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173

SOMETIME AFTER 1984 BICAMERAL SCRIPT HAS BEEN AROUND FOR CENTURIES THOUGH THE RULES FOR ITS USE HAVE ONLY SOLIDIFIED IN THE LAST FEW HUNDRED YEARS. WHILE PRINTED MATERIAL WAS ABLE TO USE BOTH UPPER AND LOWER CASE, THE NEED FOR EFFICIENCY IN TELEGRAPH COMMUNICATIONS MEANT THERE WAS AN ERA WHEN ALL ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION WAS IN ALL-CAPS FROM THE EARLY 19TH ...


158

By comparisons with known languages. Let's take the example of Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is well known that the ancient Egyptian script was decoded thanks to the Rosetta Stone, which recorded an identical passage in Ancient Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphs. The ancient Egyptian language, and hieroglyphs, were thus deciphered through comparison with the ...


132

The tradition of all caps denoting shouting arose from typesetting of printed publications. The 6 September 1958 Bookseller: The Organ of the Book Trade says: It [a 16 page list of books] picks out titles in red, and speaks moderately with large-size upper and lower-case letters rather than shouting with all caps. The effect is pleasing to anybody ...


122

Alexandria is sometimes called the New York of the ancient world. That means you might very well use almost any ancient old-world language you like, as the people were incredibly diverse. But the History of Alexandria shows a few 'preferred choices': Ethnic divisions The early Ptolemies were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three ...


112

In Ngram viewer, along the bottom you can find the actual books that contain the words. By following those links I came across The Changeling By Thomas Middleton, William Rowley whose text looks like this: So there you have it. "Lol" is a contraction of "Lollio", which looks like a character's name in this book. In general, I would be extremely wary ...


107

No, there is no known record of that kind of native linguistic script analysis in pre-modern China, although its quite possible it came up and was rejected, for reasons I'll outline below. The main issue here is that the mostly-logographic system China uses has historically been covering up for the fact that quite a few Chinese "dialects" are not mutually-...


79

The Wikipedia article on this is quite detailed. In short, Germany was never conquered by the Roman Empire, so several tribes maintained their identity as well as the Germanic language. On top of that, you have Germany's central location, out of all those factors the different names emerged based on mostly 5 different origins. Deutsch - from the Germanic ...


75

Defense of German heritage against Romans The biggest reason for how the lands east of the Rhine retained their German identity (unlike the Gauls of modern day France who lost their Celtic identity) is the Battle of Teutoburg Forest where the Germans won a decisive victory against Roman invaders. After this battle, the Romans never seriously attempted to ...


70

Overview Since there are a fair amount of them, languages are grouped below by language family: Basque A linguistic isolate native to the Pyrenees mountains between Spain, and France. Source: "Location of the Basque-language provinces within Spain and France" by Eddo from Wikipedia.org Uralic Languages Source: "Linguistic maps of the ...


64

The short answer is that we don't. The pronunciations we use today are our best guess at how the ancients pronounced their words. For your two examples. We know that Sumerian had an immense influence on the Semitic language Akkadian. Because Akkadian was a Semitic language, and we have a wealth of data about how related Semitic languages were pronounced, ...


49

It's possible we adopted the term Kamikaze because that's what we heard from the Japanese themselves. The term was apparently used by Tokyo Rose on her broadcasts to the American troops. The book Lucky Lady: The World War II Heroics of the USS Santa Fe and Franklin,By Steve Jackson, states she declared the Japanese had a new "superweapon...the ...


48

The Holy Roman Empire (of the German Nations) was a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual coalition from its (unofficial) founding by Charlemagne in the 9th century AD. The German Empire would be a better term in fact, as it was founded and typically ruled by Germanic peoples. (Charlemagne himself was a Frank.) As Voltaire once perceptively quipped,...


48

Yes, but neither by the Chinese nor only for Chinese. Kublai Khan ordered the Tibetan Sakya trizin Phagpa to create a universal alphabet to be used by the languages of his empire. It's usually known after him as 'Phags-pa Script'. Because he wasn't interested in marking tones, Phagpa differentiated Chinese syllables by recourse to outdated pronunciations ...


46

Scotland has gradually changed to using English without being conquered by England. Now I shall temper that a little in that there have been English speaking people living in Scotland just as long as there have in England. The Anglo-Saxons settled south east Scotland as well as north east England. However, English didn't become the majority language for ...


