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March 11

Tiananmen Square Protests (1989)

I am doing a little bit of research into the Tiananmen Square massacre and the state media's reaction to the internal crisis. I watched a Xinwen Lianbo broadcast made on the night of the massacre, and I would like a screenshot translating.

Screenshot TSM 1989 News.png

I think it says something about counter-revolutionary actions, but my Chinese is not so great.

Thank you so much! --Mart Waterizz (talk) 00:48, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

You might try wikt:WT:Translation requests. —Tamfang (talk) 00:53, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Joke explanation

A picture of a white and a black boy, the latter if angry.

White boy: every time I come over your dad is never home Tyrone
Tyrone: I said he at the store

Where's the joke? Is it a reference to some stereotype? --Hofhof (talk) 13:39, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

I've seen this. Supposedly a joke, but I don't get it either. I think it has something to do with memes, but I don't understand what a meme is. I have a theory that it's not funny at all, but that most people laugh and insist that they understand the humor even though they don't. So it's funny in a way because millions of people pretend to understand and laugh, when there is truly nothing to understand. —Stephen (talk) 00:22, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Linking to appropriate article. (talk) 01:25, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
  • It's a reference to a fairly well-known stereotype of the deadbeat dad - one day they say they're going to the shops (typically to buy cigarettes), then leave and never come back. In this case, it has an extra racist layer. Smurrayinchester 09:48, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
But to spoil the gag, see It’s a Myth That Black Fathers Are Absent. Alansplodge (talk) 16:14, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Extremists never let facts get in the way. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:16, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
  • This "meme" was making the rounds on Twitter more than two years ago. Where did you just run into it? One Twitter user apparently found it so funny: "I'm dying" she wrote. But I suspect what's mostly funny about this "meme" (and possibly many others) is the thought of all those thousands (millions?) of people scratching their head and going: "Hunh?". Basemetal 07:09, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

March 12

Help with a Russian name.

What is the correct English transliteration of Евдокия Николаевна Завалий ? For context this is the woman in this article, this article and this article. If at all possible, the correct transliteration of the male pseudonym she used, mentioned in the and articles, would be appreciated. Prince of Thieves (talk) 00:49, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

There is no single transliteration standard for Russian, but the transliterations in the article are both OK. If you want the second one to conform to the first, use Zavaliy Yevdokim Nikolayevich (with maybe a note that this comes from "Завалий Евдок. Ник." in her formal documents, so Zavaliy is still the surname) (talk) 01:11, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
So Yevdokim and Evdokim are equivalent? Prince of Thieves (talk) 01:25, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
They're both transliterations of a word beginning with Cyrillic letter "Е", though "Ye-" indicates more accurately the pronunciation. Cyrillic letter "Э" would always be "E-", never "Ye-"... AnonMoos (talk) 03:47, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Prince of Thieves (talk) 09:12, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I don't know what the "-kim" is in the last few paragraphs above. The name ends with -кия "-kiya". While that does change for different cases, there isn't one that ends "-kim". --ColinFine (talk) 12:41, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
@ColinFine: The female name Yevdokiya changes it suffix in declension, like most proper and improper names and nouns in Slavic languages. But you're right, Yevdokim is not a grammar case of Yevdokia – it is a male-like modification, which she took when doctors didn't recognize she is a woman.
После лечения была направлена в запасно́й полк, и, когда отбирали солдат на передовую, её приняли за мужчину, тем более что она была в гимнастёрке и галифе, а в документах было записано «Завалий Евдок. Ник.». Она никого разубеждать не стала и была направлена в 6-ю десантную бригаду морской пехоты как Завалий Евдоким Николаевич.[2]' (ru-wiki)
(Google transl.) After the treatment, she was sent to the reserve regiment, and when the soldiers were taken to the front line, they took her for a man, especially since she was in a gymnast and riding breeches, and in the documents was written "Zavaliy Yevdok. Nik.". She did not dissuade anyone and was sent to the 6th Marine Infantry Brigade as Zavaliy Evdokim Nikolaevich. [2]
CiaPan (talk) 13:09, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
P.S. Евдокия/Yevdokiya is a Russian form of Eudoxia, whose proper male counterpart is Eudoxus or Eudoxius. That one is Евдокс/Yevdox in Russian (see disambig ru:Евдокс (значения) at ru-wiki). I have no idea why our hero didn't chose the proper male version of her name, although I could guess it would be too obvious and consequently suspicious and somewhat dangerous to her. --CiaPan (talk) 13:51, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
You are incorrect and the name came from Εὐδοκία (no English article, but Russian). See more at εὐ- and the difference between δοκέω and δόξα, -ιος/-ία and -ιμος. Even if from the same verb root, these are actually three different names (no female equivalent for Евдоким, though). --Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:13, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Native speaker variation

Hi, I'm wondering whether there has been any research done on a specific type of variation among native speakers, namely, that where there are equivalent ways of saying something, but you have to choose just one. For example, if I am asking about a place that someone has mentioned in conversation, I nearly always say "Whereabouts is it?" rather than "Where is it?" Conversely, if I need directions, I think I say "Where is it?", not whereabouts. The question is whether, in such cases, everyone/most people have a preferred choice, or whether nearly everyone tends to mix and match. IBE (talk) 06:34, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Whereabouts does not mean the same as where, it means approximately where (Concise Oxford Dictionary), i.e. what general area.--Shantavira|feed me
I'm not curious about word meanings. Thanks all the same, IBE (talk) 10:30, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I think you are referring to a Dialect. Extensive research is done on specific dialects and the variations they contain. Prince of Thieves (talk) 09:11, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
No, I believe the OP is asking about the variation that is liable to occur within the speech of the same individual speaker, not between speakers of the same dialect. Basemetal 09:49, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
In which case, idiolect may be of some relevance. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 09:53, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Basemetal is closest, but to be more precise, it's more like the amount of variation, so one speaker may exhibit no variation (they will always say "whereabouts") whereas another might switch between them. Then this is the point - the variation (between individuals) in the amount of variation (from moment to moment). If it makes it simpler, call the individuals who vary their speech "fickle" and those who stick to one thing, "stubborn". So in general, do we tend towards fickleness, or stubbornness? Are there some alternatives where, say, half the population chooses one (nearly all the time), and half chooses the other? IBE (talk) 10:29, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I don’t think everyone is aware of the exact words used. Some people may be aware of exactly what they say, but oftentimes, it’s the underlying meaning that matters. Some people say, “Let’s go out for a drink.” Others say, “Let’s go for a drink.” And others say, “Let's go out, shall we?” These statements may all perform the same function. The listener will interpret and treat them as the same, not really paying attention to the small details. Non-native speakers and listeners may treat them as different, because often they are interpreting something in their native language. (talk) 15:28, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Certainly. But these variations do exist - you become aware of them, as in my case, from teaching English, and it becomes at least slightly important - not exactly crucial, but something I try to expand incrementally as I go. IBE (talk) 12:15, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
You should read about Sociolinguistics, especially variationist sociolinguistics. While earlier "waves" of sociolinguistic research focused on dialect, current approaches do look at variation within the individual (the article on Style (sociolinguistics) has some material, for instance under "style-shifting"). If you are specifically interested in syntax, and if you are North American, you can find details on particular constructions here: (talk) 15:56, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Hey, wow! Just browsing now, probably not my exact question, but very much the sort of thing I was looking for. IBE (talk) 12:15, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Some questions on Breton

