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Maitani › Comments

The “Steppe Belt” of stockbreeding cultures in Eurasia during the Early Metal Age
"The stock-breeding cultures of the Eurasian “steppe belt” covered approximately 7-8 million square km2 from the Lower Danube in the West to Manchuria in the East (a distance of more than 8000 km). The initial formation of the “steppe belt’cultures coincided with the flourishing of the Carpatho-Balkan-metallurgical province (V millennium BC). These cultures developed during the span of the Circumpontic metallurgical province (IV-III millennium BC). Their maturation coincided with the activity of the various centers of the giant Eurasian and East-Asian metallurgical provinces (II millennium BC). The influence of these stock-breeding nomadic cultures on the historical processes of Eurasian peoples was extremely strong. The collapse of the “steppe belt” occurred as late as the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries AD." - Maitani
Indo-Europeans preceded Finno-Ugrians in Finland and Estonia - Maitani
John Cage on the Necessity of Boredom - Study Hacks - Cal Newport -
John Cage on the Necessity of Boredom - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
"“If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
if only i could get my oldest to think this way about math. - Big Joe Silence
adam haklıymış hacımsılar v__v - Alfonker Tapir
the man has a point, quasi-pilgrims v__v - Alfonker Tapir
"You're not bored. You're boring." Wisdom from one of my ex-boyfriends. :) - Lisa L. Seifert from iPhone
CLICS Database of Cross-Linguistic Colexifications -
CLICS Database of Cross-Linguistic Colexifications
"CLICS is an online database of synchronic lexical associations ("colexifications", see here for more information) in currently 221 language varieties of the world. Large databases offering lexical information on the world's languages are already readily available for research in different online sources. However, the information on tendencies of meaning associations they enshrine is not easily extractable from these sources themselves. This is why CLICS was created. It is designed to serve as a data source for work in lexical typology, diachronic semantics, and research in cognitive science that focuses on natural language semantics from the viewpoint of cross-linguistic diversity. Furthermore, CLICS can be used as a helpful tool to assess the plausibility of semantic connections between possible cognates in the establishment of genetic relations between languages." - Maitani
Frequently asked questions - Maitani
Semantic map of "give" - Maitani
"In the context of CLICS, we use the term colexification (coined by François 2008[PDF]) to refer to the situation when two or more of the meanings in our lexical sources are covered in a language by the same lexical item. For instance, we would say that Russian рука colexifies ‘hand’ and ‘arm’, that is, concepts that are semantically related to each other. Roughly spoken, colexification... more... - Maitani
Thucydides’ moral chaos | TLS -
Thucydides’ moral chaos | TLS
"In the long hot summer of 427 BC, a quarrel broke out in the small Greek island city of Corcyra (modern Corfu). The city was then allied to Athens, the democratic superpower of the eastern Mediterranean. A group of Corcyrean aristocrats launched an abortive coup, in the hope of handing the city over to Athens’ rivals, the military oligarchy of Sparta. Corcyra fell into a savage civil war between pro-Athenian and pro-Spartan factions, ending (thanks to the arrival of an Athenian fleet) with complete victory for the democrats. For seven days, under the approving eye of an Athenian admiral, the pro-Athenian party systematically butchered their opponents. Fathers killed their own sons; men were dragged from the safety of the temples and slaughtered on the altars of the gods." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
maitani check out the following books of Sahlins if or when you have time regarding Thucydides' ethical dilemmas and his impact on western thought: ; - Alfonker Tapir
Thank you! I have added Apologies to Thucydides to my reading list. - Maitani
Should you leave your enemies to coup another day? - Todd Hoff
Well, as we're once again finding out in real time, purging an entire faction tends to create power vacuums that get filled by people who are even worse than the ones you purged. - Victor Ganata
The Mongols decapitated the ruling class when they conquered. The US style of purge leaves a vacuum. But it doesn't have to. - Todd Hoff
We pretty much decapitated the Baathists in Iraq and now we have ISIS. Should we just have nuked all of Mesopotamia instead? - Victor Ganata
You decapitate to get rid of potential rebellion leadership. To occupy you use other strategies. The problem is the US doesn't want to occupy so the decapitation is counter productive. If we don't want to occupy and we can't find a strongman proxy to do the dirty work, then we shouldn't bother. - Todd Hoff
All through the Cold War we purged regimes that could potentially be sympathetic to Communists and replaced them with strongman proxies backed by U.S. armed forces, and that hasn't seemed to have turned out all that well, either. Although I guess we did win the Cold War, so it does depend on PoV and what you pick as your end point. - Victor Ganata
