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julesies
1051692.  Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:46 pm Reply with quote

The word for "dog" in the Australian Aboriginal language Mbabaram is "dog". This is due to coincidence, not borrowings or shared etymology.

 
julesies
1054383.  Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:34 pm Reply with quote

Interesting linguistic things:

Why Chaucer Said 'Ax' Instead Of 'Ask,' And Why Some Still Do

A BBC video on the McGurk Effect. The McGurk Effect is basically that your brain will change the what you hear to match what you see. In the video, you see a man saying "fa" but the sound being played is actually "ba". What you hear is "fa" not "ba".

And "Because" is the American Dialect Society's 2013 Word of the Year for the new "because-noun" usage. This article is about because's new prepositional status: English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet

 
Fien
1054559.  Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:50 am Reply with quote

This is problably know, I learned it in school, but the word Lynching comes from Charles Lynch who wanted to deal with the pro-English persons in the war for independance in America in 1780.
He was a judge and with his own militia he arrested suspects which he sentenced on the spot. He invented his own laws, if the existing laws didn't suffice. If you were lucky you only had the swear fealty to the congres, otherwise you lost your land, had to serve in the army or were lashed.
Charles Lynch called his laws, Lynch-Laws and very quickly people used it to refer to street justice. It wasn't until the late 19th century that it got the meaning of hanging. Charles Lynch himself didn't hang people.

Extra fact: A research showed that between 1882 and 1968 5000 people were hanged without a lawsuit in the US.

 
julesies
1054725.  Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:42 pm Reply with quote

More interesting language facts:

In the Australian language Iwaidja, there are verb kinship terms as well as noun ones. In English this would translate to something like: "She paternal aunts him."

What is the plural of moose? Unlike goose, which is Germanic, moose is from an Algonquin word. The proper plural of mooz in Ojibwe is moozoog (which I think sounds much cooler than meese).

People use less filler words (e.g., "uh" and "um") when talking to robots/computers.

English is a subject-verb-object (SVO) language. Many languages are SOV. There are also languages which are VSO, VOS, OVS, and OSV (like Yoda).

And a neat quote: "Language is very difficult to put into words." -Voltaire

 
germananglophile
1055382.  Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:17 pm Reply with quote

knightmare wrote:
Butterflies: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Schmetterling


Which reminds me of this: what german sounds like in comparison to other languages

"Schmetterling" being one of the examples... ;)

 
julesies
1055405.  Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:29 pm Reply with quote

The Viking runic code jötunvillur has been cracked!

 
AlmondFacialBar
1055472.  Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:38 am Reply with quote

germananglophile wrote:
knightmare wrote:
Butterflies: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Schmetterling


Which reminds me of this: what german sounds like in comparison to other languages

"Schmetterling" being one of the examples... ;)


The etymology of Schmetterling is, btw, Slavonic, so don't blame us! ;-) (and personally I quite like the word, too) It goes back to the same Slavonic root as smetana, i.e. cream, and a Schmetterling is therefore approximately a creameater. Not that far away from butterfly now, is it? It's also a fairly new word, and some nocturnal species still are called "Falter", which goes back to "Flatterer", i.e. fluttering animal. Yiddish still uses that word.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
knightmare
1055819.  Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:30 am Reply with quote

I'm not aware of any, but there should be funny fails and interesting attempts to save, to promote or to demote (endangered (second)) languages, because the subject is related to culture, a region, power and politics. Just an example of revitalization:

UNESCO wrote:
The last speaker of traditional Manx, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974. Since then, however, the language has been undergoing active revitalization in family, school and institutional contexts.

 
julesies
1059750.  Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:19 pm Reply with quote

Bloomsbury Linguistics has a blog with "5 Fun Facts about [Language]" every Thursday. They have ones on Welsh, Jafaican English, Spanish, and Hittite. Here are some of my favorite facts:

Welsh:
2) Welsh orthography uses 28 letters from the Latin alphabet to write native Welsh words, including 8 digraphs:
a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, r, rh, s, t, th, u, w, y
‘Offically’ there are no letters “j”, "k", "q", "v", "x", and "z", although they can be used for borrowed words or some technical terms. “K” was in fact common until the sixteenth century but was dropped when the New Testament was translated into Welsh. William Salesbury explained: "C for K, because the printers have not so many as the Welsh requireth".
4) The town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch has the longest place name in the UK. This is not an authentic Welsh toponym, but was artificially created in the 1860’s as a publicity stunt. At 58 letters long, ‘Lanfairpg’ is often mistakenly thought to be the longest place name in the world. With 85 letters Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaun-gahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, the Māori name for a hill in New Zealand, holds the record.

Spanish:
4) It is commonly believed that Castilian Spanish is spoken with a lisp due to ‘prestige borrowing’ of this pronunciation from a 14th century Spanish king who spoke with one. This is just an urban legend. While it is true that the sound /θ/ is prevalent in Castilian Spanish, there is a systematic distinction from the sound /s/, which could not have occurred if the lisp story was true. Also, the /θ/ sound only began to develop in the 16th century, two centuries after the lifetime of the king with the lisp, Pedro (the Cruel) of Castile.

Hittite:
4) Although neither Hittite nor any other ancient Anatolian language has survived into the modern era, its linguistic influence is still with us. The Hittite word for 'water', watar, and other Hittite linguistic artefacts are still recognizable if one scratches the surface.

 
julesies
1063212.  Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:15 pm Reply with quote

From "5 Fun Facts about Swahili", Swahili words in The Lion King:
Quote:
Simba - lion
Nala - gift
Rafiki - friend
Pumbaa - stupid or slow witted
Shenzi (one of the Hyenas) - Uncivilized or savage
Asante sana (in Rafiki’s song, beginning “Asante sana, squash banana”) - thank you very much
And, of course, Hakuna Matata really does mean no worries!

 
Starfish13
1063436.  Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:17 am Reply with quote

julesies wrote:
The Viking runic code jötunvillur has been cracked!


I suspect the code was invented as most Viking inscriptions actually read things like "Helga has great tits" and "I pillaged your mum".

 
julesies
1071536.  Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:14 pm Reply with quote

Apparently the first "lingua franca" was an actual language called Lingua Franca or Sabir. It literally means "Frankish Language" in Italian. According to the OED:
Quote:
Etymology: < Italian lingua franca < lingua language + franca , feminine of franco Frank adj.1 in its specific sense ‘of or relating to the Western European nations’, probably after Byzantine Greek and modern Greek ϕράγγικα , and perhaps also partly after Arabic al-faranjī (lit. ‘Frankish’) and (apparently unattested) *lisān al-faranj (lit. ‘language of the Franks’), both applied to various Western European vernaculars (for both, see Frank n.1 and adj.1).

Does anyone know if Frankish was ever a lingua franca?

 
Ian Dunn
1071539.  Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:29 pm Reply with quote

julesies wrote:
Why Chaucer Said 'Ax' Instead Of 'Ask,' And Why Some Still Do


In Futurama they pronounce "ask" as "ax", with "ask" being considered an archaic pronounciation.

 
tetsabb
1071555.  Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:50 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Helga has great tits

Has she?
Quote:
I pillaged your mum

Did you really?
:-)

 
RLDavies
1071636.  Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:08 am Reply with quote

People on this thread may be interested in a (very long) article I translated from the latest issue of Monato.

http://old.qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=31911&start=0

Emesal, an offshoot of Sumerian, may be the world's first artificial language. Its origins are still under debate, but it seems to have been devised as either a woman's language or a sacred language used in hymn-singing. (Possibly both, used first by priestesses and then adopted by temple singers.)

 

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