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The language of snooker | OxfordWords blog -
The language of snooker | OxfordWords blog
"Snooker is a nineteenth-century development of the much older game of billiards, which dates back as far as the sixteenth century. Billiards gets its name from the French word billard ‘cue’, a diminutive form of bille ‘stick’. Once adopted into English the word was pluralized, on the model of other games such as draughts and bowls, giving us billiards, or ‘little sticks’. The game of snooker gets its name from a Woolwich slang term for a newly-recruited cadet; it is believed to have been transferred to the game when an army colonel stationed in Jabalpur used it to describe the poor play of a fellow officer. Another related game is a nineteenth-century American development of billiards, in which players pot balls in order to claim the collective stake or pool, from which the game gets its name. This word, most commonly used today in card games, may be related in some obscure way to the French poule ‘hen’." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Online Resources from ISAW — Institute for the Study of the Ancient World -
Online Resources from ISAW — Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
Online Resources from ISAW — Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
Online Resources from ISAW — Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
"The creation of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University has its roots in the passion that Shelby White and Leon Levy had for the art and history of the ancient world, which led them to envision an Institute that would offer an unshuttered view of antiquity across vast stretches of time and place." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Ancient World Digital Library Book Viewer - Ancient World Image Bank - Ancient World Online - The Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā - Exhibitions - ISAW Papers - Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE) - - Planet Atlantides - Pleiades - Social Media - Maitani
On Dr Zhivago, Genitive Case of Adjectives, and the 1918 Russian Orthography Reform - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World -
On Dr Zhivago, Genitive Case of Adjectives, and the 1918 Russian Orthography Reform - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World
On Dr Zhivago, Genitive Case of Adjectives, and the 1918 Russian Orthography Reform - Languages Of The World | Languages Of The World
"Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak is one of the better-known works of Russian literature in the West. In a recent article about the novel in the London Review of Books, Frances Stonor Saunders writes: “‘Zhivago’, in the pre-revolutionary genitive case, means ‘the living one’. On the novel’s first page a hearse is being followed to the grave. ‘Whom are you burying?’ the mourners are asked. ‘Zhivago’ is the reply, punningly suggesting ‘him who is living’.”" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"I have been asked to comment on the first sentence of that quote: has the Russian system of cases changed in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917? After all, political upheavals often bring with them changes in the more superficial aspects of language, such as the orthography and the vocabulary, but grammatical innovations being decided on by a revolutionary government’s decree? That would be a much more peculiar event." - Maitani
The Peculiar Journey of "Orange" : Word Routes : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus - by Ben Zimmer -
The Peculiar Journey of "Orange" : Word Routes : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus - by Ben Zimmer
"In the latest installment of the Slate podcast Lexicon Valley, I take on a word that every child knows, orange, and reveal its hidden history. It's a remarkably well-traveled word, and its travels tell us a great deal about the cultural history of many of the world's great civilizations. You can listen to the podcast here:" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The question that immediately came up had a less-than-obvious answer: Which came first, the color orange or the fruit orange?" - Maitani
Announcing the Arethusa Annotation Framework
"Developers Gernot Höflechner, Robert Lichtensteiner and Christof Sirk, in collaboration with the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts (via the Libraries and the Transformation of the Humanities and Perseids projects) and the University of Leipzig’s Open Philology Project, have released Arethusa, a framework for linguistic annotation and curation. Arethusa was inspired by and extends the goals of the Alpheios Project, to provide a highly configurable, language-independent, extensible infrastructure for close-reading, annotation, curation and exploration of open-access digitized texts. While the initial release highlights support for morpho-syntactic annotation, Arethusa is designed to allow users to switch seamlessly between a variety of annotation and close-reading activities, facilitating the creation of sharable, reusable linguistic data in collaborative research and pedagogical environments." - Maitani
Naqsh-i Rustam - Incredible Reliefs of Persian Empires
Naqsh-i Rostam 6.jpg
Naqsh-i Rostam 7.jpg
"Most people have heard of the ancient city of Persepolis in Iran. Yet just north of the metropolis of antiquity is a sheer cliff, known as Naqsh-i Rustam. Here, in the second millennium BCE, work began on a quite staggering series of rock reliefs which – even today – have the ability to awe in terms of their size and the staggering amount of work which must have been involved in their creation." - Maitani
Gorgeous. We have got to visit Iran. - Mark H
Was There an 'Early Modern' Period in Indian Philosophy? - Justin Erik Halldór Smith -
Was There an 'Early Modern' Period in Indian Philosophy? - Justin Erik Halldór Smith
"If philosophy questions everything, surely it must also question the periodization of its own history. Professional historians themselves tend to agree that the imposition of periods on the past –premodern, Renaissance, early modern, and so on-- is always to some degree arbitrary, even if it is also impossible to imagine how we could describe the past without any periodization at all. The bounding off of temporal regions in this way is made all the more problematic if we wish to consider the past from a global perspective, rather than simply focusing on a single region, since the rationale for periodization in one place might not apply in another." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
. - O.S.M.
