Dante Alighieri and the Italian Language

Jul 15, 2015 by

My recent trip to Italy has taken me to several places associated with the country’s leading cultural hero—Dante Alighieri. I have visited Florence, where he was born and spent his early years, and Verona, where he stayed for some...

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Is Geordie “the closest dialect to Anglo-Saxon”?

May 20, 2015 by

To continue with the Geordie theme, I was asked today whether Geordie is indeed “the closest dialect to Anglo-Saxon”—and the answers is “both yes and no”. I will use this forum to explain. Since Anglo-Saxon is the ancestral form of...

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Geordie Mysteries—And the Mysteries of the Geordie Dialect

May 14, 2015 by

In my earlier post on the geography of detective fiction, I noted a trend for mystery novels and TV shows, especially in Britain, to be set in peaceful locations where in actuality relatively few murders occur. Instead, writers and...

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Disentangling “The Tangled Roots of English”

Feb 28, 2015 by

[I am deeply grateful to Martin W. Lewis for the inspiring discussions of, and extensive collaboration on, the issues examined here.] Several articles, written by historical linguists, geneticists and archeologists, have been...

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Is “massive migration from the steppe … a source for Indo-European lan...

Feb 18, 2015 by

[I am deeply grateful to Martin W. Lewis for the inspiring discussions of, and extensive collaboration on, the issues examined here, as well as for editing the draft of this post.] The Biorxiv online has recently published an article...

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Gagauz, the Turkic-Speaking Minority of Moldova

Dec 14, 2014 by

The recent parliamentary election that took place in Moldova on 30 November 2014 has drawn my attention to an often-overlooked ethno-linguistic group: the Gagauz. As can be seen from the ElectoralGeography.com map reproduced on the...

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