Turkey, Shmurkey! — A Response to Das et al. (2016)

Jun 10, 2016 by

As promised in an earlier post, I am presenting here an informal response to the article, published recently in Genome Biology and Evolution by Paul Wexler, Eran Elhaik and colleagues (henceforth, Das et al. 2016). To summarize my...

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Is Yiddish to Be Traced to Turkey?

Apr 29, 2016 by

[Thanks to Leni Silberman for originally drawing my attention to one of the media reports, and to Antonia Cavendish, Maria Soukhanova, Anna Dybo, Peter Shalen, Razib Khan, and Martin Lewis for helpful discussions.]   In the past few...

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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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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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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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The Fast-Disappearing Ninilchik Russian of Alaska—And Some of Its Ling...

Apr 6, 2015 by

Several followers of this blog and I have been discussing an article about the work of Andrei Kibrik (Moscow State University) and Mira Bergelson (The Higher School of Economics, Moscow) on “an antiquated dialect of Russian … still...

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