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Posts categorised ‘Languages’

There are seriously a lot of American Shavianists who are like “oh, my accent doesn’t distinguish between father/bother or cot/caught, can I just use any letter I like in a really haphazard manner for those?” IDK dude, if I as an Australian can fill my writing with multitudes of silent Rs, I think you can learn the difference between father/bother and cot/caught. It doesn’t really matter if you just want to write private notes to yourself, but if you want to communicate with other people it is absolutely bewildering when I see 𐑔𐑪𐑑 and realise the person meant “thought”, or 𐑢𐑭𐑑 and then realise they meant “what”.

Wiki: Brevian alphabet

The Brevian alphabet is a proposed alternative alphabet for typing English. Drawing inspiration from the Shav­ian alphabet, it is a phonetic alphabet which utilises letter pairs (tall/low letters for unvoiced/voiced consonants, and dotted and undotted letters for long/short vowels) to depict related letters. It was created by Brian Mansberger, and first published in 2021.

The alphabet has 40 core …

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Wiki: Arpitan

Arpitan (also known as Franco-Provençal or Patois even though that second term can also be considered disparaging, and as Romand in Switz­er­land) is a Gallo-Romance language traditionally spoken in the east of France, western Switz­er­land and northwestern Italy (in the Aosta Valley and parts of Turin). It’s difficult to ascertain its present number of speakers, as reliable census data is …

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On Interactive Fiction and Language-Learning

Last week, I spent a few hours going down the rabbit-hole that is experimenting with interactive fiction. This is a rabbit-hole that I do go down every once in a while, because I catch myself longing for a game to play that has a specific set of features (turn-based/not action, “quality” stemming not from difficulty but from story or general fun vibe, builds up complexity over time …

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Wiki: Armenian

Ar­men­ian is an Indo-European language with about 5–7 million speakers. It is a pluricentric language with two standard forms: Eastern Ar­men­ian, which is spoken in the modern country of Ar­men­ia itself and among Ar­men­ian populations in neighbouring countries to the east, and Western Ar­men­ian, which is mostly spoken in the diaspora. Historically one of the reasons for the split is that the …

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Wiki: centum-satem split

The centum-satem isogloss divides the Indo-European languages from a pretty ancient stage in their development. Essentially, the split concerns the treatment of the Proto-Indo-European velar consonants. The traditional analysis is that PIE had nine of them:

Labiovelars Plain velars Palatovelars
*kʷ *k *ḱ
*gʷ *g
*gʷʰ *gʰ *ǵʰ

In the centum languages, the palatovelar series merged …

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Wiki: Farsi

Farsi, a.k.a. Persian, is an Indo-European language spoken by 74–110 million people primarily in Iran, Afghanistan (where it’s known as Dari) and Tajikistan (where it’s known as Tajik). Historically it was an extremely influential language, exporting vast amounts of vocabulary to Ottoman Turkish and Urdu (and other Indic languages) for example, and also being the main foreign language …

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Wiki: English

English is a Germanic language with approx. 373 million native speakers and 1.08 billion L2 speakers, making it the most widely-spoken language in the world (and third-most common native language). Countries where English is the L1 of the majority include the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. English is also widely spoken, and often a lingua franca, in many countries in …

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