Gagauz, the Turkic-Speaking Minority of Moldova

Dec 14, 2014 by

The recent parliamentary election that took place in Moldova on 30 November 2014 has drawn my attention to an often-overlooked ethno-linguistic group: the Gagauz. As can be seen from the ElectoralGeography.com map reproduced on the...

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“The Game” Is On—And They Get Russian (Mostly) Right!

Dec 1, 2014 by

Long-time readers of my blog know that I tend to kvetch about the ways that Russian is represented in books and films. But I have finally found a show that I not only like, but can also praise for their remarkably well-done Russian...

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Does Basque Descend from Dogon?

Nov 28, 2014 by

I was recently asked to comment on media reports about the work of Basque linguist Jaime Martín Martín that purports to show that Basque descended from a West African language, Dogon. The Ethnologue classifies Dogon as 19 distinct...

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The Elusive Roma and their Linguistic Legacy

Nov 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in June 2012.] Several countries have recently seen an escalation of anti-Gypsy violence: Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Romania. Some Romanian MPs have even attempted to officially drop...

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Mapping German Anti-Semitism

Oct 26, 2014 by

[This post was originally published in May 2012] Since 1945, anti-Semitism in Germany went from official policy to taboo, but nonetheless a striking proportion of the German population to this day holds—and confesses...

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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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