Worked pretty well, we didn't have WWIII. - Todd Hoff
Well, not yet, at least. But I suppose all you can really hope for is to delay the inevitable. - Victor Ganata
inevitable? I think you need an ice cream. - Todd Hoff
So you think somehow the American Empire really is exceptional enough to avoid the fate of all empires? Well, I suppose one way or the other, I'm not ever going to find out. - Victor Ganata
Adolfo Farsari – The Man Who Shot Japan ~ Kuriositas -
Adolfo Farsari – The Man Who Shot Japan ~ Kuriositas
Adolfo Farsari – The Man Who Shot Japan ~ Kuriositas
"In the 1880s at a time when most Europeans were denied access to the Japanese interior an Italian photographer managed to capture many images of Old Japan. These were then beautifully and realistically hand painted and serve as a remarkable record of a world long since disappeared." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Farsari was very much a commercial photographer and his compositions were designed to be sold mostly to foreign visitors to Japan. His landscapes often picture what we might call a slightly enhanced version – even romanticized – of Japan but were very highly regarded at the time. Something of a libertarian, Farsari had joined the American Civil War as he was a fervent abolitionist and... more... - Maitani
Wicked Bat Catcher
It's our 16th anniversary. (My wife is a remarkable person.)
Happy Anniversary! - Lisa L. Seifert from iPhone
Happy anniversary! - Amir
Happy anniversary! - Tamara J. B. from FFHound(roid)!
Happy anniversary! - Maitani
Happy Anniversary, you two! - Micah from FFHound(roid)!
Happy anniversary :-) - Pete : Team Marina from FFHound(roid)!
Happy anniversary! - Sir Shuping is just sir
Happy anniversary! Dinner plans? - Corinne L
Happy happy! - Spidra Webster
Happy anniversary! - John (bird whisperer)
♡♡♡♡♡ - Alix May from FFHound(roid)!
And your wife is married to a wonderful person, too! Happy anniversary to you both <3 - Starmama from FFHound(roid)!
Cheers to you both! - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra from Android
Happy Anniversary! - Anne Bouey
Thank you for your kind words. We did really super romantic things like shopping for school supplies. :-) - Wicked Bat Catcher from iPhone
belated happy anniversary! - Big Joe Silence
Thanks Joe! It's still before midnight here. :) - Wicked Bat Catcher from iPhone
Happy anniversary, you crazy kids! :) - Jenny H. from Android
Happy anniversary, guys :) - Eivind from Android
Thanks! - Wicked Bat Catcher from iPhone
Congratulations Stephan! :-) - Sepi ⌘ سپی
Thanks, Sepi! - Wicked Bat Catcher from iPhone
Happy belated! - Halil
Thanks, Halil! - Wicked Bat Catcher from iPhone
"For most language learners and lovers, translation is a hot topic. Should I translate new vocabulary into my first language? How can I say x in Japanese? Is this translated novel as good as the original? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told that Pushkin isn’t Pushkin unless he’s read in Russian, and I have definitely chastised my own students for anxiously writing out lengthy bilingual wordlists: Paola, you’ll only remember trifle if you learn it in context!" - Maitani
"Many lovely people of the internet are in accordance: untranslatable words are out there, and they’re fascinating. A quick Google brings up articles, listicles, and even entire blogs on the matter. Goya, jayus, dépaysement — all wonderful words that neatly convey familiar concepts, but also “untranslatable” words that appear accompanied by an English definition. This English definition... more... - Maitani
I was watching a Korean variety show last night. The men were drinking makkeoli, which is a fermented rice drink. The subtitles used 'sake'. An odd choice since the Korean drink closest to sake is cheongju. I think I would've gone with 'rice wine', even though it's not really a wine. // On the other hand, Korean has some idioms that sometimes make no sense to my American ears (ex: 원숭이도... more... - Anika
For some reason, I can't think of any concrete examples right now, but I frequently get that feeling when trying to translate Tagalog into English. - Victor Ganata
But I'm sure part of it is that I don't have the whole cultural context to completely translate Tagalog phrases. Like "walang hiya" can be literally translated as "shameless" but I can't really convey (because I ultimately don't really grok) the vast difference between being "walang hiya" in the Philippines (while people use it facetiously all the time when f-ing around with friends, it can also be used as a grave insult and provocation) versus being "shameless" in the U.S. - Victor Ganata
So words or phrases are "untranslatable" because the cultural concepts they highlight are difficult to grasp for people who are not familiar with them. - Maitani
but that happens also in the same language. sometimes i cannot understand my neighbours, but we all speak italian - thomas morton ☢
Agreed. That indicates that the difference between translation and explanation (or definition, as she puts it) may be only gradual. - Maitani
if a language lacks a sharp-knife concept present in another language, often the best way to translate the word is just use the original one (and then explaining it, of course). I find more difficult to translate words whose meaning changes according to the context where they are used, even if Ifeel the difference - .mau.