42

Victor Henry Mair is an American Sinologist and professor of Chinese at the University of Pennsylvania, and this is what he wrote (emphasis mine): An English language report in The Quarterly Bulletin of Chinese Bibliography states that, on October 4, 1935, the government “authorized” the use of simplified characters in official and private documents. In ...


37

The short version is "it's complicated!", but I'll try to give a slightly more detailed explanation here. Rome established a single empire with a single language, currency and laws. This doesn't mean that other languages didn't survive - and even thrive - alongside the official Latin of the Romans. In the Eastern Empire particularly, we know that Greek and (...


37

Congusbongus's answer is very good, and points out that you can find the actual books that contribute to the spike: link. I think "higher prevalence of OCR errors, and very low sample population" is a solid hypothesis. I noticed one more phenomenon of pre-1800 English text that could contribute to this particular OCR error. See, "lol" has two "l"s, and pre-...


34

That particular website, well ... its not very credible. Its part of Wikia, a site designed for Science Fiction/Fantasy fans to create their own wikis. In other words, things don't get deleted/removed/edited out there just because they have no relation whatsoever to reality. This person's Wikia site reuses the name of the defunct precursor to Wikipedia, ...


32

I don't think there's much truth in this claim. Although the US does speak English, the spread of the English language is because British empire was the most successful amongst colonial empires. Although India was one of the important colonies (the so-called Jewel in the Crown), it wasn't the only one. There were other colonies in Australia, Canada, Africa ...


32

Romania was the ancient Roman province of Dacia. Under Roman rule, the province was systematically colonised and developed. It has been theorised that these Roman settlers, intermingling with Romanised native Dacians, become the ancestors of the modern Romanian people. Under this theory, the Romanians inherited a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin. ...


32

Before the development of the movable type printing press there was no such thing as "publication for the mass market". This meant that books were much rarer, and more expensive, than we are today used to. Also if you are thinking of a modern pocketbook that could be conveniently referred to in a market place, that form factor was not yet seen as generally ...


30

There was a separation between the noble french and the vulgar Old English. Or as I wrote in my comment: Who cares about the language of peasants I found a nice source for this assumption Middle English (1100-circa 1500 AD): After William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England in 1066 AD with his armies and became king, he ...


29

The Roman Empire, at it start under emperors Julius Caesar (44 BC) and Augustus (27 BC) had Latin as its main language, and the one spoken by its elites and leaders. At the end of it, with the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the prevailing language of the elites was Greek. The main change came under emperor Heraclius (610 to 641), whose ...


29

I mean if the people felt they were Portuguese how could they accept kings with Asturian origins? Because they didn't feel they were "Portuguese" until later on. Firstly, you are taking the modern approach of the nation-state which was absent at the time of the creation of Portugal. At that time, what counted was the relationships of loyalty between the ...


29

There's a typographical distinction between an actual f and the ſ you're referring to in the text. See for instance the difference between 'magiſtrats' and 'behalf' in the second paragraph. The 'ſ' is a long 's'; the Wikipedia article has a very long section on its history and decline of use. In general, the long s fell out of use in Roman and italic ...


27

The supposed relationship between rongorongo (the Rapa Nui script) and the Indus Valley script was proposed in a 1932 article by the Hungarian engineer Vilmos Hevesy (Guillaume de Hevesy). I'm not sure where the picture in the question is from, but many of the symbols shown do look very similar to those in de Hevesy's article: At the time, there were ...


26

(A little background for others reading this post) In 1868 Emperor Meiji re-established imperial rule. To move Japan into the modern era, he encouraged his people to explore and learn from the more technologically advanced cultures of the world. Even in the late 1800s, English was the language of international commerce. Emperor Meiji's push to learn ...


26

The Franks were a German tribe, speaking a Germanic language. They conquered part of the Roman Empire roughly corresponding to modern-day France. However, the common folk in that area spoke Latin, and never stopped just because their ruling class was now German. Over time their Latin language drifted until it became the language we now call "French". ...


25

There was a Autonome Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik der Wolgadeutschen (Russian Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика Немцев Поволжья, English Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) From Wikipedia: The republic was created following the Russian Revolution, by October 29 (some claim 19th) Decree of the Soviet government, Volga ...


25

TLDR: Phonetic scripts won't work because of how the Chinese languages are structured. So it never really came up before Europeans arrived. Language Issues: There are several ways to answer this question; before I get into the history, it is important to ask: Is it possible to represent Chinese in a phonetic script? According to my first Chinese language ...


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