Linguistics

General category for the study of written and spoken language across various cultures. This category indicates articles related to the science of linguistics, rather than just to a specific language (which would be indicated by the relevant culture or country name).

Know your medieval phraseology?

Test your knowledge of medieval terms in an online quiz by Melissa Snell, and posted on About.com. The terms were taken from Melissa's Medieval History Blog "Medieval History Glossary."

The case for studying Latin

Why study Latin? Charlotte Higgins, author of Latin Love Lessons and It's All Greek to Me makes the case in her "On Culture" blog for The Guardian.

Website maps Indo-European languages

Those interested in the evolution of languages will want to visit The University of Texas at Austin's Linguistics Research Center's website, where they may view extensive research on the evolution of Indo-European languages. The site includes timelines and maps to help understand the development of a number of languages.

"I" and "we" among oldest English words

Linguistics experts at Reading University have used computer model analysis to date English words and to predict which words may soon become extinct.

Can I buy a vowel?

Looking for the perfect gift of an SCA linguist or herald? Wondering what to get that shire-mate with a Welsh persona? How about Scrabble yn Gymraeg, Scrabble in Welsh?

Manx language enjoys revival

Manx Gaelic, an off-shoot of Old Irish, thought to have died out in the 19th century, is being revived thanks to the efforts of Manx scholar Jennifer Kewley Draskau, who has published "Practical Manx, a guide to the grammar and morphology of the language."

Unfortunate English place names

Bart Simpson would have a field day if he visited England with some of its "unfortunate" place names such as Pratts Bottom, a village in Kent, or Crapstone in Devon. Hazel Thompson of the New York Times looks at some historic names which might bring a snicker.

The etymology of the hangover

On the blog Proof for the New York Times, Iain Gately ponders the history of hangovers and the euphemisms used to deal with them.

Islamic grafitti may help solve Qur'an mystery

A 7th century inscription in stone by an Arabic traveler may help solve a mystery about the Qur'an pondered by scholars for centuries: Why was the text seemingly written without diacritical marks?

Latin to be banned in official British documents

Classical scholars in Great Britain are appalled by the recent decision by some local councils to ban the use of Latin words and phrases from official documents. The bureaucrats say that Latin is no longer widely understood.

Spindle may hold "oldest runic inscription in Iceland"

An 11th century spindle, discovered recently in Reykjavík, Iceland, is inscribed with ruins which may be the oldest yet discovered in the country.

Norman contributions to the English language ala Garrison Keillor

In his weekly podcast for September 24, 2008, humorist Garrison Keillor commemorates the 1066 Norman invasion of England with a discussion of how the French language affected food and cooking terms.

Study of Latin regains popularity

Latin, the language once considered dead and buried, is finding new life in New York's suburbs where middle school students hope to increase test scores, or read Harry Potter's Latin spells by studying the language.

Digital project to analyze Middle English grammar

A team of philologists at the University of Stavanger in Norway are set to begin "the most comprehensive analysis of middle English ever" by studying original manuscripts from the 1300s–1500s. Their focus is to understand Middle English grammar.

German radio station to broadcast in Latin September 26, 2008

Berlin radio station Kiss FM plans to air its morning show entirely in Latin on September 26, 2008. The show will celebrate the European day of languages.

The demise of the semicolon, alas!

[PANIC ALERT TO ENGLISH MAJORS!] In an article for Slate, Paul Collins ponders the demise of the semicolon in modern writing and looks at its history from the ancient Greeks, through the Middle Ages, to Edgar Allan Poe's irritation about the lowly mark's overuse.

Celts may trace roots to Spain and Portugal

Professor John Koch believes the Celtic homeland is more likely Spain or Portugal than northern Europe. Koch, who is a professor at the Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies Centre at the University of Wales, has found evidence of Celtic texts in Spain and Portugal that are 500 years earlier than those from northern Europe.

Practice Latin on the Vatican website

An ancient tongue gets a modern boost with the creation of Sancta Sedes, a Latin section of the Vatican's website which features papal texts and religious works.

Latin hip-hop highlights Festival of the Classics

"Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris/ Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior" ("I hate and I love. Why do I do it, perchance you might ask? I don't know, but I feel it happening to me and I'm burning up.") sings Ista, a German rap group that uses Latin verse in its performances.

Partum vita mottos in Latin

Latin phrases have traditionally been used for family mottos. Now everyone can have their own Latin motto by using In Rebus, an online motto creator.

"Send me socks and underpants!"

According to archaeologist Robin Birley, the researcher's life can be pretty bleak until he finds the really big discovery, in this case, letters from Roman soldiers. Harry Mount of the Daily Mail has the story.

Medieval Trivia

Medieval Trivia is a list for SCA, other related reenactment groups, and just general folk focusing on but not limited to Medieval Trivia and general "Gee-Whiz" information (not to mention sometimes humor) about both the Middle Ages and Renaissance period.

"As time goes by" Roman style

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Professor Judith Hallett of the University of Maryland, looks at how love was expressed in ancient Rome.

The sound of medieval English

The BBC's British History website includes the Ages of English Timeline which allows visitors to hear English the way it would have been spoken throughout the various historical periods.

DNA and linguistic studies show Liverpool's Viking heritage

Researchers believe that the area around Liverpool, England was a Viking settlement. Their findings are based on original surnames and DNA evidence.

Pop culture breathes life into Latin

Popular movies, movie stars, and TV series such as Harry Potter, Angelina Jolie, and Star Trek are mainly entertainment, but they also have helped keep Latin in the public eye when it otherwise would be forgotten outside academia.

An Introduction to Old English Language and Writing

Professor Edwin Duncan of Towson University has produced a nine-minute flash presentation on the reading and pronunciation of Old English.

University of Melbourne cancels Viking Studies program

The Medievalist.net blog reports that after more than 60 years, the University of Melbourne has cancelled its Viking Studies program. The program included instruction in Viking history and the Old Norse language.

Medieval Latin tutorial

The English National Archives has created a website to teach medieval Latin through a series of fun activities and lessons. The tutorial is aimed at teaching the Latin used to create documents written between 1086 and 1733.

Vicipaedia Latina

Bored with the usual blog gossip sites? Want something with a little more challenge? Try Vicipaedia Latina, the Latin version of Wikipedia, a "labor of love for a small group of Latin buffs and weekend philologists whose motto might well be 'What would Julius do?'"