Sietze Norder and languishing languages and islands

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As a co-author of a recently published article on languages on islands, I was delighted to learn that there was a biologist who had written a book on islands in which he also wrote something about languages. The author of the book is called Sietze Norder.

I was even more delighted to learn that this researcher was now part of the research group of linguist Rik “Enrique” van Gijn in Leiden. At the end of the 1990s, Rik van Gijn was in Aarhus for half a year to write his thesis on the sound systems of mixed languages, for which he had sought my expertise. Van Gijn is now working at the University of Leiden on the languages ​​of …

The future of the Romani language

Romanis historical distribution

Today, April 8, is International Romani Day.

The Romani language belongs to the family of neo-Indian languages. It is closely related to Hindi and has its roots in Sanskrit. However, Romani shares features of European languages as well, as some European languages influenced Romani (Greek, Romanian, Turkish and some Slavonic languages). This makes Romani unique, not only because Romani is the only Indian language spoken outside of India, but also because it is an Indo-European language related to other European languages.

Romani developed outside of India during the period of Roma migration from India to Europe some 1,000 years ago. On their way to Europe, Roma came in contact with different languages and those languages influenced the Romani lexicon and …

Indigenous languages ​​in Brazil and the Corona epidemic.

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Soon after the start of the corona pandemic, the Associação Brasileira de Linguística (ABRALIN) initiated a virtual lecture and workshop series entitled Abralin ao Vivo: Linguists Online. The many wonderful contributions, from budding local talents to international celebrities (including Peter Bakker from Denmark), have been recorded on the website and can be watched again. Brazil is of course well represented in the program, and the indigenous languages ​​are often featured. Brazil has up to 160 different Amerindian languages, of which around 120 are spoken in the Amazon. Virtually all of Brazil’s indigenous languages ​​are in danger of extinction due to factors such as the small size population groups, the appeal of the Portuguese language, and the physical …

Languages in and around Armenia

Armenian alphabet 004

As of November 2020, the territories where native Armenian speakers live have become smaller. Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, launched a war against the unrecognized territory of Artsakh (also known as Nagorno Karabakh), inhabited by ethnic Armenians. As a result, a large part of Artsakh was given to Azerbaijan, and ethnic Armenians had to leave their homes. Many of those displaced families had roots in the area reaching back centuries.

Being displaced from ancestral homelands is no news to Armenians. Within the past two hundred years Armenians have been through a genocide, various massacres and pogroms by Turkey and Azerbaijan. There is even a word for “eviction of Armenians” in Armenian  – հայաթափում (“hayatapum”), where հայ (“hay”) means “Armenian” and թափում …

Revolution in Yiddish teaching: The New Yiddish Textbook In eynem

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It was nothing less than a revolution that hit the world of Yiddish teaching this summer, when the multimedia Yiddish textbook In eynem (White Goat Press, 2020) was published. For many years, Yiddish students have been studying the language with Uriel Weinreich’s College Yiddish from 1949, or with Selva Zucker’s Yiddish: An Introduction to the Language, Literature and Culture from 1995.

Now, Yiddish students and teachers have a more up-to-date alternative. In eynem is a monumental textbook, counting 800 pages (split up in two volumes), with beautifully illustrated dialogues, word explanations, exercises and texts about Jewish culture. It features a goldmine of material for the first two years of Yiddish studies. A dedicated website offers even more teaching material, e.g. …

Tevfik Esenç & Ubykh: cenaze – begrafenis – begravelse – funeral

TÜRKÇE: Ünlü Kafkas Ubihca dilinin son abidelerinden (konuSan) olan Tevfik Esenç, 7 Ekim 1992 hayatini kaybetti ve son yolculuğuna uğurlandi. Sadece danimarkali Ole Stig Andersen son fotoğraflari Cekebildi. Bu kendince bir ilk ve Tevfik Esenc kendisiyle  beraber ünlü Ubihca dilinin  ( kendine özgü 80 ünsüz sesli olan Ubihca) sonsuza veda etmesi oldu. Türkçe nin 22 ünsüz sesi bulunuyor.

ENGLISH: On the 7th of October 1992, Tevfik Esenç, the last speaker of the famous Caucasian language Ubykh, passed away. He was buried that same day. Ole Stig Andersen from Denmark was there. He was the only one who took pictures. These unique pictures are shown here for the very first time. With his photos, Ole Stig Andersen recorded a special event …

Researchers hiding in fear of GDPR


GDPR – business or pleasure?

Do you remember GDPR (or, for mnemonic assistance, Gitte and Per)? This is one of three posts on the EU law that everybody feared last year: What did we think it was, what is it, and what effects has it had?

In the weeks before 25 May 2018, I received up to thirty e-mails a day (yes, I have too many accounts at webshops and social media) with similar text: “We are updating our Privacy Policy”.

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… all on occasion of GDPR, EU’s new data law, which Lingoblog has written about here and here.

The many e-mails made me think if I ought to send a similar one out to all of my …