Can anyone identify the specific Breton spelling system used for these lyrics of "Ma Zat" ("My father", the middle part of the song is a French translation of the Breton text), a song from the French musical "Anne de Bretagne". I'd always thought Breton spelling was phonetic but it is obviously not. Could anyone who knows Breton produce a standard IPA version of these lyrics? By standard I mean not what they sound like in the recording of the song but how they should sound when spoken by a native speaker. This said, I'm pretty certain the pronunciation Cécile Corbel uses is probably largely correct. I don't know if she's a Breton speaker ("Bretonne bretonnante") but she's from Britanny so I'm fairly convinced she didn't screw up too badly. But if you have an opinion about her Breton pronunciation I'd like to hear it. Thanks. Basemetal 09:39, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

What has actually puzzled you? I suppose it is in standard modern Breton (modern because of siwazh which was formerly written siouaz, more with the French spelling conventions), just the accents are missed here and there (e.g. must be teñval). I can't say anything about her accent, but she certainly sings (or tries to sing) in a z-dialect.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 22:40, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Sorry: "phonetic" was obviously an extremely poor word choice. I'd meant it followed French spelling habits. (I know, French spelling is the last that anyone would think of as phonetic!) In other words what I'd meant to say was I'd thought anyone who knew French spelling would be able to make sense of Breton spelling. Then I found that in the spelling used for the lyrics of this song "si" sounded like French "chi", "ae" sounded like "é" or "è" and so on. Since I saw the WP article mentioned several styles of Breton spelling I asked which one was used here. What's a z-dialect? Basemetal 06:44, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Frankly, the link you've provided in the first sentence of your enquiry contains exactly the information you want. That is they wrote like in French but in the 20th century reformed the spelling. You may call it New or rather obviously Modern Breton. The information about the main dialect division is also there. Moreover, the comparative table there exactly says that ae is pronounced as a monophthong in the Trégor (Tregiereg) and Vannes (Gwenedeg) dialects, and considering her zh as "z" we may conclude she has tried to speak with Trégor accent. I can't say anything conclusive about her si as "chi", probably they say that way somewhere and she just repeats colloquial pronunciation.
Of course, Breton spelling is a way more regular than French, but it still requires some understanding and knowledge of dialects; it has its own small peculiarities, not obvious from the first sight and which you need to know but they are usually covered in books.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:23, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Unmerging wine-whine sporadically

Has anyone run into English speakers who unmerge wine-whine but only from time to time, or vice versa. Thanks. Basemetal 10:05, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

I probably do this myself. I'm aware of the difference, but may not always be strict about pronouncing the "wh-" in casual speech. Native English, no particular accent. Rojomoke (talk) 12:39, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Same with me (General American English) as with Rojomoke — In casual speech I merge them, but in careful speech I unmerge them. Loraof (talk) 14:22, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
I would continue to merge the pronunciations (here in the UK) except for emphasis or to make a distinction between the words. Dbfirs 15:29, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
Or the opposite, to make this joke: "Would you like some cheese with that whine?" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:21, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Online Basque dataset


For a machine learning project I need a big corpora of (any) text lr a collection of texts written in Basque, in a format suitable for download (preferably .txt file). Are there such texts online apart from Basque Wikipedia?

Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Converting Diacritic to Non-Diacritic

Sometimes there are formatting problems where a word with Diacritics ends up being converted to a word that looks normal but is linguistically incorrect. For example, "Hōjō" becomes converted to "Hojo" because the system, which can't understand diacritic, approximates the letter "ō" to "o". And I've read somewhere that "ō" in non-diacritic form is "ou". So does that mean the linguistically correct, non-diacritic spelling of "Hōjō" is "Houjou"? And with that good question in mind, can anyone provide a list of Diacritic Letters that are spelled in Non-Diacritic form? --Arima (talk) 21:39, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

