Monthly Archives: January 2011

Kidding folk on you’re brushing your teeth

[???????????? ???????????????????? ???????????????????? p’]

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“famous belgians”

Or, “10 famous Belgians”. There seems to be nothing more reliable in the search logs for bringing traffic here, so here are ten famous Belgians you have definitely heard of: Jacques Brel Ren? Magritte Adolphe Sax Herg? Herman Van Rompuy … Continue reading

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Outwith the mouth

ORGANS OF GENERATION said the Greek grammar I had at school. It meant the tongue, the teeth, the lips, the alveolar ridge, the soft palate and so forth. The other morning I was thinking about the consonant you’d produce if … Continue reading

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Combining characters

Lots of Indic scripts are abugidas, which mean that a “consonant” on its own means consonant + schwa (roughly), and otherwise you have consonants and vowels as usual. What comes as a surprise to lots of people used to the … Continue reading

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REVISION: If languages are ergative, like Basque and others I can’t remember right now, then they mark the subjects of transitive verbs, but not intransitive verbs. So “John opened the door and ran away” would require two “Johns”, one in … Continue reading

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Taking Maoism seriously

I’d missed this. Michael Gove says […] I?d like us to implement a cultural revolution just like the one they?ve had in China. (via Sinoglot)

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Bathroom philology

You can no more, in general, say “What is preposition p in language l” than you can say “What is the Latin for the German dative?” But with closely related languages you can identify cognates, or at least words doing … Continue reading

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Thai, which turns out to have an abugida like Hindi or Tamil, marks tone on the initial consonant sometimes and also on the vowel; it seems that Google have rolled their own transliteration based very closely on the script rather than using one of the lossy pre-canned ones


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