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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by Daniel on September 15, 2017, 09:46:23 PM »
As I've said, many folk etymologies seem completely plausible. Sometimes having enough specialized knowledge (or even just looking at basic facts) can show them to be false (e.g., earlier usage of the word in recorded texts, or inconsistency with known sound changes). But the only general way to know something is a false/folk etymology is to identify a better one that is more consistent with known information.

Some folk etymologies are laughably silly and easy to rule out. Many others are much more plausible. Some I'm sure are generally accepted today because we don't have better explanations for them. I suppose a "very good folk etymology" could be called something else (e.g., "linguist's theory"), but that difference is not substantive.

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I don't see any alternative except asking if it's too semantically far-fetched.
Newtonian physics is wrong. It certainly was convincing for a while.
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You usually don't have enough knowledge to even tell if it makes sense grammatically.
Well, you should, if you're trying to evaluate these as an expert. Physics is hard, but people still study it. We use whatever information we have to do as well as we can.
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Language Acquisition / Re: Does knowing the regular sound changes help?
« Last post by Daniel on September 14, 2017, 12:57:35 PM »
Sure, it can. But explicit knowledge like that tends to be slower (in processing) than implicit knowledge (once you know it instinctively). Lots of tricks like that helps linguists (and others who are interested by grammar) to learn a language at the beginning. Others who don't know anything about that will probably eventually develop some intuitive pattern-matching sense (at least for some relatively consistent and frequent) correspondences though they won't necessarily be aware of it. Interestingly some adults do that, and sort of only that, and never reach that implicit (fluent/nativelike) stage. Children, though they can also learn explicitly if taught in that way, tend to learn implicitly (and they're the ones who become native speakers).
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Language Acquisition / Does knowing the regular sound changes help?
« Last post by FlatAssembler on September 14, 2017, 11:54:08 AM »
So, what do you guys think, does knowing about the High German Consonant Shift help someone who already speaks English learn German? I believe it does, for the same reason the phonics helps children learn spelling.
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by FlatAssembler on September 14, 2017, 11:10:13 AM »
So, what's your strategy for recognizing folk etymologies? I don't see any alternative except asking if it's too semantically far-fetched. You usually don't have enough knowledge to even tell if it makes sense grammatically.
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by Daniel on September 12, 2017, 01:54:43 PM »
If you're looking for a Latin speaker I suppose you could try asking the pope.

Linguists study the structure and use of language. We aren't learners/speakers of languages ( except for fun and when it's helpful for research, just like everyone else).

A Latin professor could easily translate your sentence. But to do a good job you'd need to think about what it means rather than assuming English sentences have single, simple "meanings" that directly translate to other languages. (I'd need to check those words in a dictionary but roughly something like literally "heroes are not/never to be forgotten" with a future participle might be an interesting way to phrase it in Latin. It has a similar sense to what I think you mean in English.)

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned this question has been clearly answered: yes, for many reasons we know that Latin was spoken in Rome. But as also explained, it wasn't spoken like it was written.

Otherwise by your logic the fact that I don't happen to know how to say that in Korean would suggest Korean isn't a spoken language, right? That argument would be silly, obviously.
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by FlatAssembler on September 12, 2017, 12:30:30 PM »
Though, I should give you some credit, it's interesting that you noticed that it often takes a bit of thought to gramatically say something sensical, but it's easy to say something completely nonsensical. You need to paraphrase a bit to say "it's (not) forgotten" in Latin, yet you can easily say something like "Have forgotten!", as "Oblitus sis!" Worse, for some verbs, you could even make a morphological construction with the same meaning. Namely, the past imperative existed for the defective verbs. Its ending was -to, as in "memento" (remember). So, for instance, you could say *dixito, and that would have meant "Have said!". That's so counter-intuitive, but clearly true.
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by LinguistSkeptic on September 12, 2017, 11:45:23 AM »
And what kind of evidence that a language exists or doesn't exist counts?
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by FlatAssembler on September 12, 2017, 10:38:17 AM »
I don't know, perhaps you could paraphrase that as "There are never heroes in the oblivion." and translate as "Heroes oblivioni numquam dantur.".
How can somebody think Latin doesn't exist, I have no idea. I mean, you can read countless pages of text on it, it was described by the grammarians in every detail, you can hear it spoken today…
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by LinguistSkeptic on September 12, 2017, 08:31:20 AM »
So, if you, as a linguist, can't master the Latin grammar, why do you assume someone else could?
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by Daniel on September 12, 2017, 03:25:06 AM »
There are various ways, depending on way you want to emphasize. I'm not a Latin translator. Why not ask on a lark translation forum? I don't understand how this relates to whether Latin really existed or not...
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