"Untranslatable" words and phrases embody unique cultural perceptions and insights, which is one reason why a certain tongue may survive being absorbed by another language. +1 for diversity, and long footnotes :-) - Adriano
Adriano, do you have a particular example in mind? - Maitani
Maitani, got several... each blue dot can be seen as a juncture where something "untranslatable" begins to evolve. The distance between blue dots roughly increases the degree of incongruence, or uniqueness, among languages. Notice that over time, the number of branches tend to multiply, rather than merge into each... more... - Adriano
Adriano, I misunderstood you when you said "a certain tongue may survive being absorbed by another language". I supposed you were talking about languages that carry lexical or morphological traces of a different, ancient language, like Sumerian logograms in Akkadian texts, whereas you thought of the historical development/change of languages as depicted in language family trees. - Maitani
The ambiguities in language, do they generally disappear over time? Or is it the responsibility of the user to speak or write with the most precise of available syntax and vocabulary? Aristotle in Greek still reads with clarity, while Derrida in French is irresponsibly amusing. The symbols in between them have been transliterated, yet the author earlier in time seems much easier to translate to an orthogonal language. - Adriano
Maybe you have come across this article already. If not, I absolutely recommend reading it. It is about a man who set out to create a language that avoided the ambiguity, vagueness, redundancy we find in every natural language. - Maitani
Maitani, thank you very much -- I will read it as soon as I have *time* :-) - Adriano
PLOS Biology: How Could Language Have Evolved? -
PLOS Biology: How Could Language Have Evolved?
"The evolution of the faculty of language largely remains an enigma. In this essay, we ask why. Language's evolutionary analysis is complicated because it has no equivalent in any nonhuman species. There is also no consensus regarding the essential nature of the language “phenotype.” According to the “Strong Minimalist Thesis,” the key distinguishing feature of language (and what evolutionary theory must explain) is hierarchical syntactic structure. The faculty of language is likely to have emerged quite recently in evolutionary terms, some 70,000–100,000 years ago, and does not seem to have undergone modification since then, though individual languages do of course change over time, operating within this basic framework. The recent emergence of language and its stability are both consistent with the Strong Minimalist Thesis, which has at its core a single repeatable operation that takes exactly two syntactic elements a and b and assembles them to form the set {a, b}." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Found via Another Word for It - Maitani
il linguaggio è nato dalla scrittura - Elia Spallanzani
Recursive concatenation of 0 and 1 will, under proper interpretation, yield Borges' infinite library of all books, from the past and into the future. Sound familiar? - Adriano
Your Brain on Metaphors - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education -
Your Brain on Metaphors - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"It sounds like a question that only a linguist could love. But neuroscientists have been trying to answer it using exotic brain-scanning technologies. Their findings have varied wildly, in some cases contradicting one another. If they make progress, the payoff will be big. Their findings will enrich a theory that aims to explain how wet masses of neurons can understand anything at all. And they may drive a stake into the widespread assumption that computers will inevitably become conscious in a humanlike way." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The hypothesis driving their work is that metaphor is central to language. Metaphor used to be thought of as merely poetic ornamentation, aesthetically pretty but otherwise irrelevant. "Love is a rose, but you better not pick it," sang Neil Young in 1977, riffing on the timeworn comparison between a sexual partner and a pollinating perennial. For centuries, metaphor was just the place where poets went to show off." - Maitani
If you are interested in the topic, you should read the two articles; they complement each other. - Maitani
Hofgarten in Veitshöchheim
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Does Hofgarten translate as court garden? - Halil
Yes, Halil, it is the garden around the summer palace of the prince bishops of Würzburg. :-) - Maitani
From marvellous to awesome: how spoken British English has changed | Science | The Guardian -
From marvellous to awesome: how spoken British English has changed | Science | The Guardian
