John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

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Language Stuff

Almost everyone uses language, so inevitably almost everyone thinks they are an expert in it. I don’t consider myself an expert, though most of my work requires at least language competence and sometimes actual skill, but I do follow the blogs featured on this feeds page.

(If you are wondering where the translation-related feeds have all gone, I have put them on their own page.)

Most of the blogs represented here are in English, most of the time, but don’t be surprised to find other languages used. Go with the flow – I occasionally find myself pleasantly surprised at how much I can grasp in languages I have never seen before.

Language On the Net

Omniglot blog » The Foreshortening Dark

Thursday 14 December 17:20:44 UTC 2017

In many languages this month is known as December, or something similar, which comes ultimately from the Latin *decumo-mēnsris (of the tenth month) – the Roman calendar started in March (mārtius) [source]. However in some languages December has a completely different name: In Welsh December is Rhagfyr [ˈr̥aɡvɨ̞r], which means the ‘foreshortening’, from rhagfyrhau (to foreshorten), from rhag (a prefix … [Link]

languagehat.com » Repetition in Tolstoy II.

Thursday 14 December 14:42:01 UTC 2017

Back in 2008 I wrote what is still one of my favorite LH posts, Repetition in Tolstoy; now, thanks to the latest Russian Dinosaur post, we can revisit the issue. The Dinosaur writes about the competing translations of Anna Karenina that appeared in 2014, Rosamund Bartlett’s (Oxford UP) and Marian Schwartz’s (Yale UP), mentioning the problems with which Tolstoy’s “unhelpful … [Link]

Urban Word of the Day » sucks mad ween

Thursday 14 December 8:00:00 UTC 2017

When something sucks SO MUCH. Like it VIOLENTLY SUCKS. Like when you have a pop quiz that sucks MAD WEEN and when you trip in front of the whole school that sucks MAD ween "My Chem class sucks MAD WEEN I have no friends in it and the kid behind me smells like the dog aisle in Walmart" … [Link]

languagehat.com » Origins of the Japanese Language.

Thursday 14 December 0:59:00 UTC 2017

Matt of No-sword sent me a link to Alexander Vovin’s Oxford Research Encyclopedias article Origins of the Japanese Language, saying: It doesn’t present any new findings, but it’s a reasonable (I think) summary of current thinking among Anglophone linguists working on the history of Japanese specifically. The most interesting point of serious disagreement (it seems to me as an interested … [Link]

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