Urum, a Turkic Language of Pontic Greeks, Its Contact with Russian—And...

Jul 17, 2015 by

Some enthnolinguistic maps of the Caucasus region, such as the one reproduced from GeoCurrents, show “Greek” as one of the groups in south-central Georgia and bordering areas of northern Armenia. In actuality, these are Pontic...

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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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Primate Cities

Jun 12, 2015 by

[Note to readers: in the last few days I’ve been preparing slides for my upcoming mini-course on St. Petersburg and it has become apparent to me that it’s been losing its primate status. Hence, I am reposting the...

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Is French a Global Language?

Jun 2, 2015 by

An article by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry in Forbes challenged John McWhorter’s view that French is no longer an important global language (see McWhorter’s “Let’s Stop Pretending That French Is an Important Language” in The New Republic)....

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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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