"A study called the Spoken British National Corpus 2014 reveals how our use of language is evolving. Is British English succumbing to American influence?" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Early evidence from their project, the Spoken British National Corpus 2014 , shows that "awesome" now turns up in conversation 72 times per million words. "Marvellous", which 20 years ago appeared 155 times per million words, now appears just twice per million. "Fortnight" is also on the endangered list, as is "cheerio". (That's "cheerio" meaning goodbye, young people, as opposed to the singular form of the breakfast cereal, which you would only tend to use if you got one stuck up your nose.)" - Maitani
Spoken BNC2014 project announcement - Maitani
"The project is now calling on people to send in MP3s of their conversations – they'll even pay a small amount – in order to gain a wider sense of how the language as it is spoken has changed over the years." - Maitani
certainly most interested in accents other than the Queen's English -- when the audio samples are collected they should make a game like -- what's your high score? - Adriano
Adriano, I haven't played that game often, although it is fun and I should try it again! I don't think I can score very high, maybe because I am studying dead languages most of the time, "pronouncing" in my mind what I am reading. Anyway, I should listen to people speaking living languages a bit more! - Maitani
Maitani, you too! I like Pali spoken using Japanese phonetics :-) but would like to learn the differences in nuance between a singular language, English with spoken accents: Welsh, Irish, Scotish, Liverpoolish, etc. (For prank calls :-) - Adriano
I like to listen to these various dialects and accents, too. It is just a matter of finding the time for it all. - Maitani
"So, here some of my favourite ruined churches around Britain. If Lindisfarne is perhaps the most evocative, Dryburgh Abbbey has possibly the most beautiful setting, on a bend of the River Tweed, near Kelso in the Scottish Borderts. But my personal favourite is St Dunstan in the East, in London. Nestled, almost unseen, in the shadow of the Gherkin and the Lloyd’s Building, it was originally built in the eleventh century, rebuilt by Christopher Wren after it had been damaged in the Great Fire of London, and then almost destroyed during the Blitz. The church remains today in ruins but within and around it has been created a wild and wonderful garden. The remaining windows are draped with Virginia creeper and ornamental vine. Inside the roofless walls thrive such exotic plants as Moroccan broom, New Zealand flax and Japanese snowball. The effect is quite enchanting." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Seems like Pompei. - Margot
St Dunstan-in-the-West on Fleet Street, though also bombed in WW II, is still active and worth a visit. It's about as ecumenical as a Christian church can get, being home to both an Anglican and Romanian Orthodox congregations: "St Dunstan-in-the-West is home to the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, and is a centre of prayer for Christian Unity. It is therefore appropriate that... more... - David Lounsbury
What a contrast! Now I dream of visiting both churches, if I ever get around to take a trip to London. - Maitani
BBC News - India: Ancient university reopens after 800 years -
BBC News - India: Ancient university reopens after 800 years
"Nalanda University, in the eastern state of Bihar, was first established in the 5th Century during the Gupta dynasty. It was was said to have attracted thousands of scholars and thinkers from around the world but the site was destroyed in the 1193 AD by an invading Turkish army. The new campus is set to be spread over 443 acres (179 hecatares) about 15km (9 miles) from where the original university stood, the Times of India reports." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
A Calendar Page for September 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog -
A Calendar Page for September 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog
A Calendar Page for September 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog
"September marks the beginning of the wine-making season in the northern hemisphere, and this is as true today as it was on the pages of our medieval calendar.  In the opening folio, the process is beginning in earnest, as three women are busy picking grapes in a vineyard, loading them into the basket of a waiting man.  Behind them are several grand buildings, while the oenophilic theme of the month is mirrored by the acanthus vines circling round the page.  The labour continues on the facing folio.  Below the saints’ days for September and a woman holding a balance (for the zodiac sign Libra), a man is bringing a full basket of grapes into a barn.  He is greeted by a fellow worker, who stands in a tub full of grapes, crushing them beneath his feet." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
The picture of the man crushing the grapes beneath his feet reminded me of this: - Maitani
When I bought the tiny pot plant at Aldi in May I never expected it would grow that high in such little time. I also wasn't aware how exotic this plant would be in my Lower Franconian backyard roofgarden. People grow them in the front yards of their village gardens, but I think I haven't seen many as big and vigorous as this one. - Maitani