I have no idea if it is normal to respell Japanese ō with ou, but in German there is a centuries old convention of respelling ä, ö, ü, ß with ae, oe, ue, ss (the latter is the standard in Swiss German). For more technical cases you may be interested in Doc 9303[1] (see page 30 and following).--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 22:57, 12 March 2018 (UTC)
German ä ö ü originated as shorthand for ae oe ue, and ß as a ligature of ſz, so arguably the centuries-old convention of respelling is the other way around. —Tamfang (talk) 00:44, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
From the point of view of contemporary German there is the only one way. The problem is, to my knowledge, they never used the -e digraphs in Middle and Early Modern High German. Around the 16th century, they came straight from writing/printing e to and in a few decades from that started to write/print ä. On the contrary, writing/printing ae would be very uneconomical from their point of view, they have no reasons to do this, like today we have had such as typewriters with no accented characters or computer encodings. They rather preferred to abbreviate everything, e.g. they wrote/printed ã for an/am, so it would be strange if they wrote/printed ae. I have no clear idea why Germans would have written in such a way at all, but it seems to me that this must have originated in non-Germanic areas such as France. For example, the great-grandfather of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was Göthe, but then the grandfather moved to France and returned to Germany, so the father already bore the name Goethe.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 19:59, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
I appreciate the clarification on how to spell letters with an umlat in non-diacritic form. But the document you pointed out didn't seem to be as helpful as I had hoped. Namely, it doesn't even specify what most of the Diacritic letters are supposed to sound like. --Arima (talk) 02:00, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
You've literally asked about converting, so this document exactly provides this information. Maybe there are other documents, I do not know, but the general rule is simple: just strip out the accents. For the sounds you had better check the pronunciation rules of each language (I'd recommend reading Linguistically omitting the accents is incorrect in most languages which use them. There are, of course, languages (e.g. Dutch or many African languages) that would tolerate it more than others, but this still be incorrect. Even in German ä > ae, etc. is incorrect unless there are serious technical limitations to do this.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 20:42, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Sorry. As an english-speaker, I was wondering about how to convert Diacritic to Non-Diacritic so I could get an understanding on how words with Diacritics would be properly spelled and said in Non-Diacritic form.--Arima (talk) 21:45, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
I'll be frank: your way of speaking is very obscure that it's quite difficult to understand what you really want and what you really ask. How to convert is very simple: strip them out (it seems I repeat myself the second time). The exceptions, where you may respell them with two letters, are very few (namely, it is German, and no other language which does the same comes to my mind right now). Note, Japanese is not written in Latin script. So we are speaking about Romanization which may be done in a number of ways. How to pronounce words that are stripped out of diacritics: you never know for sure unless you know the language. One example has come to my mind: Serbo-Croatian family names which end in - tend to loose the accent and hence to be pronounced with "-ik" (rather than the proper "-ich") by the people who have no idea about Serbo-Croatian. So the only way: learn the language, at least its reading rules. The website where you could do this I've provided.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:43, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Okay then. Thank you and sorry for being vague.--Arima (talk) 07:35, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
no other language which does the same comes to my mind right now -- all Scandinavian languages do the same, replacing æ or ä with ae, ø or ö with oe, and å with aa. -- (talk) 07:42, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
As I misunderstand it – Japanese ō is written with the kana う (after whichever *o-kana is appropriate), literally u, but not pronounced with /u/; so it can be transliterated either ou or oo. I don't know whether the same applies to ē, ei. —Tamfang (talk) 00:44, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Maybe it was pronounced ou̯ when that spelling was adopted? —Tamfang (talk) 02:33, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
The "Macron" Diacritic indicates a long vowel. So you're right: "Hōjō" in Non-Diacritic form would be "Hoojoo". So I'm guessing "ē" would be "ee", but I could be wrong because I don't know for sure. --Arima (talk) 02:00, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, the natural alternative for ē is ee. But I've very often seen ei on the same page as ō (see for example wikt:英#Japanese); and ē seems to me to be rarer. So: is ええ ee used in Japanese, and is it distinct from えい ei? I don't know. —Tamfang (talk) 02:50, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Arima, are you talking specifically about Japanese, or about languages in general? If you mean languages in general, there is no single rule. There are different rules for different languages.
If you are referring to Japanese, it is a little more complicated. In most cases, Japanese long vowels are made by adding the hiragana vowels -あ (a → ā), -い (i → ī), -う (u → ū), -い (i → ē or ei), -う (u → ō). For example, for the hiragana ‘k-’ series:
かあ (kā), きい (kī), くう (kū), けい (kē or kei), こう (kō).
However, this is not always the case. In a few words, you have to add -え (e → ē) or -お (o → ō) (instead of -い and -う). For example,:
おねえさん (onēsan, "sister"), おおい (ōi, "long"), おおきい (ōkī, "big").
The above applies to hiragana only. The rules for katakana are simpler. To make a long vowel in katakana, just add , as in:
ツアー (tsuā, "tour"), メール (mēru, "email"), ケーキ (kēki, "cake"). —Stephen (talk) 05:25, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. I was talking both about Japanese and other languages in general.--Arima (talk) 21:45, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

March 13

T (not Th) adjective

My daughter writes short stories. She titles them using alliteration, always four words. She is making a story about hunting down a pirate treasure. After many weeks of hunting, she has been unable to think of a word for the title. It needs to start with t, not th. What she has is the T... Tortuous Treasure of Tortuga. I've suggested Terrifically and Trying. Neither gets at what she wants. She wants it to mean that it is perilous or dangerous. We've looked through a lot of words in the thesaurus (which is where Tortuous came from). Any suggestions for the first word or how to find one - as opposed to searching blindly through a thesarus? (talk) 18:26, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

Why search blindly? [2] [3] Bazza (talk) 18:36, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
I'd go with treacherous, myself. Deor (talk) 20:37, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
How can treasure be perilous or dangerous? Do you mean the hunt for it is perilous or dangerous? Akld guy (talk) 23:58, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Treasure can't be dangerous? Wagner's Ring and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings wouldn't have much of a plot otherwise, and I'm sure the OP's daughter can do better. --Antiquary (talk) 12:10, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Tainted conveys the sense that there's something not kosher about it. Akld guy (talk) 00:09, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Terrifying(ly)? {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 09:44, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. We sat with the dictionary and I started with tzupo and went backwards, mentioning every word I recognized. She settled on the Truly Tortuous Treasure of Tortuga. I never would have got such a simple word from the thesaurus. I did get a joke though: "My thesaurus is not only terrible, it is terrible." Now, she is busy naming the pirates. (talk) 13:38, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Dental fricative spellings

We have 2 dental fricatives; voiceless and voiced. Why do we spell both of them with th as opposed to the latter with dh?? Georgia guy (talk) 20:03, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

For details, see Pronunciation of English ⟨th⟩. The answer is broadly, for historical reasons as with a lot of English spelling. Originally they were allophones of the same phoneme, with the voiced version appearing between vowels. Hence e.g. "mouth" vs. "to mouthe".
But also worth mentioning that this distinction carries a very low functional load. There are a few minimal pairs (e.g. "mouth" and "mouthe", "thigh" and "thy"), but most of them can be distinguished easily by context alone. While history caused the two sounds to be spelt the same, it is also significant that modern English has no pressing need to distinguish them. Kahastok talk 20:20, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Interestingling, the Welsh language has two different spellings, "dd" for the voiced version, and "th" for the voiceless version. So there are languages that draw distinctions. I believe some languages (Norse ones) have also pressed either eth or thorn into usage to draw such distinctions. --Jayron32 19:31, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Cornish has "dh" and "th". Alansplodge (talk) 15:49, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Georgia_guy -- what Kahastok has said is true, but it's also relevant that "th" is an ancient European spelling used by the Romans to transcribe a Greek aspirated stop, while "dh" does not have any such old cultural history. "Dh" also didn't grow naturally out of medieval English spelling practices, the way that "gh" and "sh" did. It wasn't until quite recently that "h" has been abstracted as a generalized digraph letter and has been used to create brand-new spellings such as "zh" (now quite well known in foreign proper names) or possibly "dh".
Jayron32 -- Old English had both the graphemes "ð" and "þ" which theoretically could have been used to write voiced and voiceless sounds distinctly, but in practice this was not done. Instead, it was the Norse who took these symbols from Old English, and started using them distinctly (see First Grammatical Treatise), though nowadays this is irrelevant for the mainland Scandinavian languages... AnonMoos (talk) 21:57, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, they didn't. Which is why I didn't bring up Old English. --Jayron32 23:09, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
AnonMoos, I would guess your first sentence about Romans transliterating Greek words (specifically those with theta) is because Greek had voiceless aspirated stops (in this case theta had the sound of th in knighthood) but didn't have voiced aspirated stops (in this case the dh in bloodhound.) Any corrections on the reason?? Georgia guy (talk) 22:15, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Yes, that's right. Many attested Indic languages. starting with Sanskrit, have both voiced and voiceless aspirated stops, so "dh" as a transcription arises quite naturally there, but very few words transcribed that way are known to most Westerners ("Buddha" and maybe "dharma"). Greek had only one series of voiceless aspirated stops. In other Indo-European branches, the aspirated stops have become other sounds, though the reconstruction process is quite complicated (the glottalic hypothesis would say that aspiration was not actually a defining feature of the ancestral IE sounds in question, etc. etc.). AnonMoos (talk) 22:29, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
The "dh" in Cornish is a feature of the revived language in its various forms, Middle Cornish used a character rather like "ʒ" or alternatively "th" for both sounds. See A Handbook of the Cornish Language . Alansplodge (talk) 22:15, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
P.S. You can also take a look at what the Initial Teaching Alphabet did... AnonMoos (talk) 22:34, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
You left out Gandhi; or maybe you didn't. Ghandi anyone? —Tamfang (talk) 23:09, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

