Tag: historical linguistics

Chantakites: Linguistic analysis

By: | Post date: 2010-03-01 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As I promised, I’m going to walk through the linguistic particularities of Manuel Chantakites’ letter. This is pretty usual in the philological editions of Early Modern texts: there’ll be a couple of pages in the preface enumerating linguistic oddities, working their way up from phonology through to syntax (and not getting far beyond syntax, or […]

Generalised use of να in Early Modern Greek

By: | Post date: 2010-02-25 | Comments: 11 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been reluctant to write this post for a couple of reasons: It requires dropping a moderate amount of linguistic science; I’m not prepared to do either the research or the bibliographic survey to back it up; It’s probably already been worked out by the Grammar of Mediaeval Greek people. If the latter is the […]

Philological Reliability: Literary Texts

By: | Post date: 2010-02-16 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: , ,

It’s safe to come out now, folks, I’m no longer debating the etymology of Greek four-letter words. But two points that came up in that debate—the reliability of a vernacular phrase in Tzetzes, and the unrelated search for the earliest attestation of the -opoulos suffix, bring up a philological point, about dating linguistic changes through […]

μουνί vs. monín

By: | Post date: 2010-02-10 | Comments: 25 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , ,

OK, I don’t particularly intend for this blog to be turned over to the etymology of sundry four-letter words, but the etymology of μουνί which I had posted on turns out to be complicated, and interesting. It’s certainly attracted a lot of interest in comments; I don’t remember my article on πεσσός “pier” getting this […]

μούτζα, μουνί and Tzetzes

By: | Post date: 2010-02-03 | Comments: 27 Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , , ,

I thank my esteemed commenters on the last post, and have a post-length response to them, concerning: The Complaint of the Anonymous Naupliot The Byzantinicity of the Greek insulting gesture of the moutza The controversy over the etymology of μουνί “cunt” The curious editorial fate of Tzetzes’ Theogony … Ah yes. There is a Language […]

The phonology of “Sitia”

By: | Post date: 2009-12-30 | Comments: 5 Comments
Posted in categories: Mediaeval Greek, Modern Greek
Tags: , , ,

No hyperlinks for this post, as my internet time is rationed while I’m on holidays. Sitia, which is my hometown in Crete, does not figure prominently in history. The guidebooks say that in antiquity it was Eteia, and gave birth to Myson, one of the Seven Sages of Antiquity. The only Sage out of the […]

History of Australian English

By: | Post date: 2009-11-16 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics
Tags: , , ,

This post is not about Greek, although there are parallels with a couple of phases of the history of Greek. I picked up Speaking Our Language: The Story of Australian English, while in Sydney. It’s a history of Australian English for the general audience, written by Bruce Moore, a lexicographer at the Australian National Dictionary […]

Old Man Hare: Etymology

By: | Post date: 2009-08-30 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: , , , , ,

I didn’t get to hit the books on Old Man Hare, but I’ve had enough feedback from readers and blegs that I can tell somewhat more of a story than last time. Let’s start with what we know.Byzantine: We know of four mediaeval instances of the word. In Suda, 10th century, λαγώγηρως is used to […]

On nominalisations ending in -εία

By: | Post date: 2009-08-17 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Modern Greek
Tags: , , , ,

A post on Greek spelling. You’ve been warned. The spelling of the noun ending -εία vs. -ία had come up a few months ago on the Magnificent Nikos Sarantakos’ blog, as an orthographic bedevilment. Modern Greek writers feel ἀμηχανία (awkwardness) about how to spell the ending, and they’ll be reassured to know the Byzantines felt […]

Lerna IIIc: Why the Greek scales are rigged

By: | Post date: 2009-06-05 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: , ,

Even if you allow for the fact that Greek is flexional and has lots of inflections, a literary corpus of Greek is going to have a lot more morphological variety than most other literary languages. That doesn’t tell you something about the superiority of the Greek language. But it does tell you a bit about […]

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