Hebrew proven to be the “original language” by a deaf pers...

Jun 13, 2012 by

A curious article at the Jewish Deaf Multimedia website claims that Hebrew (Ancient or Biblical Hebrew, that is, which is not the same as Modern Hebrew) has been proven to be the "original language", that is "the first language to ever exist". How was it proven? And is it actualy true?

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Person, place, thing…

May 22, 2012 by

Many school grammar books definite a “noun” as a category that denotes “a person, place or thing”. While many objections can be raised to such a definition, it provides a useful three-way distinction of nouns...

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Jerusalem artichokes and Jordan almonds: are they from the Middle East...

Feb 13, 2012 by

  Despite what their names suggest neither Jerusalem artichokes nor Jordan almonds are from the Middle East. Both expressions are examples of folk etymology, a process by which the form (and sometimes the meaning) of a word is...

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Loanwords in Armenian

Jan 30, 2012 by

A close scrutiny of loanwords in the Armenian language – or in any language, for that matter – is essentially a demonstration of the close contacts between the speakers of the language and their neighbors.  In other words, the...

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Iced tea or ice tea?

Jan 9, 2012 by

Recently, when looking at the menu of a local Bay Area eatery that markets itself as “the Farm of the Future”, a forward-looking, innovative place for Silicon Valley geeks, I noticed an item in their beverage list: “Iced...

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Shedding the mold

Nov 4, 2011 by

While we are on the subject of how word meaning may change, I’d like to consider another type of semantic change, the type dependent on the so-called “matrix”, or the particular situation in which the word is...

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