Download for Free 2.6 Million Images from Books Published Over Last 500 Years on Flickr | Open Culture -
Download for Free 2.6 Million Images from Books Published Over Last 500 Years on Flickr | Open Culture
Download for Free 2.6 Million Images from Books Published Over Last 500 Years on Flickr | Open Culture
"Thanks to Kalev Leetaru, a Yahoo! Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University, you can now head over to a new collection at Flickr and search through an archive of 2.6 million public domain images, all extracted from books, magazines and newspapers published over a 500 year period. Eventually this archive will grow to 14.6 million images." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"This new Flickr archive accomplishes something quite important. While other projects (e.g., Google Books) have digitized books and focused on text — on printed words – this project concentrates on images. Leetaru told the BBC, “For all these years all the libraries have been digitizing their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works.” “They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.”" - Maitani
"I'd like to find a corpus of writing writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (e.g. handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher's 7th grade class every year)–and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality. I've heard the idea that exposure to all this amateur peer practice is hurting us, but I'd bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day." - Maitani
Language Log on Needs more Sexting - Maitani
Ancient metal workers were not slaves but highly regarded craftsmen -- ScienceDaily -
Ancient metal workers were not slaves but highly regarded craftsmen -- ScienceDaily
"In the course of ongoing excavations at Timna Valley, archaeologists analyzed remnants of food eaten by copper smelters 3,000 years ago. This analysis indicates that the laborers operating the furnaces were in fact skilled craftsmen who enjoyed high social status and adulation. They believe their discovery may have ramifications for similar sites across the region." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"In 1934, American archaeologist Nelson Glueck named one of the largest known copper production sites of the Levant "Slaves' Hill." This hilltop station, located deep in Israel's Arava Valley, seemed to bear all the marks of an Iron Age slave camp -- fiery furnaces, harsh desert conditions, and a massive barrier preventing escape. New evidence uncovered by Tel Aviv University archaeologists, however, overturns this entire narrative." - Maitani
The British Thermopylae | George Monbiot -
"And the case for reintroducing big cats. A weird and wonderful tale." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Y Gododdin is one of the few surviving accounts by the Britons of what the Anglo-Saxons did to them. It tells the story of what may have been the last stand in England of the Gododdin – the tribes of the Hen Ogledd, or Old North – in 598AD. A force of 300 warriors – the British version of the defenders of Thermopylae – took on a far greater army of Angles at a town named in Brittonic... more... - Maitani
"The Anglo-Saxon conquest appears to have crushed the preceding cultures much more decisively than the Anglo-Saxons were later suppressed by the Normans. One indication is the remarkable paucity of Brittonic words in English. Even if you accept the most generous derivations, there appear to be no more than a couple of dozen, of which only four are used in daily conversation: dad, gob,... more... - Maitani
Lookit, Jenny! History and ecology united! - Eivind
:D - Jenny H. from Android
BBC News - Malta: Private migrant rescue boat saves fisherman -
BBC News - Malta: Private migrant rescue boat saves fisherman
"Maltese philanthropists Regina and Christopher Catrambone, who are funding the operation, say they are the first civilians trying to assist migrants at sea, Malta Today reports. Moas was set up in response to the October 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck tragedy, when around 360 African migrants died after their boat sank off the coast of the Italian island. Deaths are often reported in the area, and just last weekend nearly 4,000 people were rescued. The Phoenix I and its drone helicopters will watch for craft leaving north Africa for Europe, and offer water, food, life-jackets and first aid if necessary." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Oh no, someone's being humane. That's like inviting all the Africans to Europe! - Eivind
Maitani : Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch Online. -
