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Day: July 30, 2017
Why doesn’t Judeo-Spanish use the letter Ñ?
Clyde Thogmartin is right in his answer that traditionally Judeo-Spanish is written in Hebrew (with the quite icky trigraph <ניי> for [ɲ]). But more to the point, even when it is written in Latin script, people writing it usually make a point of not using Spanish orthography: they are putting distance between their language and […]
Why are current Greek names long and complicated compared to those we see in ancient history and mythology?
See also Dimitra Triantafyllidou’s answer, which this is complementary to. First names in Greece are either (mostly revived) Ancient names, Judaeo-Christian names, or Saints’ names (which end up being either of the first two). There are a few later names (though they are less in vogue now), and some of them can be long, like […]
Has the pronunciation of Greek changed since the Byzantine Empire’s collapse?
Since 1453? Hm. It’s hard to pin this down, because Greek at the time was a whole bunch of dialects, whose pronunciation we don’t have a good handle on historically—but which was likely stable. (There aren’t any surprises in the Renaissance Latin alphabet transcriptions of Cretan for example.) For that matter, Standard Modern Greek did […]
Do any of the regional dialects spoken in Greece today preserve any elements from their Ancient Greek counterparts?
To start with: the default assumption in Greek historical linguistics is that the ancient dialects vanished under the Koine, and that the dialectal diversity of Modern Greek does not owe anything to the dialectal diversity of Ancient Greek. That means that the null hypothesis is that there was no survival of Ancient Greek dialect; and […]