Recent Posts

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 10
Phonetics and Phonology / Re: phonetics and phonology-connected speech doubt?
« Last post by panini on February 15, 2018, 10:58:43 AM »
It's pretty much the transparent combination of "my" and "town/turn". You can get connected-speech effects in other phrases, like "might own" (vs. "my tone").
Phonetics and Phonology / Re: linking vowel to vowel - glide
« Last post by panini on February 15, 2018, 10:47:03 AM »
I don't see any way to decide that in lieu of a specific token or at least basic dialect information. You could record yourself for a few days and see how you actually pronounce the sequence.
Historical Linguistics / Re: The original first language.
« Last post by Daniel on February 14, 2018, 01:12:27 PM »
So, the theory of the monogenesis of humans and of languages must be rejected.
There's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of there being a first language, but at least many tens of thousands of years ago, to reach the current level of linguistic diversity today. Languages don't pass down genetically; they spread through cultural contact. As for the genetics, it's also more complex than that, because mutations can occur after speciation, so if you go back far enough there could have been just a single pair from which we all descend. But probably back so far it would be before humans, perhaps before mammals, or even animals. Another complication is genetic bottlenecks, where there have been proposals of "mitochondrial Eve" (and similar) suggesting we all have in common a particular shared female ancestor, although not that there was no additional mixing outside of that through the males such that generations mixed afterwards and eventually converged so we all have traces of that individual. It's complicated.

And of course the opposite possibility, that there were multiple origins of both language and species. Without a time machine, it's hard to be certain. But however it works out, you are correct that ~6000 years is far too short a time for any of the known facts to line up with monogenisis at that time.
Historical Linguistics / Re: The original first language.
« Last post by Joustos on February 14, 2018, 12:33:56 PM »
I heard that the Jewish language was the oldest in the world. Question, why are there so many languages in the world to start with? Is there a difference between the Jewish language and all languages today and how did English come from the German language? Linguistone  :)
This is a question that various people ask at various times, and that is why I take it up, too. The answer is given in the Hebrew Bible, almost in the same breath as the affirmation that all humans descend from .a first man (Adam). Both positions can be refuted empirically: By doing etymological investigations, it can be shown that Hittite, Canaanite, and the modern European languages cannot be traced back to Biblical Hebrew. (Rather, Hebrew had diverse sources.) As for humans, you need to know that racial traits (physiognomy, colour, etc,) are inherited, and that opposite traits could not have  belonged to the first human couple. So, the theory of the monogenesis of humans and of languages must be rejected.
Language-specific analysis / Re: Do you know the meaning of divine names?
« Last post by Joustos on February 14, 2018, 09:26:46 AM »
A follow-up on my above second post:
It seems to me that Zeys < Gr. Zeyxis (= a yoking, a joining). So, originally was the name "Zeys" the name of a harnessed ox or bull for plowing the soil? If so, the name was also Belos (= bull), which became Baal for the Babylonians and the Hebrews in the Middle East, where agriculture and plowing took place. The divine Bull was the sky that rains (or "urinates") and thus fecundates the soil. The worship of Baal was primarily of his Peos ( >Penis in Latin), which is the fecundating organ in more ways than one. This worship was detested by the Hebrews, who had a different rain-god, Yahweh [ieye]. This rain-god was invoked by Greeks as "Iakkhe". The invocation was always a prelude to the Eleusinian Mysteries (or rites), which feature Demeter (the grains-goddess) and her offspring Kore. But this is another story, which we may discuss later.
Historical Linguistics / Re: Historical linguistics for music
« Last post by Joustos on February 14, 2018, 07:22:53 AM »
Dear Befuddled  :
For the Greeks, music was what we call poetry. Verses were built according to a pattern of short and long syllables, like the "iamb". Instrumental dances were created similarly by rhythmic patterns. If a song (or chant)was accompanied by a lyre or a kythara, there might result consonances [preferred] or dissonances. So, there were investigators of "harmony" (diaphonic or polyphonic}, such as Pythagoras and clerics in the Middle Ages. Finally, what makes for different types of music [Greek, Chinese, modern European or "classical"] is the organization of the tones (or sound pitches) employed in music. Most Western music employs, in the Greek tradition, seven tones, like A,B,C,D,E,F,G, or tones which are between them, like A-sharp and B-flat. Greek and Medieval music is called Modal because any composition uses a group of any seven tones. A group or Mode is named after its first tone. Since the 14th century, compositions have been "Tonal" or Scalar, and each scale is named after the last or concluding tone, such as C-major or C-minor. And there is more to say about the specific feel of modern western music...
Language-specific analysis / Re: Do you know the meaning of divine names?
« Last post by Joustos on February 13, 2018, 07:43:01 PM »
I modified my original message by additional points, which were lost when I tried to save them. Basically, I was saying:
In Aeolic Greek, "Zeus" and "Deus" [genitive: dios] were used interchangeably. The Aeolic and Lakonian (Spartan; Doric) Deus is like the Latin Deus (= god; theos in Greek). However, Zeus, Deus, and God remain semantically obscure, and we have no way of telling what some humans originally encountered that may have prompted them to call it by these names. Some etymologists have seen a cognate root in Latin Dies = day, bright) and the goddess Diana [of daytime]. Pokorny agreed and posited the P.I.E. root "Dyeu-" Unfortunately, the Greek word for Day or Dies is Hemera, which is unrelated to Zeus/Deus. The relevant root is found in Gr. Zeuktos (=yoked; joined), which plowing agricultural people would have used. Zeus was named in this context: Huei ho theos (= the god [Zeus] rains). Zeus is not the bright sky; in fact, as legends tell, Zeus is the gatherer of storm clouds; rains; etc.
Language-specific analysis / Do you know the meaning of divine names?
« Last post by Joustos on February 13, 2018, 06:33:19 PM »
The Greek invocation, "Ana Zeu" means "O Zeus on high; O supernal Zeus". But I have not stated the meaning of "Zeu" or Zeys [Zeus]. The meaning [Gr. "etymon"] of a word expresses the nature of what is named. We know from legends that Zeus was a god, but, like Pherecydes of Syros and Plato of Athens, we have forgotten the meaning of the names of our gods; so, we should attempt an etymology, which will bring us close to some encounter that prompted the naming. {{Back in a while. Feel free to deal with any god that has a name.}}
Historical Linguistics / Re: Romance languages not descended from Latin.
« Last post by Daniel on February 12, 2018, 02:18:46 AM »
Greek and Latin do share a common ancestor (a few thousand years earlier) but Latin is not descended from Greek. The relationship is more like sisters, or even cousins, than parent-child.
Historical Linguistics / Re: Romance languages not descended from Latin.
« Last post by Joustos on February 11, 2018, 08:19:32 PM »
I was reading in some publication, I think it was PLOS, but regrettably cannot find the link, that there was some debate as to whether Latin was the parent language of the Romance languages.
A language is called "romance" or "romanic", if it is basically like, or descends from, Latin. So, in principle, a given language may not be both "romance" and "Unlike Latin". However, since Latin is demonstrably descending from Greek, it is quite possible for a language to be both "romance" and "not descending from Latin". In that case, the cognate words of this language and of Latin have Greek as their common ancestor. (Many years ago, I started reading the poems of the Troubadours, which are in Occitan or Provenzal, and I was able to understand them by automatically utilizing the cognates in this language and my knowledge of Italian and of Latin. One who knows only Greek should be able to do the same. Only a few words here and there were incomprehensible -- probably of Franconian origin. The same happened to me again when I was reading some literature written in the Lombard dialect of Italy, while my native dialect in southern Italy is quite different and incomprehensible to the Lombards.)
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 10