Monday, August 28, 2006
Bookshelf: Learning Biblical Hebrew
Some resources for learning biblical Hebrew—which sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Young, G. Douglas. Grammar of the Hebrew Language;: A New Approach to the Hebrew Language and to Advanced Exegesis Using Hebrew and Romanized Scripts (Zondervan, 1951). [A]
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Geoff Nunberg on the Colbert Report
currently under Most Recent Videos at the Colbert Report page
Singular ‘they’ in the KJV
Geoff wrote that ‘The pronoun form they is anaphorically linked in the discourse to this person. Such use of forms of they with singular antecedents is attested in English over hundreds of years, in writers as significant as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Austen, and Wilde. The people (like the perennially clueless Strunk and White) who assert that such usage is “wrong” simply haven’t done their literary homework and don’t deserve our attention.’
But Geoff left out the single most compelling example. ...
Deuteronomy 17:5 - ‘Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.’
Bookshelf: ‘Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory’ and ‘The Order of Prepositional Phrases’
Saturday, August 05, 2006
‘On Language’ 8/2: Too much ‘meta’?
Too much meta. That’s what Sam McManis wrote earlier this year in the Sacramento Bee, talking about the just-released movie “Tristram Shandy: A #### and Bull Story.” The movie is “a movie about making a movie of an 18th Century comic novel that was about the conventions of novel writing,” McManis explained.
“How very meta it all is,” he added.
That’s right: “meta.” The prefix has now taken its place as a separate word in the English language.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Writing and Linguistic Change in Catalan
Some connections between linguistic change and the written language: The behavior of speakers aged 3 to 20
Language Variation and Change
Volume 18, Number 1 (March 2006), pp. 15-34
After the Franco dictatorship, written Catalan started to be taught officially in the schools of Catalonia. This teaching has involved a change in some phonetic, morphological, and lexical habits, especially among speakers schooled in Catalan as a first language. The present study shows a linguistic change process observed in Northwestern Catalan linguistic communities. Its focus is the study of absolute initial prestressed vowels spelled which have traditionally been uttered with solution [a] in forms such as encara ‘yet’ or estudi ‘study’. The population analyzed is the one that is receiving or has received the biggest influence from written language: speakers between 3 and 20 years of age. The data obtained allows us to observe a phonetic change directly connected to writing.