Language Evolution: Even and Odd -
Language Evolution: Even and Odd
"This game is not only simple, but also as old as the hills. The Romans played it, and so did the Greeks and their gods. It was played with whatever could be concealed in one’s hand: astragaloi (“knucklebones”), nuts, coins, or pebbles. The game, in some ways ancestral to roulette, was called pār impār ‘equal-unequal’ in Latin. The Greeks called it artiasmós, or ártia ḕ perittà ‘even or odd’, or zugà ḕ ázuga ‘pairs or non-pairs’. It was so popular among the Greeks that a special verb, artíazō, was coined to mean ‘play at even and odd’." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
The Tironian et (⁊) in Galway, Ireland | Sentence first -
The Tironian et (⁊) in Galway, Ireland | Sentence first
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"The Tironian et is a remnant of Tiro’s shorthand system, which was popular for centuries but is now almost entirely discontinued. The mark lives on in just a couple of writing systems, one of which is Irish." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Language Evolution: Word of the Month: Proto-Indo-European ‘Four’ -
Language Evolution: Word of the Month: Proto-Indo-European ‘Four’
"The Proto-Indo-European numeral ‘four’ had several intriguing properties. It was the largest non-complex cardinal number that agreed grammatically with a noun it modified. Consequently, it was inflected for gender and case, like any ordinary adjective. It shared that property with the words for ‘one’, ‘two’ and ‘three’. For obvious semantic reasons, their declension was defective: ‘one’ was normally singular, ‘two’ was declined only in the dual number, and ‘three’ and ‘four’ only in the plural." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The basic forms of the numeral ‘4’ (as reconstructed in handbooks) were the animate “count plural” *kʷetwores and the inanimate (neuter) “collective plural” *kʷetwōr (from earlier *kʷetwor-h₂). There is some uncertainty about the accentuation of these forms: some reconstruct them with PIE stress on the first syllable, others on the second (the comparative evidence is not unambiguous)." - Maitani
Someone created this place for everyone to enjoy, or rather for those who are prepared to keep things in order.
Abends am Main
Short term open access to articles in the current Anatolian Studies
Anatolian Studies is the flagship journal of the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA). It publishes peer-reviewed research articles focused on Turkey and the Black Sea littoral region in the fields of history, archaeology and related social sciences. - Maitani
Life Is Random: Biologists now realize that “nature vs. nurture” misses the importance of noise
"Is our behavior determined by genetics, or are we products of our environments? What matters more for the development of living things—internal factors or external ones? Biologists have been hotly debating these questions since shortly after the publication of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Charles Darwin’s half-cousin Francis Galton was the first to try to understand this interplay between “nature and nurture” (a phrase he coined) by studying the development of twins." - Maitani
Eurozine - Passing the buck - Fabrizio Gatti The Lampedusa shipwreck of 11 October 2013 -
Eurozine - Passing the buck - Fabrizio Gatti The Lampedusa shipwreck of 11 October 2013
"According to Fabrizio Gatti's estimate, at least 268 refugees drowned in the Lampedusa shipwreck on 11 October 2013. A month later, Gatti established that the tragedy could have been avoided, had the vessels in the vicinity with resources to support every victim been allowed to respond according to common sense. But they were not. Referring to laws and regulations, Italian authorities passed the buck of responsibility to Malta." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
What made you think of this now? I'm asking because I was just reading a Norwegian article yesterday about how this really needs to be handled by Europe as a whole; share the costs and make sure that we have decent facilities to take care of all these desperate human beings. The Mediterranean countries, especially Italy and Greece, really have been fucked over by the rest of us when it comes to refugees trying to enter Europe. - Eivind
fucked over +1 - svinho dos santos
Eivind, I often think of this because I find it outrageous how our governments (particularly the German government) refuse to take care of these people, and I try to keep up with what is going on. I am subscribed to Eurozine on feedly, that's how I saw this article. - Maitani
Aristotle on perceiving objects | OUPblog -
Aristotle on perceiving objects | OUPblog
"Imagine a possible world where you are having coffee with … Aristotle! You begin exchanging views on how you like the coffee; you examine its qualities – it is bitter, hot, aromatic, etc. It tastes to you this way or this other way. But how do you make these perceptual judgments? It might seem obvious to say that it is via the senses we are endowed with. Which senses though? How many senses are involved in coffee tasting? And how many senses do we have in all?" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