In Albanian, <th> and <dh> are used precisely in this way for the voiceless and voiced dental fricatives, as in thua (claw) and dhëmb (tooth), and according to our article List_of_Latin-script_digraphs#D, also in Swahili and a version of Cornish. Our article Voiced dental fricative has a few more languages use this spelling, all of them indigenous North American languages. All of these are languages with a fairly recent (200 years or less) writing system, which seems to support AnonMoos's statement that the "h" has only recently been abstracted to form new fricatives digraphs. --Terfili (talk) 07:30, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

Might I suggest the delimiters ‹› if you want to avoid unwanted markup —Tamfang (talk) 23:09, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

March 14

Biblical Hebrew questions: geminates

I have two questions regarding geminates in Biblical Hebrew.

The first one is about the name יִשָּׂשכָר: How was the name יששכר originally pronounced? Originally, that is when the consonant text was established, which was more than a thousand years before it was vocalized.

The second question is: Are there any places in the consonant text of the Bible where a double letter (that is two identical consonant letters in a row) in fact indicated a geminate or at least a case where the first letter of the two had a shva nakh? I'm only making this distinction to be extra careful since I know of no language where a double consonant would be articulated twice rather than articulated as a geminate, that is as a long consonant with only one attack and one release. In any case, if gemination was indicated with double letters in some places, that practice would of course be extremely unusual, which would require an explanation, since normally gemination was not indicated in the consonant text, which is why in the vocalized text the gemination had to be indicated with a special sign, the dagesh hazaq.

