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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Ancient DNA and the Indo-European Question, Yet Again

Jun 17, 2015 by

In a recent blog post on Diversity Linguistics blog entitled “Ancient DNA and the Indo-European Question”, Paul Heggarty of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) reviews two genetics articles, just...

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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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Why Are There So Many Arabic Varieties?—And Traces of Roman Heritage i...

Apr 27, 2015 by

One of the question that keeps coming up in my online “Languages of the World” course is why languages diversify. As Ferdinand de Saussure explains in his Course in General Linguistics, language diversification is produced by the...

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What Did Proto-Indo-European Sound Like?—And How Can We Know?

Apr 26, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in October 2013] Archaeology magazine recently published an article entitled “Telling Tales in Proto-Indo-European”, which included a recording of a short text in Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the...

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Paleolithic Continuity Theory: Assumptions and Problems

Apr 2, 2015 by

As I have discussed in my earlier posts, the Steppe (Kurgan) and Anatolian hypotheses of Indo-European homeland remain the strongest contenders (the Balkano-Carpathian theory is another stronger candidate, to which I am hoping to...

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