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Day: July 23, 2017
Why do many languages have both grammatical genders and declensions?
Your insight is correct, Riccardo: declensions and genders are both classes of nominals. The difference in Indo-European is that gender, not declension, is what governs the agreement of non-nouns with nouns, while declension is how the morphology of nouns themselves works. So in Ancient Greek, gender only affects the ending of the noun in patches—a […]
What is the etymology of the ancient Greek word “Otis”?
Frisk’s etymological dictionary concurs with Frank Dauenhauer’s answer, that the bustard was called ōtis ‘one with ears’ (“from its cheek tufts or head? See Thompson, Birds”); thus also ōtos ‘scops owl’, from its ear tufts. If you go to A glossary of Greek birds : Thompson, D’Arcy Wentworth, 1860-1948 Sir, p. 200, you’ll find he […]
How did old linguists in a pre medical screening world manage to figure out phonologies so perfectly?
Articulatory phonetics was indeed done before Palatography. And not just by the Ottomans: the Korean script Hangul originated in articulatory phonetics, and for that matter both the Sanskrit grammarians and the later Graeco-Roman grammarians had pretty much had it figured out. And they could just as my students in first year were able to learn […]