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ξε- in compounds and phrases
This post has been anticipated in comments already anyway; it’s the reason why I got the accent of ξέμαγκας wrong. One reason was given last post: it is much harder to predict where recessive accent goes for the -a(s) inflection than for the other inflections of Modern Greek. For masculine and neuter -o(s), feminine -si, […]
In the last post, I said—somewhat flippantly—that the locative adverbs of Pontic are neurotic; and John Cowan asked me to spell out how. To do so, I’ve gone through the 60 pp discussion of George Drettas’ 1993 grammar of Pontic, Aspects pontiques. I have to say, I don’t like Drettas’ grammar; as a friend said […]
Going from X = Going past X
Way, way back, Tipoukeitos asked if I could comment on the seemingly illogical use of πάω από Χ “to go past X”, which has attracted opprobrium from at least one Modern Greek language maven. (“Language maven” is not intended here as a term of praise.) What is seemingly illogical about the construction is that it […]
A Turkish etymology for both α and σιχτίρ?
Language advisory In the last obscenity-filled post on this blog, Pierre left a comment on α σιχτίρ “fuck off”, which is derived from Turkish: The Turkish is sıçdırmak ( ﺼﭽﺩﺭﻣﻕ ) with a chim, rather than a kha, and it gets “shit” right back into the context. Actually, it is a causative form and means […]
GTAGE: Screw you and your car jack!
Language and slang.gr advisory Greeks on email have inevitably received at least twice joke emails that feature Greek phrases literally translated into English, to hilarious effect. (For moderate to small values of “hilarious”.) The humour lies in the fact that the Greek phrases are idioms, which cannot be translated literally, or that English and Greek […]
Deictic force of Hellenistic demonstratives
Quick note: Ἐν Ἐφέσῳ notices from the linguistics literature that the meaning of demonstratives in Modern Greek depends on their position: αυτό το μπουτάκι “that-one the pork-joint” is more physical deixis (“that pork joint which I’m pointing at”), whereas το μπουτάκι αυτό “the pork-joint that-one” is more discourse deixis (“that pork joint which I mentioned […]