Thanks. Basemetal 17:49, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

The vocalisation tells you how it was pronounced just before that was added. I don't believe there is any way of knowing how long that particular pronunciation might have been used, or what any earlier pronunciation might have been. Wymspen (talk) 10:46, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
In Modern Hebrew, additional examples of such words with a double consonant instead of a dagesh are אללה, obviously an Arabic loanword, plus a couple of interjections containing it: ואללה, יאללה -- (talk) 15:12, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
@Basemetal:, Hi, a Hebrew speaker is here.
As for your first question: The oldest testimony is that in the Septuagint: ᾿Ισσάχαρ, so it seems to have been pronounced that way in Biblical Hebrew as well, as it's pronounced also in Modern Hebrew.
As for your second question: Yes, the Hebrew Bible contains few extraordinary words of that kind. See (1) Psalms 9 14 חָנְנֵנִי (with a penultimate accent, meaning: "please have mercy on me"), with gemination indicated by a double letter, as opposed to: ibid. 4 2, 6 3, 31 10, 41 5, 41 11, 51 3, 56 2, 57 2, 86 3, 119 29, 119 58: חָנֵּנִי (pronounced and meaning as above), with gemination indicated by a dagesh. See also: (2) ibid 50 23: יְכַבְּדָנְנִי (again with a penultimate accent, meaning: "will respect me", Third Person, Sing., Masc.), with gemination indicated by a double letter, as opposed to: Genesis 27 19 and ibid. 31: תְּבָרְכַנִּי (again with a penultimate accent, meaning: "will bless me", Third Person, Sing., Fem.), with gemination indicated by a dagesh. See also: (3) Hosea 5 15, and Proverbs 1 28: יְשַׁחֲרֻנְנִי (again with a penultimate accent, meaning: "will look for me", Third Person, Plu.), and (4) ibid. יִקְרָאֻנְנִי (again with a penultimate accent, meaning: "will call me", Third Person, Plu.), and (5) ibid. and ibid. 8 17: יִמְצָאֻנְנִי (again with a penultimate accent, meaning: "will find me", Third Person, Plu.). See also: (6) Song of Songs 7 3: שָׁרְרֵך (with an ultima accent, meaning "your navel", Second Person, Sing., Fem.). (talk) 17:44, 15 March 2018 (UTC) -- according to some interpretations of the shewa diacritic, such forms would actually be pronounced with a schwa sound [ə] between the two identical consonants. Your approach would seem to predict that בתוככם "In the middle of you (plural)" (7 times in Leviticus etc.) would be pronounced with [k] instead of [x], but according to the pointing, it isn't... AnonMoos (talk) 20:06, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
The vowel following the first "כ" of בתוככם is a schwa sound [ə], indicated by a ħataf pataħ in the best ancient manuscripts (e.g. Aleppo Codex, and Leningrad Codex and likewise). However, חָנְנֵנִי (Psalms 9 14) being morphologically equivalent to חָנֵּנִי (ibid. 4 2, 6 3, 31 10, 41 5, 41 11, 51 3, 56 2, 57 2, 86 3, 119 29, 119 58), as well as the other words I have mentioned above (יְכַבְּדָנְנִי יְשַׁחֲרֻנְנִי יִמְצָאֻנְנִי יִקְרָאֻנְנִי שָׁרְרֵך), undoubtedly have a shewa naħ (as an exception of the rule you've mentioned about a shewa between two consonants). For more details, see Abraham ibn Ezra's interpretation (written 900 centuries ago) on Exodus 1 9, about the word יְכַבְּדָנְנִי (Psalms 50 23) of which the double "n" indicates a geminate, because this word is of the form shared also by תְּבָרְכַנִּי (Genesis 27 19 and ibid. 31) of which the "n" has a dagesh instead of being doubled; He added that the same was true for יְשַׁחֲרֻנְנִי יִמְצָאֻנְנִי. Anyway, all of the authoritative scholars I know hold that the six words I've mentioned have a double letter indicating a geminate, and I will be glad to know about any scholar who thinks the opposite (regarding those six words). (talk) 22:53, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── -- Some or much of what you say may be true, but I still find it suspicious that when ככ or תת come together in circumstances similar to your examples of ננ above, the pronunciation is always "weak" or fricative ([x] or [θ]), but never "strong" or stop ([k] or [t]), though the geminate pronunciation you claim for נ would require such a stop pronunciation if applied to כ or ת. Here's a listing which it's not convenient to convert to Hebrew letters:  ?.brk.k Gen22:17, Ps63:5; w?.brk.k Gen12:2; w? Gen27:7; Pro6:22; Exo12:49, Eze6:7, Eze47:22, Eze47:22, Gen23:9, Hag2:5, Lev16:29, Lev17:12, Lev18:26, Lev20:14, Lev26:11, Lev26:12, Lev26:25;  ? Num15:14; Num32:30; Gen35:2; b:rk.k Deu2:7, Deu12:7, Deu15:6, Deu15:14, Ps45:3; wbrk.k Deu7:13, Deu15:18, Deu28:8, Deu30:16; l?-mwt.tny Jer20:17; mt:wk.k Eze28:18, Isa58:9; 1Sa7:3; sk.kym Exo25:20, Exo37:9; 1Ch28:18; t:.brk.k Gen27:4, Gen27:25; Ps62:4; Job10:11; twk.k Eze28:16; w?.mt.thw 2Sa1:10; wk.kl 1Ch17:15, 2Sa7:17, Jer42:20; wk.kl-k:xy 1Ch29:2; wk.kl-mS.p:Tyw Num9:3; wk.kl:wt 2Ch7:1, 2Ch29:29, 2Ch31:1, Dan12:7, Ezr9:1; wk.kl:wtm 2Ch20:23, 2Ch24:14; Jer46:18; wk.kxy Jos14:11; wmt.tny 2Sa1:9; wmwt.tny Jud9:54; 1Sa17:51; y.brk.k Deu14:24, Deu14:29, Deu15:4, Deu15:10, Deu16:10, Deu16:15, Deu23:21, Deu24:19, Gen27:10, Jer31:23, Num6:24, Ps128:5, Ps134:3, Rut2:4; 2Kg4:29 -- AnonMoos (talk) 11:01, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Why only "Some or much of what" I say may be true, and not all of it? Please notice that I was talking about facts only: Its a fact, that the first "כ" of בתוככם is indicated by a ħataf pataħ in the best ancient manuscripts (e.g. Aleppo Codex, and Leningrad Codex and likewise). It's a fact that the "shewa naʕ" was pronounced like ħataf pataħ by the people who wrote those manuscripts mentioned above, and so forth.
As for your suspicion: You don't have to be that suspicious. Surprisingly, you seem to consider the grammar while disregard their historical background. Historically speaking, please notice that stops became fricatives after a vowel, but not vice versa, i.e. if a vowel followed by a fricative - disappeared in a later period, that fricative didn't become a stop!! For example, let's examine one of your examples: וככלותם. In the beginning, e.g. in Pre-Biblical Hebrew (and actually even later), it was pronounced /wakakallo:ta:m/. Some centuries later, every stop following a vowel became a fricative, so /wakakallo:ta:m/ became /waxaxallo:θa:m/. Some centuries later, every short vowel - not followed by two consecutive consonants - disappeared, so /waxaxallo:θa:m/ became /wxxallo:θa:m/ - pronounced like /uxxallo:θa:m/. This stage became the final one, with all fricatives remaining fricatives, because - as I've already pointed out - Hebrew never lets its fricatives become stops, even though it had let some of its stops become fricatives. (talk) 15:38, 16 March 2018 (UTC) -- Your [xx] (or [xː]) hypothesis is ingenious, but it assumes that Biblical Hebrew was still a living, normally evolving language after 500 AD. I strongly doubt that the masoretes intended any pointing to indicate a geminate fricative... AnonMoos (talk) 07:27, 17 March 2018 (UTC)
