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Questions tagged [language]

Questions on historical use of languages and their development.

2
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2answers
247 views

What's the Ancient Egyptian word for “benedict”?

I've been searching for, but can't for the life of me find the equivalent in ancient Egyptian to the word "benedict". Tried with "blessed", "glorified", and "exalted" too to no avail. Thanks in ...
23
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3answers
6k views

Why did the Romans change Europe's language, but the barbarians didn't?

When the Roman republic/empire took over the Mediterranean between 40 BC and 20 AD, Vulgar Latin replaced the local languages almost completely. Basque seems to be the only remaining pre-Roman ...
9
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2answers
906 views

Where and how did scientists of the 18th and 19th century learn foreign languages?

I'm always amazed by the the apparent amount of foreign languages that scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries seem to have possessed. With the end of Latin as the main scholarly language, ...
6
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5answers
1k views

Why didn't the Greek language survive in Egypt?

During antiquity, there were multiple Greek colonies in today's Egypt. Later Alexander the Great conquered these territories and then the Ptolemaic Kingdom was established. Some of today's Egypt was ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Language Grammar History [closed]

I was trying to search for an article on the Web but cannot find from an authentic source. I want to know when and which language was first formalized and its grammar specified.
6
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2answers
298 views

Were the Quebecois ever considered higher-class because they spoke French?

For a very long time, French was, well, the lingua franca. All courts spoke French, from England to Russia. Everyone else, as always, tried to emulate what the nobles were doing, and learned French if ...
4
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2answers
537 views

How much of a effect did linguistic relativism play in ancient Europe?

In linguistics we have a concept known as 'language relativism'. It's the idea that since languages change with time, and that they can share features with each other, the borders between them can be ...
42
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3answers
6k views

Why did English adopt Kamikaze (神風) as a loanword instead of Tokko (特攻) during/after WWII?

Kamikaze (you know, the 'crash plane into boat' thing) is, for Japanese learners like myself, initially a very confusing word. In Japanese it's 神風, 神 meaning god, gods, divinity, etc. And 風 means wind,...
1
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4answers
768 views

Why are Turkish people and other Turkik people considered of Mongolic race if their language is not in the Mongolic language family? [closed]

I saw that Turkish people are considered of Mongolic race even though Mongolic and Turkic are separate language families? Why are those races considered the same but their languages are so different ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Is the adamic alphabet the origin of the Greek? [closed]

The adamic alphabet seems to cover the entire Greek alphabet including even more letters and symbols, like sampi, heta (which I thought was just the origin of eta, but apparently not), yot, koppa etc.....
11
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1answer
579 views

When did Ireland become majority English-speaking

It seems to me it was around the time of the Famine of the 1840s, given that it was particularly deadly to poorer, more rural Gaelic-speaking areas. But the best I can find are vague statements like "...
6
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1answer
2k views

When did French become the official language of France? [closed]

While French did exist in France and differed depending on areas, it was not the official language. When did it become so ?
4
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1answer
78 views

Who was the Irish interpreter in Monterey in 1822?

Kirill Khlebnikov was a Russian business agent who made several visits to Alta California. His "Travel Notes" from 1822 describe Khlebnikov's visit to Governor Sola in Monterey, who sent for "the ...
9
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3answers
641 views

In the “Immigrationist theory” of Romanians (Vlachs), how did they became the vast majority in Transylvania?

The origins of Romanians is, for me, one of history's more interesting problems and I mostly agree with the "Immigrationist theory". The great mystery for me is how could they become the majority in ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

Looking for a (preferably digital) collection of McCarthy speeches (transcripts)

I am analysing the history of demagogy and it's rhetoric using modern data science. I have acquired some collections of speeches dating back to George Washington, but unfortunately I have not been ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

Why did Icelandic begin to diverge from the Continental north Germanic languages specifically between 1050 and 1350?

According to wikipedia: Between 1050 and 1350 Icelandic began to develop independently from other Scandinavian and Germanic languages; Why did it begin then? Iceland was being settled from 874. ...
1
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2answers
124 views

Which immigrants became elected officials in an acquired language? [closed]

With some exceptions, candidates up for election are usually natural born citizens that are native speakers of the government's language. With the exception of the first generation of leaders in ...
8
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2answers
378 views

How long did Latin survive in Bavaria?

