“And He said, saying”?

Jan 13, 2015 by

[This post draws heavily on the work of Joel M. Hoffman.] In an earlier post, I have examined a millennium-long historical connection between Old Church Slavonic (OCS) and modern Russian. Here, I will look at another peculiarity of...

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The Influence of Old Church Slavonic on Russian

Jan 12, 2015 by

As mentioned in my earlier post, besides being the liturgical language used by the Russian Orthodox Church, Old Church Slavonic (OCS) played a pivotal role in the formation of the Russian literary language. In the Middle Ages, OCS...

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Why the ‘Coffee’ Words Are Not Cognates

Dec 12, 2014 by

A former student of mine drew my attention to a recent article in Slate written by Alyssa Pelish and titled “The Stimulating History of Coffee: Why You Hear This Word Around the World” (the image on the left is reproduced from the...

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Reading the Map of Scotland

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally posted in April 2012] Several recent posts examined toponyms and what we can learn from them. Reading place names on a map can also reveal who used to inhabit the land in earlier times. Take, for example, the...

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What is a city?

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post, originally published in April 2012, examimes the etymologies of the words for 'city' and 'town' --- Many thanks to Vitaliy Rayz for excellent photography] The etymologies of the words for ‘city’ or ‘town’ are...

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“Mustard After Dinner”, Or Are Spain’s Mealtimes Climate-Related?...

Oct 25, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in February 2014] In a recent article in the New York Times, Jim Yardley discussed the proposal by the Spanish government to end the siesta tradition and switch to a meal- and worktime pattern...

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