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Posts categorised ‘Languages’

Wiki: Germanic umlaut

Germanic umlaut is a sound change that affected all the Northwest Ger­ma­nic languages (i.e. all except the members of the extinct Eastern branch). It affected the back vowels /a o u/ in a syllable where the following syllable included /i/ or /j/, causing them to front, generally, to /ɛ ø y/. At first this change was allophonic, but if the later syllable with /i/ or /j/ was dropped, then the …

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Wiki: High German consonant shift

The High German consonant shift is a series of sound changes involving consonants that occurred in the southernmost part of the West Germanic dialect continuum between the 3rd and 8th centuries. Sound changes radiated out a certain way into the rest of the West Germanic dialects from there, with numerous isoglosses existing to describe the point at which different sound changes …

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Wiki: Verner’s law

Verner’s law is a follow-up to Grimm’s law, describing the consonantal changes that occurred as Proto-Germanic developed from Proto-Indo-European.

What Verner found is that a series of unvoiced consonants became voiced in Proto-Germanic if they were not at the start of a word, and if the vowel preceding them in PIE was unstressed.

1 2
ɸ β
θ ð
x ɣ
ɣʷ
s z

In the …

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Wiki: Grimm’s law

Grimm’s law exists to describe the sound changes that occurred between Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Germanic. Basically it affected a series of stops, where PIE aspirated voiced stops became unaspirated in PG; PIE unaspirated voiced stops became voiceless; and PIE voiceless stops became fricative. The table below shows the affected sounds: the PIE phonemes are represented by columns 1, 2 …

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Wiki: West Germanic languages

The West Germanic languages are a subgrouping of the Germanic lan­g­ua­ges, constituting a dialect continuum across a large swathe of northwestern Europe. The most prominent lan­g­ua­ges belonging to this group, which are the national lan­g­ua­ges of different countries, are English, German, Dutch and Afrikaans. Linguists don’t believe there was ever a common …

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Link: “How Similar are the Ukrainian and Russian Languages?”

Original post found at: https://greekreporter.com/2022/02/22/russian-ukrainian-languages/

In terms of vocabulary, Russian and Ukrainian share about 62% lexical similarity, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they have 62% of their vocabulary in common; rather, that 62% of their vocabulary are words with similar meaning and form and are from the same origin. For example, English and German share 60% lexical similarity.

This is considered a low percentage of lexical similarity for closely related languages. Ukrainian actually has a higher lexical similarity with other Slavic languages — it has 84% similarity with Belarusian, 70% with Polish, and 66% with Slovak.

Interesting article that talks about the similarities (most of the grammar) and differences (a large chunk of the vocab), as well as some of the historical reasons for the divergences (e.g. speakers finding themselves living in different countries following the 13th century fall of the Kievan Rus’).

Wiki: Mongolian

Mongolian is a language spoken by 5.2 million people, primarily in Mon­go­lia and the Inner Mon­go­lia region of China. It is by far the most-spoken member and namesake of the Mongolic language family.

Traditionally, and still in Inner Mongolia to this day, Mongolian has been written in the Mongolian script. In the separate country of Mongolia, Cyr­il­lic has been used to write it since the 1940s, …

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Wiki: Mongolic languages

The Mongolian languages are a family of languages spoken in inland northern Asia, primarily in Mongolia, the Inner Mongolia region of China, and Siberia. They have an estimated 5.7 million speakers, of which 5.2 million are speakers of Mongolian.

From the nineteenth century to the 1960s, it was thought that the Mon­go­l­ian languages were related to some other language families as part of a larger …

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Wiki: Mongolian script

Mon­go­l­ian script is the script that was traditionally used to write Mon­go­l­ian. It has remained in continuous use in Inner Mongolia (in China), although the language itself coexists with Mandarin Chinese there, but in the separate country of Mongolia the script used has been Cyrillic since the 1940s. By 2025, the government of Mongolia aspires to have the Mon­go­l­ian script back in official …

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a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.