After my question What happened north of the Alps after the romans "left"?, I read through the sources given by the comments and answers. One paragraph in this post was especially interesting to me: ...
6
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2answers
369 views

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935?

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935? The literacy campaigns in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1940 taught many people to read. Many people who did not speak Russian had no ...
6
votes
2answers
288 views

Was there a historical figure named Fecund?

This is going to sound odd, but a Terry Pratchett book lead me to look up the meaning of the word "fecund", and the result included a google ngrams graph of its use in written works. As you can see, ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Have the Pyramid Texts been translated into German?

I would like to know if the Pyramid Texts have been "officially" translated into German and, if so, where I can find them. I am interested in the texts of Pepi I. There are some Incantations of Pepi ...
11
votes
1answer
369 views

What is the origin of currency signs being placed before the numerical value?

For most units, they symbol/abbreviation is placed after the number: 200 m, 75° F, 60 mph, 100 watts, etc. When stating values of money, such as $500, the dollar sign is placed before the number. ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Which of the Nuremberg defendants spoke English, French, or Russian?

At the first Nuremberg trial, twenty-one defendants were tried in person: Karl Dönitz, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Hans Fritzsche, Walther Funk, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Alfred Jodl, Ernst ...
8
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2answers
946 views

What was the standard spoken language (dialect) in the Three Kingdoms period?

Mandarin is the standard spoken language (dialect) in today's China, meaning distinct regions may have their own dialect, but they can all use Mandarin to communicate with each other. Since all ...
3
votes
1answer
352 views

Why and when were ancient Egyptian hieroglyph phonograms used?

There are writings on the walls of some Egyptian temples of Hellenistic period written in Egyptian hieroglyph phonograms. Howevrer it was strange for me to know that these are Greek texts actually. ...
1
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1answer
1k views

When and where was the term “nigra” used and what was its relation to “nigger”? [closed]

I was watching two movies (Selma and The Help). Both are set in the USA South, in the 1960s. I noticed the whites sometimes said "nigra" (rather than the more familiar "nigger"). Did people in the ...
6
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1answer
250 views

Was the term 'renaissance' used during said period?

Just as the title suggests, was the term for the renaissance years coined and used during those years, or is it a modern word used retrospectively?
6
votes
2answers
736 views

Did any Native Americans adopt a script from Europe (before being assimilated)?

As far as I know, no Native Americans developed their own written language. (Correct me if I'm wrong. There may have been some numeral systems, but that's all I'm aware of.) So now I'm wondering if ...
1
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1answer
164 views

When did the Hudson Bay get its current name in French?

In French, the Hudson Bay is called "La baie d'Hudson". Apparently it was originally called "mer du Nord" (North Sea) in the 1600's, the according to its french wiki page. Now obviously, Henry Hudson ...
2
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0answers
188 views

When and how (why) did the idea that gender is not biological start [closed]

In my understanding the gender originally was based on the organs, there was cross dressing but it was considered a man dressing as a woman. And latter this changed and gender became something ...
1
vote
1answer
165 views

In 1700-1900 England, how were 'manners an end in themselves and not merely a means to achieve propriety by conformity'?

What does 1 mean: 'manners were [...] by conformity'? I know little about English history. How does 1 justify or mitigate 2; because to Anglophones in 2016, 1700-1900 English (e.g. Sheridan's opening ...
8
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2answers
941 views

How much Ancient Egyptian survived into modern Coptic & Egyptian Arabic?

The Egyptian spoken language has evolved dramatically due to influences from the many foreign powers who ruled Egypt over the ages. Coptic is an Egyptian language with strong influences from Greek, ...
93
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3answers
13k views

Why are Germans referred to so differently in different languages?

I was inspired by the other question "Why are the German and French languages so different?". But while, for me, the answer was obvious (the Romans did not conquer most parts of today's Germany and so ...
2
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0answers
434 views

What was the stand of K Kamaraj about anti-Hindi agitation of 1965?

