Tag: Etymology

Three Myths about the Origin of Language

Three Myths about the Origin of Language

[ 0 ] September 7, 2015 |

By Sarah-Claire Jordan There are countless theories about the origins of human language, even if many linguists and scientists in the past have claimed the search for the seed that human language grew from to be a fruitless one. However, this did not stop different cultures from trying to explain the fact that human language […]

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Three Things All Germanic Languages Have in Common

Three Things All Germanic Languages Have in Common

[ 0 ] August 10, 2015 |

By Sarah-Claire Jordan   Germanic languages are spoken in Europe, North America, and Oceania, which includes Australia, New Zealand, and many other Pacific island nations. They can be further divided into three branches: North Germanic, West Germanic, and East Germanic. East Germanic languages no longer exist, but the other two branches show no signs of […]

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The Origin of the Romani Language

The Origin of the Romani Language

By Sara-Claire Jordan The Romani people are an extremely interesting group, who are found mostly throughout Europe, but also in the Americas. You may know them as “gypsies”, a term that is a bit out of date now. The word “gypsy” originally comes from the Greek word for “egyptian”, which exposes the confusion surrounding the […]

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Afrikaans, something more than “Apartheid”

Afrikaans, something more than “Apartheid”

[ 0 ] December 1, 2014 |

I have always thought the learning of a language as the discovery of a treasure chest. Break that lock and you’ll have free access to a whole culture, as it is true that the history of a country, its social compound and any intimate or psychological matter that affects people finds it voice through a […]

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The Corfu Dialects: A Historical Medley

The Corfu Dialects: A Historical Medley

The sands of time sift through your hands, grainy as they fall back onto the sparkling beach, clearly distinguishable from the shimmering turquoise water enveloping the massive green peaks that form the Ionian island. This is not the opening scene of “Pirates of the Caribbean 5” or “Prince of Persia 2”, but a place where […]

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Pite-Saami, an Endangered Scandinavian Language

Pite-Saami, an Endangered Scandinavian Language

[ 0 ] November 26, 2013 |

Any image of the Ice Age gives us a wizened earth, barren and stony, abdicated to the powerful and relentless freezing of the poles. A few of these glaciers, silently introduced between high and mighty cliffs where lies modern day Scandinavia, would alter the landscape for millenniums to come. Amidst the Norweigan fjords, however, one […]

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Japan’s Endangered Ainu Language

Japan’s Endangered Ainu Language

[ 0 ] November 15, 2013 |

Archipelagos reserve interesting anthropological surprises. One such surprise is the existence of a distinct minority group living in Japan, a society known for its hegemony. They are called Ainu, number around 15,000 and occupy, for the most part, Hokkaido, a northern island whose luminous plains cut by volcanic mountains becomes a shadowed white wilderness when […]

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Constraints on the Diversity of Phonetic and Phonological Systems

Constraints on the Diversity of Phonetic and Phonological Systems

[ 0 ] October 28, 2013 |

Phonological systems and the sounds of the world’s languages show a large diversity. The simplest, such as Hawaiian or Rotokas, only have 12 sounds in their phonemic inventory (Maddieson 1984), while more complex systems such as Changana or !xun have 121 and 141 contrastive segments (Janson & Engstrand 2001, Koenig 2006). Why are the sound systems […]

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