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Day: June 18, 2017
Why is Hermione pronounced like her-MY-on-ne in English? Does it follow the rules? It doesn’t seem phonetic, and the Greek is probably different.
It follows the rules alright. They’re just rules that have nothing to do with the original Greek. Traditional English pronunciation of Latin – Wikipedia In the middle of a word, a vowel followed by more than one consonant is short, as in Hermippe /hərˈmɪpiː/ hər-MIP-ee, while a vowel with no following consonant is long. Hence, […]
Which Turkish words adopted by the languages in the Ottoman territories have been most grammatically productive (in those languages)?
I’m not proud to bring up puşt “bottom, male homosexual on the receiving end of anal sex, faggot”, because homophobia is not something to be proud of. But the word has certainly been productive in Greek, as you might expect of an insult. From the Triantafyllidis Dictionary: Λεξικό της κοινής νεοελληνικής pustis ‘faggot’ (used as […]
What if when it’s time to go to school my son speaks only Klingon and I refuse to teach him English? Would it be considered child abuse or something?
For a less emotive response, let us substitute Klingon with Norwegian, outside of Norway. It is not child abuse to bring up your kid to speak only Norwegian in Australia. As another respondent said, if they arrive at primary school with no English, they will pick up English pretty quickly at school. As is the […]
‘Turn turk’ in the Renaissance meant to convert to Islam. The Turks were the Muslims that the English had the most contact with, through the Ottoman Empire. A Christian Turn’d Turk (1612) is a play by the English dramatist Robert Daborne. It concerns the conversion of the pirate John Ward to Islam. Because of the […]
For Modern Greek: parea ‘group of people hanging out socially’. Either our solitary Catalan loan, or one of our few Ladino loans, from parea (Spanish pareja) ‘couple’. The Catalan etymology is seductive, as it involves the Catalan Company, a parea marauding the Greek countryside. tsonta ‘porn film’. From Venetian zonta ‘joined on’ (Italian giunta); originally […]
It used to; the [j] was regularly dropped after certain consonants: Phonological history of English consonant clusters – Wikipedia The change of [ɪ] to [j] in these positions (as described above) produced some clusters which would have been difficult or impossible to pronounce; this led to what John Wells calls Early Yod Dropping, in which […]
Historically, the distinction between adjectives and nouns is a fairly recent one—not entrenched before the 18th century. The classical grammars referred to nominals, which included adjectives and nouns. In addition, Greek, unlike English but like many other languages, can routinely use adjectives on their own without a noun. In fact, neuter adjectives were how Classical […]
Fascinating question. I mean, adjectives and nouns have declensions, and so do articles and pronouns. If an article is going to have a declension, better it have a declension that’s strongly associated with genders (since gender signalling is a core function of adjectives), than the third declension, which did not differentiate masculines and feminines. The […]