(This is a question addressed to IP, not a reaction to AnonMoos's contribution just above; it came chronologically right after and is a reaction to IP's contribution; it only looks like I'm responding to AnonMoos because AnonMoos changed the sequence) Why, isn't then יִשָּׂשכָר also an example where a double consonant indicates a geminate consonant? Why didn't you include it too in the examples in response to my second question? Incidentally, why would you say the Masoretic text vocalizes the way it does instead of using a shva nah: יִשְׂשָׂכָר (which is what it does in all other examples)? The example שָׁרְרֵך is particularly interesting (in that case obviously it was impossible to vocalize any other way since resh does not take a dagesh hazaq) because a geminate resh is impossible in the Masoretic dialect. Yet here you're saying that it is a geminate resh? The shva is a shva nah and the qamats is a qamats qatan, correct? If so this must be a unique example of a geminate resh in the Masoretic text? Incidentally, that seems to show that a geminate resh was allowed in Hebrew at the time the consonant text was established. How about geminate ayin, het, heh? More generally one should note there are two questions here which should not be confused, namely, one, whether a double letter represented a geminate at the time the consonant text was established and, two, whether it still does in the Masoretic text. Finally when did the shva na (the vocalic shva ə) appear in Hebrew? Was it already part of the phonology of Hebrew when the consonant text was established? Thanks. Basemetal 10:52, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Basemetal -- I think my answer had an edit conflict with yours (though the software didn't alert me to it). Anyway, in the normal pointing of the name Issachar, the second letter ש has no masoretic diacritics at all, which means that it's a kind of dead letter which has no influence at all on the word's pronunciation, as far as the masoretic orthography is concerned. AnonMoos (talk) 11:08, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm asking: why did they treat it this way when they could have treated it the other way. Didn't you notice the dagesh hazaq in יִשָּׂשכָר. The vocalization יִשְׂשָׂכָר would be exactly equivalent and my question is why did they choose to vocalize this way when they could have done it the other way (which is what they do in all other instances). Btw, I changed the sequence of our previous contributions to correspond to what is shown in the history. (Mine comes before yours in the history). Basemetal 11:16, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Two consonant letters side-by-side is really not an ordinary or normal way of writing a geminate in Biblical Hebrew, which is why myself and are arguing back and forth over a few rather obscure and difficult forms which occur very sporadically in the Bible. My answer was chronologically after yours, but I think it needs to occur before yours to have clear threading, since my message of "11:01, 16 March 2018" is very closely tied to's message of "22:53, 15 March 2018", while your message of "10:52, 16 March 2018" is more free-floating (a response to the conversation in general)... AnonMoos (talk) 11:28, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
At least you have admit that all data (Septuagint, Masoretic text) point (no pun intended) to יששכר being precisely a case where two consonant letters side by side is indeed meant to indicate a geminate, unless you think that the second s(h)in is nothing but a typo in the consonant text. That this is not the normal way to write a geminate is indeed very true but I never questioned that (in fact I wrote from the start "that practice would of course be extremely unusual") and neither did the IP contributor ("[a] few extraordinary words of that kind"). But obviously, when something is so true, it bears repeating. The fact that it is so unusual was precisely the whole point of my query. Basemetal 12:33, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
As for your questions:
1. A geminate ayin/ħet/heh is impossible in Hebrew. However, Biblical Hebrew does have (very rare) instances of a geminate aleph as well as a geminate resh. Here are two typical examples: Job 33 21: רֻאּוּ (read: /ruʔʔu:/ with an ultima accent, root r.ʔ.y, Binyan Puʕal, Past tense, Third Person, Plu.), Song of Songs 5 2: שֶׁרֹּאשִׁי (read /erro:ʃi:/, i.e, "that my head").
2. Yes, the word שָׁרְרֵך is pronounced /ʃorre:x/ (with an ultima accent).
3. Yes, the spelling יששכר had originally been intended to point at the pronunciation /yissaxar/. However, since it was decided that gemination could no longer be indicated by a double letter, a dagesh was added to the first ש, the other ש remaining redudndant. It was not deleted though, just as we don't delete the "d" of the English word "add", nor the "b" of "lamb", nor the "k" of "know", nor the "s" of "island", nor the "t" of "castle", and the like. Hope this helps. (talk) 15:38, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
I would assume the main reason that s(h)in was not deleted was not because of a concern for etymological spelling or inertia (as in English) but because the consonant text was sacred. It was a given. You just didn't mess with it. For example in the Biblical text Jerusalem is spelled ירושלם (without the yud between lamed and mem sofit) but in Masoretic times the pronunciation was ירושלַיִם. Nevertheless the Masoretes never allowed themselves to insert a yud and instead invented a special way to indicate that pronunciation by inserting a special patah + hiriq between the lamed and the mem sofit. I believe this is the only word that takes that combination? Now the patah gnuva is something analogous, isn't it? That is רוח 'wind' for example was by Masoretic times pronounced רואַח but, again, the Masoretes could not allow themselves to mess with the sacred consonant text and so invented the device of the patah gnuva. All this to argue that possibly the main reason why consonants were never dropped (or added) was the sacredness of the consonant text. Basemetal 16:19, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Basemetal and/or (this is not necessarily in reply to one specific message above) -- I don't know that שש in the spelling of Issachar was originally intended to write a geminate consonant when the spelling was established or "fixed" (decided on in way which would not be altered in the future), somewhere in the 500 BC to 1000 BC period; the name might have originally had a different pronunciation to which the שש spelling was suitable. I also doubt whether the masoretes developed any theory of what שש meant when they operated after 500 A.D. -- for them the matter was simple: the consonantal text as it had been handed down to them was sacred and unalterable, so they fitted the diacritics of the pronunciation they preferred to the inviolable letters of the consonantal text as best they could. There are a whole list of strategies which they used in such cases, as you can read at Qere and Ketiv; in the particular case of Issachar, the simplest strategy was to make one of the ש letters into a "dead" letter, without any influence on the word's pronunciation in masoretic recitation... AnonMoos (talk) 19:44, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

