Posh: from the sea or from the gypsies?

Sep 29, 2011 by

In the previous posting, I mentioned the word posh, an adjective describing stylish items or members of the upper class, which came into the American lexicon from “across the pond”. But what is the origin of this word in...

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The invisible minority of Europe

Jan 7, 2011 by

To stay with the theme of languages of India, let’s look at the “invisible minority” of Europe: the Roma people, also known as the Gypsies, and their language, Romani. First of all, although the majority of the Roma...

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Are dying languages worth saving?

Sep 21, 2010 by

A recent conference at the Trinity College Carmarthen in Wales focused on the question of language endangerment. Experts estimate that 25 languages die each year. This amounts to losing 250 languages in a decade, something many...

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Language or dialect?

Jun 25, 2010 by

In his comment to an earlier posting, Joel Hoffman said that “what seems like a dialect to one person might seem like a completely different language to another”. And this goes right to the core of why it’s so...

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