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Day: January 7, 2017
Which languages helped you more in learning Modern Greek?
I’m a native speaker, but I’ll venture this. Joachim Pense correctly said Classical Greek—and he also said that if you don’t already know Classical Greek, it is something of a detour. Knowing any language which has taken a lot of vocabulary from Classical Greek—meaning all Western European languages other than Icelandic—will help the vocabulary—but less […]
When did words begin to have double (or even triple) meanings?
I’m not quite the right person to ask about this; serious interest in the origins of language resumed after I studied linguistics. But think about it. Why do words have multiple meanings? We differentiate polysemy and homophony: multiple related meanings, and multiple unrelated meanings. Why is there polysemy? Because words get applied to different contexts, […]
How different is the syntax of English (in the last three centuries) from those of ancient Greek or katharevousa?
The “last three centuries” gives me pause. Syntactically, there have been changes from Ancient Greek to Modern Greek, and in fact Katharevousa is closer to Modern than Ancient Greek, though it did pick up nesting articles inside articles (“the of the meeting chairperson”). But in the big picture typologically, they’re all pretty similar: free (pragmatically […]
How can a software engineer get into computational linguistics?
You need programming chops, though nothing too flash and algorithmic. You need to be across regexes. You need to pick up some linguistics, but honestly, not as much as you might think. You certainly don’t need formal syntax or phonology. You will need to know what morphology is, especially if you’ll be working on languages […]