The Smart Set: Age of Loneliness - September 10, 2014 -
The Smart Set: Age of Loneliness - September 10, 2014
"It is a heart-wrenching love story. That alone would put it in the category of “good summer read.” It is a short book, clocking in at one hundred and fifty-one pages in my edition. It’s thus an easy book to stick into a beach bag or to carry on the train." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Yourcenar found a way. She was, like all great writers, extremely lucky. Someone told her an incredible story. A true story. That is what she claimed, anyway. In her preface to the book (first published in 1939), Yourcenar wrote, “The story itself is authentic, and the three characters who are called Erick, Sophie, and Conrad, respectively, remain much as they were described to me by one of the best friends of the principal person concerned.”" - Maitani
Norwegian Ethnological Research | Larsblog -
Norwegian Ethnological Research | Larsblog
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"The definitive book on Norwegian farmhouse ale is Odd Nordland's "Brewing and beer traditions in Norway," published in 1969. That book is now sadly totally unavailable, except from libraries. In the foreword Nordland writes that the book is based on a questionnaire issued by Norwegian Ethnological Research in 1952 and 1957. After digging a little I discovered that this material is actually still available at the institute. The questionnaire is number 35, running to 103 questions." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"An interesting tidbit that pops up is that in the northernmost province of Finnmark there was a tradition for brewing kvass. Kvass is a style of beer brewed from rye bread that is generally associated with Russia. I assume people in this region imported the practice of brewing it from Russia, which is just across the border from Finnmark. The respondent (NEG 18905) says it was brewed... more... - Maitani
Found here: "Sixty-two year old survey results leave Lars wondering exactly what was meant in some cases. Keep that in mind the next time you search for word usage across centuries. Matching exact strings isn’t the same thing as matching the meanings attached to those strings. You can imagine what gaps and ambiguities might exist when the time period stretches to centuries, if not millennia, and our knowledge of the languages is learned in a modern context." - Maitani
How Tibetans Adapted to Such High Altitudes - Scientific American -
How Tibetans Adapted to Such High Altitudes - Scientific American
"In Scientific American's special issue on human evolution anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin–Madison explains—despite some people's insistence humans are no longer subject to natural selection—that we have in fact evolved dramatically in the last 30,000 years and will continue to do so into the future. One of the most fascinating examples of such recent evolution, which we did not have room to include in the magazine feature, is how Tibetans have adapted to living at very high altitudes. You can learn more about such evolution at these links:" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
TYWKIWDBI ("Tai-Wiki-Widbee"): A walkway in Jerez -
TYWKIWDBI ("Tai-Wiki-Widbee"): A walkway in Jerez
"“Jerez” is the hispanicized version of “Sherish” which was its Moorish name when the town was under Islamic rule. The English speaking world modified the Arabic into “Sherry,” Jerez being the origin of Sherry wines." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Mmmm. Sherry. - Mark H
Beautiful - Sepi ⌘ سپی
I did a little search on this town and found it beautiful and interesting, displaying a rich history and so many different faces! Reminded me that I need to see Andalusia. Now I am planning on (= dreaming of) visiting the Cádiz province. #wanderlust - Maitani
Maitani, when I visited Seville, I saw some places similar. You see a lot in Andalusia. - Sepi ⌘ سپی
Sepi, I always hoped one day I would visit Seville, Córdoba, and Granada. Now the idea is, what if I stay in a not-so-famous town which is fascinating, too, and take a few tours to other places. Sevilla, for example, is about 80 km from Jerez. Btw, Sepi, I am interested to learn which places you saw and which impressed you most. :-) - Maitani
Cadiz is just down the road. And Tarifa, the southern most point of the European continent, is just a bit further down the street :) - Eivind
Eivind, did you have any favourite place(s) in Andalusia? :-) - Maitani
Rhonda is spectacular. I loved the Pueblos Blancos and the mountains around them. Córdoba is packed full of history (pre-Arab history, as well). The ruins of Medina Azahara and, of course, Alhambra :) - Eivind
Yeast Study Suggests Genetics Are Random but Evolution Is Not | Simons Foundation -
Yeast Study Suggests Genetics Are Random but Evolution Is Not | Simons Foundation