P.S. The name Issachar with "dead" letter ש is technically a "Q're perpetuum" in the text of the Bible, since it's not usually accompanied by a marginal note. AnonMoos (talk) 07:27, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Biblical Hebrew question: roots with identical first and second radical (פ = ע)?

While there are roots in Hebrew (and Arabic) where ע = ל I've never encountered a Hebrew word of Semitic origin with פ = ע. (There is for example שושן, שושנה but I doubt these are originally Semitic words). Do such roots exist in Hebrew? How about in other Semitic languages? Thanks. Basemetal 18:21, 14 March 2018 (UTC)

Roots with consonant 2 the same as consonant 3 are often called "Double Ayin" roots in English. A root with consonant 1 the same as consonant 2 could be called a "Double Pe" root by analogy, but it is not a common or usual Semitic root pattern, and it's not clear to me how such a root would even be inflected as a verb at all in Biblical Hebrew (the requirements on nouns and adjectives are less rigorous). A place name is בבל, but of course that's not a "Double Pe" root in the original source language from which it's borrowed... AnonMoos (talk) 18:58, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Right, as far as I know בבל comes from באב אל ('El's gate' or 'God's gate'). Biblical writers may not have recognized that etymology (does באב 'gate' even have a reflex in Hebrew?) because if I remember correctly they connected it to the 4 consonant root בלבל (the story of mixing up the languages, etc.) but maybe I'm misremembering the Biblical text here. In any case a 4 consonant root בלבל would have to be connected to a "Double Ayin" root בלל (cf. גלגל and גלל) but I don't believe the root בלל occurs as such in Hebrew. "Double ayin" roots are often themselves connected to "Ayin yud" and "Ayin vav" roots, but that's a story for another day... Basemetal 19:23, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Basemetal -- In Biblical Hebrew, and presumably all or almost all older Semitic languages, a verb always has to be analyzed into root consonants, or you can't even begin to inflect it. However, the same is not really true of nouns -- there have always been some nouns in Semitic languages with unclear root status (or if a consonantal root has come to exist, it was derived from the noun at a relatively late stage of the language), such as אב, יד etc., and speakers of a language didn't necessarily try to make a root analysis of proper names taken from foreign languages. For verbs, having an analysis into root consonants is absolutely necessary to even begin using the word, but for other parts of speech, a root analysis shows relationships between words, but is not necessarily essential to deriving inflected forms (with some limited partial exceptions for Arabic broken plurals, etc.)... AnonMoos (talk) 22:11, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Ok. Basemetal 23:01, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Brown–Driver–Briggs has two possible candidates, as far as I can see: דדה (Strongs H1718) and שׁשׁא (Strongs H8338). Both are very rare roots however, and BDB notes that שׁשׁא might derive from a root שׁאא. There are cognates of דדה in Aramaic and Arabic, so it might well have a Semitic origin. Both roots are also listed in Holladay's CHALOT, but that has no etymological information. - Lindert (talk) 19:02, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
@Basemetal:, Hi, a Hebrew speaker is here. Yep ! See Isaiah 15 5: יְעֹעֵרוּ. Hope this helps. (talk) 17:55, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
What is the meaning of those roots? I've just remembered another word that might be a candidate, maybe with better Semitic credentials: ששון (meaning 'joy') Basemetal 19:23, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
Oops. I've just noticed the links to Strong's and could check the meanings myself. Thanks. Basemetal 19:27, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
So this is a form from a root עער? (Whew, achieving a historically correct indentation is getting harder and harder...) Basemetal 11:29, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
While there: what about ממון and ממש? They don't look like loanwords to me. -- (talk) 14:58, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Do Arabic باب, Aramaic בבא 'gate' (Aramaic also 'chapter') have a cognate in Hebrew? Basemetal 23:01, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
PS: Does Aramaic בבא mean 'gate' or 'the gate'? If the former then what is the form with the definite article? Basemetal<n/span> 23:10, 14 March 2018 (UTC)
As for your first question: No. As for your second question: The addition of the suffix א in Biblical Aramaic, is not intended to make the distinction between "an X" and "the X" (Pre-Biblical Aramaic did use the suffix א for that distinction though, so "a gate" was probably בב). (talk) 18:04, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Basemetal, I don't know about Aramaic בבא because the only form of Aramaic that I know about in detail, or have reference works available for, is Biblical Aramaic, and that word doesn't occur in the Bible. -- It's not correct that Biblical Aramaic doesn't distinguish definiteness. Rather, the Aramaic definite article was a suffix (while the Hebrew definite article is of course a prefix). In Biblical Aramaic, the article usually takes the form of a letter א at the end of a word, and in fact the easiest way to tell apart the small Aramaic-language parts of the Bible from the Hebrew-language parts is the high number of words ending in א. This is sometimes called the "emphatic" in traditional grammar, but its meaning is basically the same as the definite article. However, I couldn't say with certainty whether בבא is definite, because that word doesn't occur in the Bible. AnonMoos (talk) 19:40, 15 March 2018 (UTC)
Your claim is true for Pre-Biblical Aramaic, as I have already pointed out in my previous post. In Biblical Aramaic, though, the suffix א - which indeed originated from Pre-Biblical Aramaic, couldn't be a sign of definiteness, because Biblical Aramaic used that suffix for indefiniteness as well. For example, see Daniel 6 3: "above them, [there are] three ministers who...give them advice...", and so forth. (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2018 (UTC) -- I really don't know what you think is the function of the definite (or "determinate" or "emphatic" if you prefer) suffix in Biblical Aramaic is at all, or why so many Biblical Aramaic words end in א?? -- AnonMoos (talk) 11:15, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
As I have already pointed out, the suffix א originated from Pre-Biblical Aramaic, in which this suffix did indicate definiteness. However, in Biblical Aramaic, the function of this suffix changed a bit. If one wanted to indicate definiteness, one added that suffix. If one wanted to indicate a semikhut, one couldn't add this suffix (to the first word). (talk) 15:40, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
I did have the feeling a noun in smikhut would be different and not add א but I hesitated to assume that exception since I don't really know Aramaic. In other other words you (IP are saying my statement must be corrected to "all nouns not in smikhut take the א form"? And you (again IP are saying that in Biblical Aramaic the function of the א suffix is to distinguish words in smikhut from words not in smikhut? Correct? So you can say either דִּינָא דְּמַלְכוּתָא or דִּין מַלְכוּתָא? (This is post-Biblical but ok). Basemetal 16:31, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
So in other words, if I understand what you're saying, in Biblical Aramaic all nouns have the א form, whether they are definite and not definite? Is this the same in post-Biblical Aramaic (at least Jewish Aramaic)? I know almost no Aramaic but I kind of guess that חַד גַדְיָא must mean "one goat kid", i.e. be indefinite, while בָּבָא מְצִיעָא must mean "the middle gate", i.e. be definite. In some cases the א form can apparently be ambiguous for definiteness, e.g. דִּינָא דְּמַלְכוּתָא דִּינָא, could be "a kingdom" or "the kingdom"? Basemetal 11:09, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Basemetal -- it's definitely not the case that all noun forms in Biblical Aramaic end in א. The anonymous IP seems to be claiming that the Biblical Aramaic א suffix has no purpose or meaning, but I'm rather skeptical of that. AnonMoos (talk)
Ok. I'll let you guys sort it out. As I said I can only watch and learn as I have not studied Aramaic and my Hebrew Bible is "somewhere around here" but not really within reach. When I get to it I'll try to check the statements you guys are making and try to understand what you guys are saying. Incidentally I again changed to order of our contibutions to correspond to the historical sequence. Since the indentation is identical it is clear you're responding above to the anonymous contributor and not to me, but that preserves the sequence of contributions for clarity, or such clarity as can be achieved with this primitive system of threading. Basemetal 11:22, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Unfortunately, your strictly rigidly inflexible chronological order obfuscates the threading, and gives a very clear impression that I replied to myself, which did NOT happen! Sometimes chronology has to bend slightly in the service of clarity of threading. AnonMoos (talk) 11:35, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Well the proper solution would have been to insert your answer to me right after my contribution with a deeper indentation, like so:
(IPer) Your claim is true for pre-Biblical Aramaic...
(Basemetal's response to IPer) So in other words, if I understand what you're saying...
(AnonMoos's response to Basemetal's response to IPer) It's definitely not the case that all noun forms...
(AnonMoos's response to IPer) I really don't know what you think is the function...
This would have made it very clear you were not responding to yourself. Historical sequencing should apply within levels, not across levels. But ok, I didn't change it back, as it doesn't really matter much, and I don't want to get into an argument. Like I said the system is already so primitive that it is hopeless to try and achieve perfect consistency. But that's what I would have done. Basemetal 11:54, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of the convention you mention, and use it only infrequently. In any case, it's mainly for someone who was not part of the original conversation replying to one specific message in it at a later date -- it's NOT particularly appropriate for marking that one message by an active participant is a mere six minutes later than another message by another active participant (11:09 vs. 11:15) when neither message depends on the other one... AnonMoos (talk) 07:42, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

March 15

Goat sound

When I was little I was taught that the sound of a goat was maa and that the sound of a sheep was baa. But Internet sites are saying that baa belongs to both animal species. Does Wikipedia have any articles on the true sound of a goat?? Georgia guy (talk) 14:13, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

Nothing that can be written with letters of the alphabet is the "true sound" of any non-human animal. Rather, it is human Onomatopoeia of the animal's sound (and such onomatopoeic imitations can vary startlingly between languages). The conventional English onomatopoeia of the bleating of a sheep is [bæːːː], but I'm not sure that there's an established goat cry imitation (maybe among goat herders). AnonMoos (talk)
Our list of animal sounds says (with a reference – The Bumper Book for the Loo, no less) that goats either bleat or go "baa", but it isn't hard to find people using the word maa for the sound a goat makes. --Antiquary (talk) 15:03, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

Why doesn't the Chinese Wikipedia have a word for Songkran?

