Linguistics forum now open for talkative members
Thread poster: Marcus Malabad

Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:23
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Dec 17, 2002

Dear language buffs and Tower of Babel builders,

Henry has kindly opened this new forum so the motley bunch that we are, all language enthusiasts, could share our multi-colored experiences, read about highly engaging topics and shine in our common pursuits.

I assume that the term \'Linguistics\' would pose no difficulty in interpretation but, nonetheless, I would like to propose just *some* of the subjects that we *could* discuss in this classroom (as already proposed to my fellow moderators):

1. Bilingual education and raising, Linguistic psychology (tricks on

how to raise children in a bi-/multi-lingual household, how do children pick up language?)

2. Social sciences and language (the emergence of slang and argot, counting systems in primitive cultures, how many words do the Eskimos REALLY have for snow? translating the Bible into Twi and Ga, how does Madison Avenue manipulate the consumer to buy that latest CD player? prison slang in Russian, the emergence of pidgin languages in the Caribbean and the Pacific, Esperanto and artificial languages)

3. Machine translation (Will the real C3PO please stand up? mathematics in computational linguistics)

4. Calligraphy and writing systems (emergence of world alphabets, cross-pollination among alphabets, decoding still undeciphered extant written materials such

as Linear A and Rongorongo, hieroglyphics)

5. Lexicography (emergence of new words, etymology, foreign words, Latin/Greek roots, neologisms, US teenager-speak and Hollywood speak)

6. Learning ancient/extinct/classical languages (Sumerian anyone? what language did Jesus speak? Were he alive today would Shakespeare understand modern American speech? what ever happened to the French

Canadians who fled to Louisiana?)

7. Phonetics (training the tongue to produce foreign words, phonemes, tonal languages, to-MAH-to or to-MAY-to? accents and intonation: the Boston \"ahs\" versus the Bronx \"ehs\", Italians dialects: the north-south divide)

8. Morphology (gender systems in Indo-European languages, converting German compound nouns into English noun-adverbial phrases, agglutinative or synthetic? learning those damned 16(?) cases in

Hungarian! the disappearance of the adverbial suffix /-ly/ in modern

American speech)

9. Syntax (elements of good style, what to do with those stupid dangling pronouns? should I break the sentence into two or leave it long and rambling? tricks on staying true to the register of the

source text, literary translation, translating poetry and film scripts)

10. What combination of linguistic flair and technical expertise produces the ideal translator?

I welcome you to this new forum. I hope we\'ll have great fun in the ensuing intellectual exchange!


[ This Message was edited by:on2002-12-18 16:28]


Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:23
English to French
+ ...
Sumer website Dec 17, 2002

What price for Sumerian in HTML? icon_wink.gif


Bilingualduo  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:23
English to Italian
+ ...
Shakespeare Dec 18, 2002

6. Were he alive today would Shakespeare understand modern American speech?

Given the evolution of British English, I think the Bard would understand plain American English better than Brit. one.

Cheers to all



Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Extinct Languages, or Never Underestimate the Vatican Dec 18, 2002

Doing the spadework on my PhD (obscure specialized topic linking archaic art, mythology and ancient science) I stumbled upon a Vatican Institute \"Dictionary of Accadian\". Since my terminology had narrowed down to easily-identifiable (for me) astronomical concepts, I was surprised to note distinct phonetic and conceptual similarities between my list of key Sanscrit terms and certain entries that at first appeared random, but on closer look, suggested relationships I had never really thought possible. One of them was \"istanu\" (pole/post), which was suspiciously close to \"sthanu\" (another name for the Indian phallic god, Shiva). Now, it\'s generally accepted as a poetic image that Shiva\'s \"Dance of Destruction\" refers to the passage of time, but relating this to the rotation of the poles proved to be quite a revelation that led to the solution of other key terms and images.

Nor was it the only time the Vatican intervened in my paper. One of my sources, Franz Boll (Sphaera) drew heavily on the Vatican mythographers to develop a similar theme (the \"Sphaera Barbarica\", or image of the cosmos as seen by the non-Greco-Roman-speaking peoples) and unearthed a wealth of material, for anybody interested in the topic. A product of centuries of censorship, yes, but once \"declassified\"...


Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:23
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Great idea! Dec 18, 2002

My little contribution: Jesus spoke Aramaic as all Jews in the Siro-Palestinian region at that time. Hebrew was the holy language, while Aramaic (another Semitic language) was used for the everyday communication. This kind of approach (Hebrew viewed as a holy language which should not be \"contaminated\" by everyday use) is still practiced by many communities of Ashkenazi Jews in today\'s Israel who stick to Yiddish for everyday communication.

Aramaic is probably the language used by Dante Alighieri in the famous misterious verse: Papè Satan, papè Satan, aleppe

(Inferno VII)


Chinoise  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
Easy question, hard to answer... Dec 31, 2002

Can a person who speaks more than three Chinese dialects claim to be multilingual?

If so, 80% of the native Chinese southerners will openly declare themselves as polyglots.


Happy New Year to you all! Thanks for this new year\'s gift-- Linguistics Forum.



[ This Message was edited by:on2002-12-31 16:50]


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