the traditional distortions of Erasmian in English courtesy of the Great English Vowel Shift, and some bizarre notions […]

What are some strategies of anaphor binding/coindexation in languages and other strategies to resolve or compensate referent ambiguity?

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Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

I should know a good answer to this, as part of my apprenticeship (being a research assistant) was tracking referents in Acehnese discourse for Mark Durie. The obvious answers I think have already been given. Gender in all its manifold forms, extending to noun classes. Deixis. Politeness strategies and social deixis. Reflexives, including long-distance reflexives […]

Linguistically speaking, why is the relationship between the signifier and signified mostly arbitrary?

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Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

Vote #1 Michael Minnich: Michael Minnich’s answer to Linguistically speaking, why is the relationship between the signifier and signified mostly arbitrary? It brings up several pertinent reasons. My answer’s simpler: restricting ourselves to lexicon, non-arbitrary signifier–signified relations in a spoken language are going to be limited to referents that make a sound. Most verbs and […]

If the word “homo religiosus” used by scholars mean a ‘religious human,’ what would be an equivalent Latin term for a “meaning seeking human”?

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Posted in categories: Latin, Linguistics

Homo significans, “human who makes meaning”, is already a well established expression. So is homo interpres, “interpreting human”, human who makes sense of things. You’re doing something more subtle: “seeking meaning in the universe, anticipating that there will be meaning”. It’s very close to homo interpres. But if you want to be more explicit: homo […]