July 17th, 2007

cranky ol' panther | me

Question about Arabic grammar

Does Arabic use articles?

I'm editing an academic paper, a journal article, in English, written by an Arabic native speaker (Tunisian), who also has a native fluency in French. The one set of mistakes I'm seeing regularly is matching number on adjectives and nouns (he keeps pluralising the adjectives - a clear map from French - such as *browns dogs). The other is one I tend to expect from Slavic native speakers, which is omitted articles - a distinct lack of "a" and "the" and their variants.

I'm always interested in the clash of languages - how languages conflict, both on a social level and on an intellectual and/or linguistic performance level.

Edit: DUH. Of course it does. Shows how deep in my work I am, to have forgotten something so obvious, and a word so much a part of our world in the last several years. Thanks, muckefuck. :)
The Sideways Pie

Glottal stops, the UK, and Monty Python

I spent this weekend in London and very quickly found myself imitating the British tendency to use [ʔ] as an allophone of /t/. When I got home and looked it up on Wikipedia, I was very surprised to see that most of the examples mentioned on the site are of Monty Python phrases - my weekend trip had been literally a Monty Python holiday (incl. buying half a dozen rare Python novels, seeing Spamalot, and meeting Eric Idle), but I had no idea the glottal stops instead of [t]s were so strongly associated with Python.

So, a few questions:
- Is the glottal stop really primarily a Monty Python thing (that is, used primarily as comedy/satire), or has Wikipedia been edited by overly zealous fanboys?
- How many regional accents in English feature [ʔ] instead of [t]?
- Which languages/dialects specifically use the glottal stop to replace plosives?