"In his fourth-floor lab at Harvard University, Michael Desai has created hundreds of identical worlds in order to watch evolution at work. Each of his meticulously controlled environments is home to a separate strain of baker’s yeast. Every 12 hours, Desai’s robot assistants pluck out the fastest-growing yeast in each world — selecting the fittest to live on — and discard the rest. Desai then monitors the strains as they evolve over the course of 500 generations. His experiment, which other scientists say is unprecedented in scale, seeks to gain insight into a question that has long bedeviled biologists: If we could start the world over again, would life evolve the same way?" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Many biologists argue that it would not, that chance mutations early in the evolutionary journey of a species will profoundly influence its fate. “If you replay the tape of life, you might have one initial mutation that takes you in a totally different direction,” Desai said, paraphrasing an idea first put forth by the biologist Stephen Jay Gould in the 1980s." - Maitani
"Desai’s yeast cells call this belief into question. According to results published in Science in June, all of Desai’s yeast varieties arrived at roughly the same evolutionary endpoint (as measured by their ability to grow under specific lab conditions) regardless of which precise genetic path each strain took. It’s as if 100 New York City taxis agreed to take separate highways in a race to the Pacific Ocean, and 50 hours later they all converged at the Santa Monica pier." - Maitani
From Bactria to Taxila | A database of ressources on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asian studies - http://frombactriatotaxila.wor...
From Bactria to Taxila | A database of ressources on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asian studies
"The web is a fantastic tool, whose applications and implications are progressing at an exponential rate. So are the studies on Hellenistic and Imperial Central Asia, that really have begun to develop in the 70s and are increasing since the last twenty years. Websites dealing with ancient Central Asia exist, as well as digitized version of books, articles and reviews on the subject. But, even at the dawn of the “semantic web”, they are dispatched and thinly spread, the consequences being a great difficulty for everyone to find them and, often, the frustration to find digitized sources in a later stage, way after it would be needed." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The work presented here is made of the will to resolve this problem. This blog will mostly function like a portal: internet ressources will be listed in a large bibliography, with incorporated links to their current location on the web. This site will not host books neither articles. In this way, if an author wants to remove its work from the net, he won’t have to pay attention of this... more... - Maitani
Edition Open Access | Melammu - The Ancient World in an Age of Globalization -
Edition Open Access | Melammu - The Ancient World in an Age of Globalization
"Melammu volumes have broadened the horizons of studies of antiquity by encouraging the crossing of geographical and cultural boundaries between ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean and Near East. The present Melammu volume extends from Greece to India, with articles on Phrygia and Armenia, also viewing texts from ancient Israel, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. The globalization described in this volume extends over language barriers and literatures, showing how texts as well as goods can travel between societies and regions. This collection of papers offer new insights and perspectives into connections between the Mediterranean World, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Persia and India." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Archaeobotanical Database | University of Tuebingen Archaeology Data Service -
Archaeobotanical Database | University of Tuebingen Archaeology Data Service
"The research project The archaeobotanical database is part of a research project ( for details follow this ) that investigates the development of prehistoric wild plant floras of the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. The geographic area (go to map ) represented in the data, includes Greece, Turkey, Western Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and Northern Egypt. The chronological frame comprises the Chalcolithic period, Bronze and Iron Ages, up to Medieval periods. The project is established at the Institute of Pre- and Protohistory and Medieval Archaeology at the University of Tübingen (Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters der Universität Tübingen) and conducted by Simone Riehl. Financial support has been provided by the Ministry of Arts and Science (Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Baden-Württemberg) and the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Iceland Eruption, Largest for a Century, Shows No Signs of Stopping -
Iceland Eruption, Largest for a Century, Shows No Signs of Stopping
"The largest lava eruption for over a century is currently underway in central Iceland." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Since August 31, liquid rock has been streaming from a mile-long fissure in the plains around Bardarbunga, the country’s second highest volcano. Ármann Höskuldsson, a volcanologist from the University of Iceland, says that the fissure has now spewed more lava, by area, than any eruption since the 19th century. The university’s most recent estimate puts the amount of lava at nearly eight square miles — enough to cover a quarter of the island of Manhattan." - Maitani