The Chinese Wikipedia just has 泼水节, which is linked to Songkran. Both seem to talk about the holiday as a general phenomenon for Southeast Asians and the ethnic minority group in China. Curiously, the English Wikipedia also has a water-sprinkling festival article, and it's linked to Songkran. But it's not linked to any other Wikipedia. So apparently, the English Wikipedia has two articles, one for the Chinese minority ethnic group and the other is for the actual holiday, while the Chinese Wikipedia mentions both in the same article and calls it 泼水节. (talk) 20:00, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

All articles on the English and the 'Chinese' (presumably MSM) Wikipedias are written entirely independently by volunteers as they choose (or not). (The same applies to all the different-language Wikipedias, of course.)
Similarly, links between articles on different-language Wikipedias are added (or not) when individual volunteer editors choose to do so (as far as I know – I'm open to correction).
Given this independence, it's inevitable that there will not necessarily be one-to-one matches between articles on related topics on the two different projects, although sometimes a volunteer editor will deliberately translate an existing article on one for addition to the other where there is no such article already. Nor will there necessarily be a link between two articles on the same subject. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 15:44, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

March 16

A few surnames

Hello. I need help with the Spanish pronunciation of a few surnames, presumably Basque:

  • Mikel Arteta Amatriain - is it [amaˈtɾ] or [amatɾjaˈin]?
  • Markel Susaeta Laskurain - is it [laskuˈɾ] or [laskuɾaˈin]?
  • Iker Muniain Goñi - is it [muˈ] or [munjaˈin]?

[amaˈtɾjain, laskuˈɾain, muˈnjain] (with the [ai] diphthong) are definitely wrong. The [i] is a full vowel in this context, but stress seems to be variable. I did my research, but the results are inconclusive (at least to me).

Can anyone help? Mr KEBAB (talk) 00:53, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

I can't say I can help but note Miguel Induráin writes his name with an accent. He must consider his name ends with the diphthong ai plus n and as a word ending in n that palabra, absent an accent, would be llana so apparently he feels he needs to accent the diphthong ai to make it a palabra aguda. The fact that the Laskurain, etc. do not use an accent may just have to do with Basque orthography as the Lascuráin (which is the Hispanized form) do use an accent: Pedro Lascuráin. My guess is, in the Spanish form of the name (as opposed, possibly, to the original Basque form) the ai must indeed be a diphthong. Basemetal 12:07, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

"doesn't assume", in one word (or two words, of which the second one is a preposition).


E.g. He doesn't assume my assumption.

Please notice that when one doesn't assume something, this doesn't mean they disagree with it. They may also ignore it. However, the verb "ignore" is not the one I'm looking for, because it's not semantically equivalent to "not assume"; Check: "He ignores me", that cannot be replaced by "He doesn't *assume me". HOTmag (talk) 07:57, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Sorry - but your sentence doesn't mean anything in English. When you assume something, in the sense of accepting it yourself, it refers to something about yourself: you can assume responsibility, or power, or control. It really doesn't seem to work in terms of whether or not you agree with the proposition that someone else has assumed to be correct. You quite definitely cannot say "he doesn't assume me." Wymspen (talk) 18:43, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
He rejects my assumption is a better way to say it. Akld guy (talk) 21:23, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
"rejects" is much too strong for what HOTmag has in mind. "embrace", "accept" or "utilize"/"use" would all be better choices. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:30, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

Deductible, Deducible, Deductable, Inferable Does this thesaurus site get it wrong ?

The theasus claims that inferable is a (near) synonym for deductible. I think this is wrong, they probably mean deducible rather than deductible, and that a deducible is something that is taken from a gross amount (like insurance excess, taxes, etc).

Having posted this on Facebook it's clear that my friends had all sorts of different opinions, some agreeing with me, some saying that deductible could either mean inferable or an amount deducted, and one saying that deductible could only mean the same as inferable and that the right word for an amount deducted was deductable. Who is right? -- Q Chris (talk) 08:54, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Deduct and deduce have the same root (Latin deducere) - but have been distinct since the 17th century and no longer carry the same meaning. Infer is certainly a close synonym of deduce, but deduct now has a totally different meaning. You might find that in older texts (KJV, Shakespeare?) they are used interchangeably, but not in modern usage. The same applies to deductible and deducible (the -able endings are either errors or alternatives, depending on your degree of pedantry). However, if you deduce something you have made a deduction - and if you deduct something you have also made a deduction! Wymspen (talk) 09:09, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Do all languages have more consonants than vowels?

In terms of phonemes, is it universal that languages have more consonants than vowels? I could imagine that maybe they have more because humans are able to articulate more distinct consonants. --Hofhof (talk) 13:37, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

The Hawaiian language has 8 consonants, 5 short vowels, 5 long vowels, and 9 diphthongs. Loraof (talk) 14:03, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
According to Hawaiian phonology: "Hawaiian has either 5 or 25 vowel phonemes." You could well count the short/long vowels as one, and the diphthongs are not as much as a phoneme as 'p', 'r', and 'pr' are 2 or 3.--Hofhof (talk) 14:11, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Your general observation seems to be correct and the reason you give namely that there are potentially fewer distinct vowels than consonants seems to be part of the reason, but it can't be the whole reason. For example the languages with the smallest phoneme inventories like the Pirahã language or the Rotokas language make do with about 15 phonemes in total. But there certainly are 15 distinct vowels (as an example: standard French has 15 vocalic phonemes, if you include the nasal vowels, and that's certainly far from a world record). So Pirahã or Rotokas speakers could, purely in terms of the distinct phonemes that are available to them, make do with a phoneme inventory composed only of vowels but they don't, and I'm aware of no language with only vocalic phonemes. (However, what seems also to be true, but don't quote me on that, is that the ratio of consonants to vowels seems to go down as the total number of phonemes goes down). In fact there is, from a purely information-theoretic point of view, no minimal number of phonemes. You could have a language, again, in principle, with only 2 phonemes (just like anything can be encoded with 0 and 1), presumably both vocalic, or at least continuants. In any case there would be an ample supply of vowels for such a language. So your explanation, namely the number of potential distinctions is probably a factor but is probably also not the whole story. Basemetal 15:04, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Russian hand sign?

Is this a real world hand sign with a set meaning or was it's made up for the movie (Nightwatch, 2004)?

Languagesare (talk) 20:59, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

March 17

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