June 28th, 2007


language study tools


i recently restarted studying latin, and this time, i am flying solo. i have already downloaded and am using interlex, which is easy to use and awesome, but i know there has to be more tools i can use for latin (and others).

basically, i'm wondering if there are utilities, online or otherwise, into which i can input word stems (verbs, nouns, etc) and then have blanks to fill in the verb or case endings. for example, have it set to display "HABL" and then have the standard 2x3 chart to fill in endings (o, as, a, amos, áis, an)...

any other ideas are cool, too.

(cross-posted to latin)
PV=nRT snoopy


If and when you who codeswitch (use words from one language when you're speaking another, or even just speak a mishkaboble of two or more languages)...how do you conjugage the words you're borrowing?  When I find myself transfering nouns from one language to another, I usually take the plural rule of the language that I'm actually speaking.  And when I transfer verbs, sometimes I say "will" before, or tack an "ed" or "ing" on the end of the original infinitive in the other language.  Sometimes I conjugate according to the original lanuguage and just used that as is, and at times I've found myself conjugating twice, subjecting the words to the rules of both languages.  I haven't found a rule of when I do what, not that either of them are correct or that you should codeswitch at all...  Does anyone have similar experiences?
Recent Me

Native American grammars?

I'm looking for online reference grammars for, well, a decent number of Native American / First Nations languages from the northeastern USA, eastern Canada and western Greenland.

My primary interest is in materials for Ojibwe/Chippewa, Abenaki, Maliseet, Mahican, Míkmaq, and Innu-aimun (or other Eastern Algonqiuan languages), as well as Mohawk, Wyandot, and Laurentian (or other Lake Iroquoian langs), and anything in the eastern area of Inuktitut including Kalaallisut, Inuttut and their neighbors.

Sites giving raw vocab and/or introductory teach-yourself lessons are easy enough to come by that I can get a "feel" for the languages in question, but my project needs declension and conjugation tables, sandhi and liaison charts, critical grammar gotchas, discussions of animacy, activeness, case, pronomial systems, and all the other condensed and explicit stuff you get in a real grammar.

Any suggestions?
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    aggravated aggravated
conlang atom

On Etymologies Related to the Morals of Stories

The other day, my wife was asking me about what a talent is. My guess is that most of you would answer to yourselves, "It is a natural gift or ability." But she obviously knows that; she was asking rather about what a "talent" referred to in the Parable of the Talents found in the Gospel of Matthew. I explained that a talent was a unit of currency. I then made a guess that our English term "talent" derived from the common interpretation that the parable was referring to not wasting ones natural abilities.

Later on, I looked up the etymology of "talent" and it seems I was correct in my guess.

I'm not sure how to word my question, but can anyone think of any other words whose origin is the morals of stories? That is, are there any other words that had one meaning, were used metaphorically in some widely known tale, and finally came to take on the metaphorical meaning so strongly that the original meaning of the word was near forgotten?

I'm sure there must be some others, right?
x-posted on my own journal

Traveler's Haitian Creole?

Hey all! My mom's friend is going to Haiti on business and wants to learn some Haitian Creole. He knows I’m interested in language, so he asked me to recommend a book for him to learn some. Unfortunately my limited language knowledge does not extend to Haitian Creole. Can anyone recommend some easy beginner Haitian Creole books? Thanks in advance.
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    complacent complacent

New boy

Blurb for the community says introductory postings welcomed, so...

Native language: English
Can read, write, hold a reasonably sophisticated and grammatically correct conversation in: French, Catalan
Can read, sort of write (much thumbing of dictionary), communicate in: Spanish, Modern Greek, Occitan
Can read reasonably well but not speak: Portuguese, Italian, Old English
Can read (much thumbing of dictionary): Old Norse, Modern German, Swedish, Danish, Gothic
Struggle a bit with: Latin, Ancient Greek
Own books on, know a few words of, etc. Too many to remember. Old Frisian, Middle Egyptian, Farsi, Hittite, Trinidadian French Creole, Sanskrit, Oscan and Umbrian, Etruscan, Germanic Philology, etc.etc. etc.

Something like that, anyway.

Started learning Old English when I was 13, Gothic and Old Norse by about 15. Recently had an email exchange with my girlfriend concerning the etymology of aubergine. Hoping I've come to the right place...


(no subject)

Hi, I'm new, just thought I'd introduce myself. I am mad about languages, but particularly about etymology and the linguistic side of things. I currently study latin, ancient greek and spanish for my A levels (and did french to GCSE level), and I find latin and greek give me an excellent background to english etymology, and spanish too. I frequently find myself unable to remember a spanish word so I just think of the latin, and spanify it. One instance was the spanish for "allow", I was completely nonplussed until I thought of the latin " permittere", and then I spanified it to "permitir" which was thankfully the right word. My big discovery today was to do with spanish when I realised the spanish "tener" must come from the latin "tenere" (I think) which means "to hold" and so the word for "to have" (haber from habere I think) is now just an auxiliary for the english auxillary "have". 

I may be sad if I found that quite cool, but I do! Same for the spanish "ya", from latin "iam" and "ser" from "esse" and "estar" from "stare". 

Also I love grammar etc and the actual workings of the language. I can reel off declensions and tenses and things, but sadly, my speaking skills in spanish let me down. But I do hope to study ancient languages and etymology and stuff to my university degree.

So... that's me!
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    curious curious

(no subject)


I'm getting a tattoo in Italian [because I am Italian, obviously, lol] but I can't get in touch with anyone I know that speaks fluent Italian. SO! If anyone would be able to translate this for me, it'd be greatly appreciated!

"Live for the moment"
"Live every day like it's your last"

Thanks so much!