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Author: Davide Mana
Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.
19 August 2016 at 19:16
Language is like baggage: it gets packed and unpacked along the geography of a journey. If anyone has a spare time machine lying about I’d like to borrow it for a trip to the Proto Indo-European heartland. Nice Friday thought anyway.
19 August 2016 at 21:19
Alas, my time machine is currently unavailable.
But yes, traveling to time to follow linguistic twists and turns would be fun 🙂
20 August 2016 at 14:47
As an aside: we know that in the early Latin the letter V sounded like “u” but later it changed, because of a text, in which the author recalls the story of a famous general who left left for a battle (in which he died), having not noticed that a bad omen was upon him. The general, the author says, had not noticed that a fig vendor was at the market where he was strolling around before leaving, and the seller was advertising his fruits shouting “Cauneas! Cauneas!” The general paid it no attention, but the fig vendor (and Fate) was also shouting “Cave ne eas! Cave ne eas!”, that is “Beware! Don’t leave!”
Which meant that “cauneas” and “cave” had the same initial sound.
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20 August 2016 at 14:50
Thank you for this one… it sort of justifies the fact that I always hated Latin 😀
20 August 2016 at 14:55
Ghghghghgh! No, I liked Latin quite a bit, the awful part was metric (always been terrible at it) and remembering how to decline some pronouns. The rest to me was… more like a game than like anything else. More or less, like learning English 😉
20 August 2016 at 14:57
I was quite good at translating it, but I was a disaster with the grammar. No metric, because I was in a Liceo Scientifico 🙂
20 August 2016 at 15:08
Liceo Scientifico too. But my teacher had a Classical formation (and her sister was a Latin and Greek teacher in the local Liceo Classico, so it ran in the family), and “Autori” was part of the program. And what “Autori” meant was “come to the teacher desk with your book and translate Cesar or Ovidius or Catullus on the fly, after having read it with the right accents and vowels leghts”.
My book was heavily annotated to survive the ordeal 😀
20 August 2016 at 15:11
No, thanks – we had Autori too, of course (the Latin course curriculum was probably compiled by Caesar’s secretary, it’s been the same forever), but my teachers were much more relaxed.
22 August 2016 at 17:33
Eh, I feared Autori wasn’t a recent add to the course! Too terrible not to! 😛
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