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Thread: Linguistics

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    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    Linguistics

    I am by no means formally trained in linguistics, but have recently become fascinated by the subject in general.

    This video focuses on the Semitic languages in the Middle East:



    - WTF at the Sumerian language having no relatives. ALIENS!!!!!!111!!!
    - Persian and Kurdish belong to the Proto-Indo-European tree, so entirely different grammar (more closely related to Hindi and English than Arabic - apart from the odd loan word)
    - Turkic languages are also an entirely separate tree
    - Circassian languages also an entirely separate tree from all of the above
    - Berber, Ancient Egyptian, Oromo etc are Afro-Asiatic languages but not Semitic languages. Ethiopia in this case is quite fascinating, having Amharic (Semitic language) and Oromo (Cushitic) being the dominant features - early Christians and Jews migrated to Ethiopia bringing their Semitic language and alphabet. Ethiopian Christianity has sorta incubated in a way that's quite isolated from the rest of the world's Christianity, if I'm correct.
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    International Regular Victor Ian's Avatar
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    I have been a bit mad on this subject too, as of late. Post away. You'll have one confirmed reader.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Howe_zat's Avatar
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    I find wikipedia can be a bit of a trap on it as well, and digs up some surprising facts.

    Putting things into categories has a satisfying feeling - not sure why - seems fundamental to the nerd psyche
    Last edited by Howe_zat; 24-08-2016 at 09:39 PM.
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    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    I find wikipedia can be a bit of a trap on it as well, and digs up some surprising facts.

    Putting things into categories has a satisfying feeling - not sure why - seems fundamental to the nerd psyche
    haha yes. Go round and round clicking on all of these obscure languages and cultures.

    Here's a short summary of Turkic languages, and modern day Turkish:


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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Turkic family notably misses out Georgian, which is another ALIENS candidate

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    vcs
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    Interesting topic that I don't know much about. Tell us more.
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    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcs View Post
    Interesting topic that I don't know much about. Tell us more.
    Here's a map of the Austronesian language tree.

    'Nesians traveled out of Taiwan - I have heard that New Zealand Maori speakers can understand much of indigenous Taiwanese and vice versa (not sure how true this is). Anyway, they migrated as far as Easter Island to the East (actually picking up sweet potato from South America) and Madagascar to the West. In fact, Austronesian people were the first to colonise Madagascar, before the Bantu peoples arrived a few hundred years later.


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    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    Maltese - what an interesting history!



    That second sentence - pretty much a Romance language with Arabic grammar. That's so cool.
    Every video on this channel is fascinating.
    Last edited by hendrix; 24-08-2016 at 11:10 PM.

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    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    Interesting fact: African American English has a tense we don't have in standard English. You have likely heard it before and know its meaning, but don't use it in standard colloquial English.

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    The artist formerly known as Monk Red Hill's Avatar
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    What is it?

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    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    Hall of Fame Member harsh.ag's Avatar
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    One problem is that the historical stories linguistics tell you can be sometimes misleading, esp through modern genetic evidence.

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    Hall of Fame Member hendrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harsh.ag View Post
    One problem is that the historical stories linguistics tell you can be sometimes misleading, esp through modern genetic evidence.
    yes, often the case.

    Good to take as many sources of evidence as possible.

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    International Regular Victor Ian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    Maltese - what an interesting history!



    That second sentence - pretty much a Romance language with Arabic grammar. That's so cool.
    Every video on this channel is fascinating.
    Mt wife is Moroccan. She speaks Arabic, but the Moroccan variety. My father's side of the family is Maltese. When she came here she heard Maltese and seemed to follow most of it with Ease. I think Malta was part of the Magrieb (Northern African). They do not speak classical Arabic, instead speaking a mix of it and French and Italian. As Moroccans speak French as well, she could follow most of it.

    Turkish is an interesting language. When I was there for a while, I had a friend explain how it worked. They end up with some really really big words. I can not remember how it worked except that they could take a base word, then add a gender to it, a context, a time tense, an ownership, etc. Whereas we would express this in a number of words, they seemed to do it all in one.

    It made me wonder if people could construct a new language today, what would be the most efficient structure.
    Last edited by Victor Ian; 25-08-2016 at 03:13 AM.
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