Coffee genome sheds light on the evolution of caffeine -- ScienceDaily -
Coffee genome sheds light on the evolution of caffeine -- ScienceDaily
"An international research team has sequenced the genome of the coffee plant Coffea canephora. By comparing genes in the coffee, tea and chocolate plants, the scientists show that enzymes involved in making caffeine likely evolved independently in these three organisms. More than 8.7 million tons of coffee was produced in 2013; it is the principal agricultural product of many tropical nations." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Cool. :) - Jenny H. from Android
The Origins of Yiddish—A Response to Philologos, Part
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"The Jewish Daily Forward has recently published a four-part essay by “Philologos” on the origins of Yiddish (see here, here, here, and here). While the essay is well-researched and superbly written, I do feel that some clarifications, corrections, and a more in-depth look at some aspects of this problem are in order. Inspired by both Philologos’ original essay and the Jewish Passover tradition revolving around the number four, this response is quadripartite. I begin by summarizing the four (!) hypotheses relating to the origin of Yiddish reviewed by Philologus." - Maitani
could the khazarian hypothesis be more implausible you think? - Jarolim Gayri
I don't know enough about the genetic theory, but it seems clear that Khazarian as a Turkic language can't possibly be a major source of Yiddish, which is Germanic. - Maitani
Btw, the few times I listened to a person speaking Yiddish, I never had difficulties understanding what they were saying. There were a few words I hadn't heard before, or some whose usage seemed weird to me, but syntax, morphology and even most of the words sounded familiar. - Maitani
I was always taught that Yiddish could be considered a Middle High German offshoot. - kendrak
That's how it sounds. :-) The Rheinland hypothesis and the Bavarian scenario are both based on this assumption, they just elaborate on it historically and linguistically.I am interested in learning how the Sorbian scenario fits in the picture. I haven't learned enough yet, so far I have read only part 1 of the series. - Maitani
I need to read the study, obviously. :) Sorbisch is a weird element, because it's not Mittlehochdeutsch, but at the same time it's also not Niederdeutsch. Man am I out of practice. - kendrak
Sorbian is a Slavic language/a group of West Slavic dialects still spoken by a few people in parts of Eastern Germany. - Maitani
Kendra, if it interests you, I really recommend having a look at Asya's article. She is absolutely on top of things, and at the same time entertaining. - Maitani
A September Afternoon on the Grand River, 1825 | Symbiartic, Scientific American Blog Network -
A September Afternoon on the Grand River, 1825 | Symbiartic, Scientific American Blog Network
"One of the most powerful contributions of scientific illustration is to give us an informed visual where it is typically impossible to find one. While creating images for for a nature walk along the Grand River Walter Bean Trail near Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, illustrator Emily Damstra incorporated archaeological evidence as well as records about the First Nations people to recreate this late summer scene." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Babel's Dawn: A Breakthrough Paper -
"The story of language and its origins that has been emerging on this blog is fairly simple: Members of the human lineage began using words when a population became communal enough to trust one another with shared knowledge. Those first language users differed from their ancestors in the nature of their community, not in the acquisition of some new verbal skill. Once populations of language users became competitive, selection pressures to enrich language functions grew stronger and new verbal abilities did evolve. The competition à enrichment cycle persisted and continued to produce expanded verbal abilities." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"How might such a story be tested? Points 1 and 2 imply that, intellectually, some parts of language should require no special human abilities, but point 3 implies that some parts of language do depend on special adaptations. So I have been keeping an eye open for any findings that would support or demolish these expectations." - Maitani
"A review article by Heather K.J. van der Lely and Steven Pinker titled "The biological basis of language," seems to be the paper I have been looking for. Basing their work on the study of children with Grammatical Specific Language Impairment (G-SLI), the authors sort syntax and phonology under two headings: basic and extended." - Maitani
The biological basis of language: insight from developmental grammatical impairments - Maitani
More on Basic and Extended Syntax - Maitani
How languages evolve - Alex Gendler - YouTube -
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