Porcelain Atlas of the Dutch Provinces at the Het Loo Palace, the Neth...

Jul 13, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in October 2012] As my readers know, I always keep an eye open for innovative, useful, and elegant maps. Naturally, I was mesmerized on my recent trip [in September 2012] to the Netherlands to see...

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Is Fish “Who” or “What”?

Jun 22, 2015 by

I was asked today whether ryba ‘fish’ in Russian is a “who” or a “what”. Fascinating question, as it turns out! “Who or what?” is a question of animacy, a feature that is both semantic and grammatical (morphological) in Russian. From...

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Some Observations on Morphophonological Adaptation of English-derived ...

Jun 22, 2015 by

As discussed in an earlier post, loanwords (i.e. words borrowed from another language) often bear their foreign origins on their sleeve, so to speak. However, it is not true that loanwords always retain their pristine phonological...

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The Problematic Map of the “Second Most-Spoken Languages”

Jun 19, 2015 by

Recently, I have been contacted by Matt Zajechowski about “an interactive graphic/map that [he] helped develop with Olivet Nazarene University that covers the second most spoken languages around the world”. This interactive map (or...

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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 Saint Petersburg a Primate City?—And the Demographic “Tale of Two C...

Jun 13, 2015 by

In the previous two posts (see here and here), I have discussed the concept of “primate city” and particularly how it applies to Russia, where two of the country’s largest cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, are traditionally...

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The Tale of Two Cities—and the Journey between Them

Jun 12, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in November 2013] My previous post considered Moscow and Saint Petersburg to be Russia’s twin primate cities. The special role of these two cities is further highlighted by a consideration of the...

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