What was the stand of K Kamaraj in anti Hindi agitation in 1965? What were his actions to stop the people from riot? And whether the leaders from Congress in Tamilnadu supported the Hindi imposition?
58
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6answers
19k views

Why are the German and French languages so different?

My understanding (which could be wrong) is the following: During and before the period of the fall of western Rome (roughly 400 AD), the Franks and the Alemanni were tribal people who moved around a ...
6
votes
2answers
417 views

Did barbarians capture monks or priest of civilized kingdoms to teach them?

I'm watching the loosely accurate TV show Vikings. When Vikings pillage the Briton monastery of Lindisfarne, they also capture some monks as slaves. Later, one of the monks assimilates pretty well to ...
6
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1answer
1k views

How would one refer to/address a Shogun?

In the Bakumatsu era, how would one refer to a shogun (when talking about him with someone else) or address him directly if talking to him? Is it just name + -sama suffix? I am interest in the answer ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Is this alphabet from tawantinsuyu or is it a modern invention (from the latter centuries)?

I am asking about tawa. When I studied quichua as language, I was told that quichua was not written. However here, in Ecuador, I found many sources (the main one is a magazine delivered by Amawtay ...
1
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2answers
527 views

How did the written Polish language survive in eastern Germany during partition (if it survived at all)?

After the partition of poland in the late 18th century, Prussia aquired a large part of Polish territory. Those areas suffered heavy Germanization process through assimilation and suppression of ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Did French ever have any special status in Austria?

Did French ever have any special status in Austria or the Austrian empire, akin to it being the language of royalty in England (and possibly Russia, I'm not sure) (as opposed to it being just another ...
3
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0answers
155 views

What is the origin of language? [closed]

The use of language is one of the most conspicuous and diagnostic traits that distinguish Homo sapiens from other species. Unlike writing, spoken language leaves no trace.Can we get a direct method in ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Could any Habsburg kings of Hungary speak Hungarian?

From 1526 to 1918, Hungary was ruled by the Habsburgs. Could any of the Habsburg kings speak Hungarian, and if so, to what degree? I know that Sissi, the consort of Franz Joseph I, was particularly ...
9
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4answers
455 views

Why did Latin take root so deeply in Italy, Gaul, and the Iberian Peninsula, but not Greece or beyond?

I was just reflecting on the fact that Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French all evolved from Latin, the language spread across that area by the Roman Empire 2000 years ago. (Romanian too, I ...
11
votes
1answer
401 views

“The signal on the Zibby is dead” - what is the meaning of “Zibby”?

I am line editing a book about World War II and the Battle of the Coral Sea. The action is taking place in the front and rear cockpits of a Devastator torpedo-bomber aircraft. The pilot and gunner ...
31
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7answers
5k views

Why does Romanian culture have Latin influences?

Romania is located between Bulgaria, Serbia on one side and Ukraine/many Slavic countries on the other. Romanian is however a Romance (Latin) language, and not Slavic. They don't use the Cyrillic ...
8
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4answers
370 views

Did the passage from Latin to English, in England, help science flourish?

On a YouTube video about the origins of English, they said that replacing Latin with English in science was beneficial to the field; scientists were thus able to easily discuss and understand the ...
5
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1answer
700 views

Did the Byzantine Empire use Roman numerals?

Wikipedia says about Byzantine emperor Heraclius that he was responsible for "introducing Greek as the Eastern Empire's official language". If so, is it right to assume that Byzantines used Roman ...
8
votes
1answer
594 views

What does it mean: “French was a lingua franca in the Ottoman caliphal court?”

According to the Economist: The Ottoman caliphate: Straddling two worlds Ruling from Istanbul, the caliphs kept polyglot courts, reflecting the multiple religions and races represented there. ...
2
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0answers
221 views

How did French people greet in 1400? [closed]

How did French people greet in 1400? In particular I'm looking for french expressions that a peasant like Saint Joan of Arc could have used to greet a friend.
13
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3answers
4k views

Who was the last English king whose first language was French?

What I remember from my college course is that whenever a delegation of barons came to discuss their grievances in English, the King would hear them out politely without understanding a word, conclude ...