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Category: Other Languages
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_alphabet One might argue that the phonological inventory of Gothic is a spectacularly bad match for that of Modern English. But then again, so was the phonological inventory of Latin. I think you can, so long as you hold your nose and write vowels as a one to one match with Modern English; you’re not […]
What is a better way of representing the /ʔ/ and /ʕ/ sounds than apostrophes or other punctuation marks?
I’m going to take a long time to say “none”. Glottal stop – Wikipedia The most common convention in Latin script is indeed to use apostrophe; and the disadvantage of the apostrophe is that it’s easy to miss, easy to conflate with a quotation mark, and it doesn’t look like a “real” letter. The same […]
Is there a phonological explanation of why the letter “s” dropped in many French words (resulting in adding the circumflex accent)?
Between them, Christopher Ray Miller’s answer and Brian Collins’ answer have most of it covered. There’s one more way to look at it though. French dropped /s/ at the start of consonant clusters, at the start and in the middle of words. So /sp/ > /p/, /sn/ > /n/, /st/ > /t/ etc: hospital > […]
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 […]
How come the Hebrew words for 6 and 7 are so similar to their Latin counterparts, while the other digits aren’t even close?
There has been speculation that Indo-European borrowed its words for ‘six’ and ‘seven’ from Semitic, or that they reflect a common ancestral (Nostratic) element. Nostratic is not a mainstream theory, and there has also been significant scepticism about borrowing, especially if the Proto–Indo-European for ‘six’ is closer to *weḱs than *sweḱs. I’ll note that PIE […]
What do sophisticated, neutral, and unsophisticated typefaces from different writing systems look like?
This is not the most sophisticated of answers; but one bugbear of all type designers outside of the Latin script (and Cyrillic, thanks to Peter the Great) is recent font kiddies slavishly copying the design of Latin fonts. Particularly serifs. Type designers in other scripts hate serifs. Serifs are a Latin thing; Peter the Great […]
Which languages use a bare dental click for a plain no? Did this originate from a single language and spread to others?
Dental clicks – Wikipedia Dental clicks may also be used para-linguistically. For example, English speakers use a plain dental click, usually written tsk or tut (and often reduplicated tsk-tsk or tut-tut; these spellings often lead to spelling pronunciations /tɪsk/ or /tʌt/), as an interjection to express commiseration, disapproval, irritation, or to call a small animal. […]
In fact, though Rhyme – Wikipedia is very coy and tentative about stating it, there is good evidence that European rhyme originates in Arabic rhyme, via the Andalus; Arabic has used rhyme extensively since the sixth century. There is occasional rhyme in Classical Greek and Latin, but that is an effect, not a structuring principle. […]
Thank you for the A2A, Jelle Zijlstra, and why do I suspect that you’ve read my page Astral Planes? There’s 17 * 65536 characters in Unicode. Each 65536 characters is called a Plane. The first plane, the BMP, is the plane that most characters you will ever encounter are in. Only two other planes are […]
A close companion to What in your opinion is the ugliest/most unappealing script? Cultural familiarity is going to defuse anyone’s opinion; so you won’t get many responses nominating Latin, or anything originating on the same continent as Latin. Is it Lontara alphabet, optimised to be written on palm leaves? Is it Vai syllabary, which aesthetically […]