Lingoblog, true crime and the identification of the victim after more than 30 years

Linea de tranvia en Watermael Boitsfort public domain scaled

(trigger warning: violent content)

Last year, November/December 2022, Lingoblog brought a quiz about a true crime. We had received a mail with the request to help to solve a crime that had been committed in 1992. The crime had not been resolved, but finally the identity of the victim has been identified, thanks to the tattoo with a text that we showed. The tattoo is not reproduced here. It can be seen in the article linked to below.

This was the story in the quiz:

In 1999 [sic] the body of a woman was found in Antwerp, Belgium (…) She had a tattoo on her body. But what does it say on the tattoo? Many people have looked at it,

Can sounds have meaning? The peculiar case of West-Flemish tj and dj

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As linguists, we investigate all sorts of building bocks of language, such as sentences, predicates, prefixes and suffixes, and even individual sounds like p and z. Most of these building blocks have some kind of meaning. For example, a sentence like The cat sat on the mat means something, a predicate like is crazy in John is crazy means something, and even prefixes and suffixes mean something, such as pre- in pre-heated, which means something like ‘done in advance’, so that pre-heated means ‘heated in advance’. But, you may ask, do sounds like p and z also have meaning?

We know that sounds may distinguish meaning, but it is not so obvious that they have meaning. For example, …