"I was just informed (thanks, Valery!) that if I followed etymonline on Facebook I would know that “he posted today that Wartburg’s Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch is now available/searchable online.” I have now “liked” the FB page, and I pass on to you both the suggestion and the link — I presume there are other people than me out there who 1) are interested in French etymology and 2) didn’t already know." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Wartburg’s Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch - Maitani
3quarksdaily: Leaving (and almost leaving) by Rishidev Chaudhuri -
3quarksdaily: Leaving (and almost leaving) by Rishidev Chaudhuri
"It's impossible for me to leave a place well. I used to think that I was merely bad at logistics and planning (and I am), but I manage to conspire against myself with such sinister competence that this explanation no longer seems viable. As the time to leave approaches my consciousness starts to fragment, and I become exhausted and flee into sleep. I wait too long to do things, unable to act unless I have killed my inertia with drink or other confusion, or distracted myself sufficiently that anything I do is useless. I spend hours on minutiae, reorganizing my book collection and cataloguing my kitchen equipment; they're happy hours, once I forget why I'm doing it" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Perhaps it's that leaving is quite obviously a rehearsal for death, disrupting even the faint illusions of permanence that spatial and environmental contiguity offer us. So is everything, if we have learned to listen to the philosophers and to live well, but of course we have not learned to listen and who has the time to rehearse for death these days?" - Maitani
BBC Radio 4: In Our Time: Ancient Greece
Archive by Era: Ancient Greece - Maitani
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Released as Linked Open Data | The Getty Iris -
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Released as Linked Open Data | The Getty Iris
"The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names is a resource of over 2,000,000 names of current and historical places, including cities, archaeological sites, nations, and physical features. It focuses mainly on places relevant to art, architecture, archaeology, art conservation, and related fields." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Patrick Durusau on the Getty Thesaurus: "A resource where you could loose some serious time! Try this entry for London. Or Paris. Bear in mind the data that underlies this rich display is now available for free downloading." - Maitani
International Dunhuang Project: The Married Monks of Kroraina -
International Dunhuang Project: The Married Monks of Kroraina
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"The kingdom of Kroraina florished in the middle of the Taklamakan desert in the first centuries of this millennium, and is now known to us through the buildings and artefacts preserved by the desert until their discovery and excavation by explorers and archaeologists. Among the most important of the discoveries from the kingdom were documents providing a detailed (if incomplete) picture of the daily life of Buddhist monks in the region in the 3rd to 4th centuries." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Over 700 of these documents were excavated by Aurel Stein in the early 20th century and are now in the collections of the British Library and the National Museum of India. Most of them are letters, written in the Gandhārī language and the Kharoṣṭhi script, on wooden tablets. A document was usually made of two wooden tablets placed together, with the content of the letter inside. The two parts were bound with string and sealed with clay, and the cover tabled was inscribed with the name of the addressee." - Maitani
Oldest metal object found to date in Middle East -- ScienceDaily -
Oldest metal object found to date in Middle East -- ScienceDaily
"A copper awl, the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East, was discovered during the excavations at Tel Tsaf, according to a recent study published by researchers from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology and the Department of archaeology at the University of Haifa , in conjunction with researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Archaeological Institute of Berlin. According to the study, which appeared in the journal PLoS ONE, the awl dates back to the late 6th millennium or the early 5th millennium BCE, moving back by several hundred years the date it was previously thought that the peoples of the region began to use metals." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Tel Tsaf, a Middle Chalcolithic village dated to about 5200-4600 BCE, is located near the Jordan River and the international border with Jordan. The site was first documented in the 1950s and excavations there began at the end of the 1970s. From the earliest digs nearly 40 years ago, this area, the most important archeological site in the region dated to this period, has been supplying... more... - Maitani
A Photographic Tour of Haruki Murakami's Tokyo, Where Dream, Memory, and Reality Meet | Open Culture -
