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Posts: 4432 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Basque, Europe's most isolated, most mysterious and probably oldest language


Urg

quote:

...shares some distant traits with Spanish and Breton.


Breton? That seems strange. What exactly do all those numbers respresent, anyway? In general this map looks reasonable, though.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Interesting, Geoff. I am learning a little about bibliometrics, and this seems similar.

In a related question, what language do you think is most similar to English? I saw this question elsewhere, but I had no idea.
 
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English is most closely related to Frisian.
 
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We say that English is most closely related to Frisian because English and Frisian share features that other West Germanic languages don't have. We lost /n/ in certain environments:
English goose
Frisian goes
German Gans


We palatalized /k/:
English church
Frisian tsjerke
German Kirche

But actually, Scots is even more closely related to English.
 
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Why does Russian have the same word for goose
(Гусь, but pronounced pretty much as we say it) that we do? It isn't related to English very closely, yet shares many words.
 
Posts: 4432 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Geoff:
Гусь


Apparently Proto-Indo-European *ǵhans- became Proto-Slavic *gǫsь and Russian gus'. PIE *ǵh normally became *z in Slavic but didn't in this case because it was influenced by the Germanic form, which began with /g/. So it's a sort of very early borrowing from English.

Thanks for telling me about this!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
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Before today, I hadn't heard of the Frisian language.
 
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