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Old 03-09-2009, 04:04 AM   #101
Pavlos
Scruffy Englishman
 
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: The real world/ivory towers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7 View Post
@Pavlos.. that book does sound interesting indeed Im quite interested in how spoken languages change and evolve. From my own perspective, modern Turkish has changed phenomenally in the last 30 years. My Cypriot Turkish accent and dialect keeps me at that circa 1970s meter. Unless I actually live in Turkey, theres no way Im going to pick up the quick and interwoven modern style that has developed. I can understand it, but I cant reproduce it, most Cypriot Turks cannot. Apparently Greek Cypriots have similar issues too.
The Oxford English Dictionary is one of the greatest Victorian achievements; as much as one of Brunel's bridges or boats. From the introduction to the second edition (and latest):

Quote:
The aim of this Dictionary is to present in alphabetical series the words that have formed the English vocabulary from the time of the earliest records [ca. AD740] down to the present day, with all the relevant facts concerning their form, sense-history, pronunciation, and etymology. It embraces not only the standard language of literature and conversation, whether current at the moment, or obsolete, or archaic, but also the main technical vocabulary, and a large measure of dialectal usage and slang.
No other dictionary in the world does this. It's a massive undertaking, so much so that the last edition was in 1933 (though with many, many revisions through the decades) and the third edition won't be done until the late 2030s. The OED is the history of a language on one shelf, it's really quite impressive... if rather large. Fortunately, it's also the history of a language online, too.

Vox Latina is essentially only useful for classical Latin (100 BC to 100 AD), by the way, and I wouldn't know about Church Latin. I believe Darathy knows more about mediaeval Latin -- from which it is derived -- but given the way some reverends manage to arse up the stresses of the King James I edition of the Bible in English (by randomly placing emphasis on the words that they like and thereby destroying one of the greatest works of poetry in the English language) it wouldn't surprise me if people speaking in Church Latin were doing much the same to their poetic texts.


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