A Photographic Tour of Haruki Murakami's Tokyo, Where Dream, Memory, and Reality Meet | Open Culture
"Last week saw me in line at one of Los Angeles’ most beloved bookstores, waiting for a signed copy of Haruki Murakami’s new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage upon its midnight release. The considerable hubbub around the book’s entry into English — to say nothing of its original appearance last year in Japanese, when it sold a much-discussed million copies in a single month — demonstrates, 35 years into the author’s career, the world’s unflagging appetite for Murakamiana. Just recently, we featured the artifacts of Murakami’s passion for jazz and a collection of his free short stories online, just as many others have got into the spirit by seeking out various illuminating inspirations of, locations in, and quotations from his work. The author of the blog Randomwire, known only as David, has done all three, and taken photographs to boot, in his grand three-part project of documenting Murakami’s Tokyo: the Tokyo of his beginnings, the Tokyo where he ran the jazz bars in which he began writing, and the Tokyo which has given his stories their otherworldly touch." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Murakami’s Tokyo: Part 1 — Beginnings - Maitani
(Serbo-)Croatian: A Tale of Two Languages—Or Three? Or Four? - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World -
(Serbo-)Croatian: A Tale of Two Languages—Or Three? Or Four? - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World
(Serbo-)Croatian: A Tale of Two Languages—Or Three? Or Four? - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World
"With all the media brouhaha about Croatia’s ascension, one of our key issues at GeoCurrents has been largely ignored: the issue of the Croatian language. Multilingualism is central to the European Union’s cultural diversity. The European Commission employs a permanent staff of around 1,750 linguists, 600 staff interpreters, 3,000 freelance interpreters, and 600 support staff, making it one of the largest translation and interpretation services in the world. Still, this only amounts to some 25 staff interpreters per language, as the EU now has 24 official languages; their website allows one to read and/or hear a short text in Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish—and now Croatian as well.* But basic issues about what constitutes the Croatian language are far from settled." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
As I understand it, dialects are promoted to languages when they acquire their own army and/or navy :) - Eivind
I think that statement has some merit. :-) - Maitani
The derivation of the word 'road' | OUPblog -
The derivation of the word 'road' | OUPblog
"According to the original idea, road developed from Old Engl. rad “riding.” Its vowel was long, that is, similar to a in Modern Engl. spa. Rad belonged with ridan “to ride,” whose long i (a vowel like ee in Modern Engl. fee) alternated with long a by a rule. In the past, roads existed for riding on horseback, and people distinguished between “a road” and “a footpath.” But this seemingly self-evident etymology has to overcome a formidable obstacle: in Standard English, the noun road acquired its present-day meaning late (one can say very late). It was new or perhaps unknown even to Shakespeare. A Shakespeare glossary lists the following senses of road in his plays: “journey on horseback,” “hostile incursion, raid,” “roadstead,” and “highway” (“roadstead,” that is, “harbor,” needn’t surprise us, for ships were said to ride at anchor.) “Highway” appears as the last of the four senses because it is the rarest, but, as we will see, there is a string attached even to such a cautious... more... - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Babel's Dawn: Which Came First, the Word or the Gesture? -
Babel's Dawn: Which Came First, the Word or the Gesture?
"Susan Goldin-Meadow is a hero on this blog because her work is both serious and original. It fills a gap in our understanding. In 2008 she presented a report on gesture that has stayed with me. It made clear that gestures are a natural way of illustrating what is not included in a grammatical structure. For example, a person might say, "The plane ride was very…" and then illustrate the ride by moving the hand horizontally while simultaneously bouncing it up and down. Ever since that presentation I have been of the fixed opinion that gesture has, from speech's beginning, accompanied spoken words. So naturally I was pleased to see that Goldin-Meadow has published a paper titled "Widening the Lens" in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – B (abstract; paper). It summarizes her work." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Since apes gesture in the wild, it is often proposed that gesture led to speech, but we need to find a process that might link the two. Apes, after all, don't go on to speak, so why did we? Goldin-Meadow's paper suggests possible processes and their limits." - Maitani
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