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18

Indeed, the Ancient Greek word εὕρηκα would be transcribed heurēka, with an H. The mark that looks like an apostrophe (the "rough breathing" or "spiritus asper") indicates the H sound. However, the word came to English through Latin, which is why it's pronounced with the accent on the second syllable instead of the first (as in Greek). ...


13

Yes, a few: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Ancient_Greek_terms_derived_from_Sumerian They were mostly borrowed via Akkadian, and into other major classical languages of the Eastern Mediterranean beside Ancient Greek - Aramaic, Armenian, Persian, Hebrew... English cane would seem to share such an etymology. Another wave of ultimately Sumerian ...


12

These two words are actually cognate with each other; they show the differing reflexes in Greek of labiovelar consonants. In the noun ζωή zōē and the corresponding adjective ζωός zōos, the initial ζ developed from a cluster with the semivowel y; the noun βίος bios shows the normal development of PIE *gʷ before the full vowel /i/. The Online Etymology ...


11

They both come from Greek συμφωνία.This was used in ancient and mediaeval times as a name for various musical instruments, including a type of drum.


10

Aristophanes (Knights 21–26), much earlier than the Philogelos, punned on repeating molōmen auto, molōmen auto "let us go, that" ending up sounding like the taboo automolōmen "let us desert". Remember, Aristophanes in Frogs mocks Euripides for adopting new-fangled notions from the sophists, like "word". As Willi's monograph on Aristophanes' language points ...


9

From Wikipedia: The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about Bilgamesh (Sumerian for "Gilgamesh"), king of Uruk, dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2100 BC). These independent stories were later used as source material for a combined epic. The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the "Old Babylonian" ...


9

This comes down to the ambiguities in the Cuneiform script. Cuneiform doesn't have a one-to-one correspondence between signs and sounds. The sign DIŊIR is a good example. The sign started out in Sumerian meaning an, "heaven". It was used for both the sounds /an/ and for the word an. Because it was pronounced /an/, it started being used for the word An also, ...


9

Short answer: Gardiner's classification system. It's what Unicode (and every major dictionary I know of) uses, and is quite comprehensive; pretty much anything you come across in everyday Egyptology will be listed in there somewhere. Gardiner also includes a list of notable variants for each sign: distinct graphical forms that should be considered to ...


9

Could this indicate a pre-cuneiform, pre-hieroglyphic writing system? It's possible, yes. But so could the Vinča symbols, or the Jiahu symbols. It's hard to prove a negative (i.e. prove that these symbols don't encode language), but until someone can come up with a believable, systematic correspondence between these symbols and some form of language (a ...


8

The etymology is not entirely certain. The historical linguist Manfred Mayrhofer in his Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen (vol. 1, pg. 37) essentially says (this is paraphrased from German): nā́raka (often with lóka) is most likely from the vriddhi form of nar- "man" which perhaps implies that nā́raka is the final place for flawed (?) men, in ...


7

Some of these letters are clumsy imitations of Ancient South Arabian script, others are made up. It looks like a fake. Many years ago I worked as a volunteer at the National Museum in San’a. The storeroom of the museum was full of this sort of thing. The government had the enlightened policy of paying farmers for any “antiquity” they brought in, even if it ...


7

Truly, you have a great ambition. Don't give up!! But you cannot learn to talk an ancient language just from the way it is written. Heck, you cannot learn how any language is spoken from the way it is written, though maybe Korean comes as close as any. That aside, decipherment of ancient scripts is very worthy. But to decipher a new ancient language needs ...


6

The linked Linear A Wikipedia article says “Archaeologist Arthur Evans named the script "Linear" because its characters consisted simply of lines inscribed in clay, in contrast to the more pictographic characters in Cretan hieroglyphs that were used during the same period.” The citation Wikipedia gives for this statement is Robinson, Andrew (2009). Writing ...


5

नर (nara) This is from Proto-Indo-European *h₂nḗr. Cognates include Ancient Greek ἀνήρ, genitive ᾰ̓νδρός, whence English andro-. नरक (naraka) According to hi.wiktionary: पुराणों और धर्मशास्त्रों आदि के अनुसार वह स्थान जहाँ पापी मनुष्यों की आत्मा पाप का फल भोगने के लिये भेजी जाती है । वह स्थान जहाँ दुष्कर्म करनेवालों की आत्मा दंड देने के लिये रखी जाती ...


5

There is no phonetic difference between voiceless aspirated vs. unaspirated trill, and phonologically speaking, voiceless trills (and other sonorants) behave like they are aspirates. The distinction between trill and tap has to do with the number of hits. It is likely that Ancient Greek initial r (ῥ) was not a fricative and was voiceless, but it would take ...


5

Your first question: Avestan and Old Persian are the two attested Old Iranian languages. Both are very close to the reconstructed Old Iranian, and thus to one another. New Persian (Fārsī) is (mainly) descended from Old Persian, but it has moved very far from Old Iranian. Your second question: The Zoroastrians in Iran and India do sometimes write New Persian ...


4

This has no source except an undergraduate language history class, but… I learned that the scripts were called Linear in opposition to Cuneiform ("wedge-shaped"), the other popular script found on clay tablets. Cuneiform characters are made by pressing a wedge-shaped stylus tip straight down into the clay, while linear characters are made by using a thinner ...


4

When counting, the Greeks (like everyone else) obviously used their word for “one”; they did not read the names of the letters that were used as numerals (α´, β´, γ´ etc.). It could be debated which gender they used when counting. Presumably, when counting specific items they would have used the gender of the thing in question. For simply counting in an ...


4

As OP clarified in the comments: Bilingual list is a dictionary. Therefore, the oldest dictionaries would be the cuneiform lexical lists. These are attested from close to 4000 BCE, and are extremely well-attested because they were used for practice at the edubba (scribal schools). Much like modern Japanese, Akkadian cuneiform used a large inventory of ...


4

Yes, Sumerian scribes did sometimes write words entirely or partly phonetically using syllable signs. This could occur for several reasons: As Draconis already noted, grammatical prefixes and suffixes (which Sumerian used a lot, especially with verbs) were always written phonetically, since that was really the only way they could be written. (Admittedly, ...


4

A is the conventional name for a particular cuneiform glyph, typically its most common or best-known pronunciation. But the sign A can be read as a, aya₂, e₄, ea, ŋa₁₀, or many others. The JSON is mapping the name to a list of all these possible readings. Sometimes, though, a cuneiform glyph is made from other glyphs joined together. There are a variety of ...


4

just wanted to share some images One of the first attested uses in an English text: Source: Euclid, Henry Billingsley, John Dee, François De Foix Candale, John Day, and English Printing Collection. The elements of geometrie of the most auncient philosopher Evclide of Megara. Imprinted at London: By Iohn Daye, 1570. Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/03020856/. ...


3

One piece of ancient wordplay is the statement attributed to the oracle at Dodona: Ibis redibis nunquam per bella peribis which, depending on how you group the words, can be taken to bear either of two meanings: You will go, you will return, never will you die in battle You will go, you will never return, you will die in battle


3

I believe the first recorded occurrence of a pun in written text was around 2100 BC, in the language of the Sumerians. In the epic of Gilgamesh when Utnapishtim warns the ruler of his city about the flood, he does so by saying that the sky will rain "kibtu (corn)" and "kukku (sound of kernels hitting the ground)" as a pun on "kibitu (misery)" and "kukkû (...


3

Regarding their meaning/usage during the "Classical" and "Hellenistic" period in non-technical literature, I would say ζωή refers the opposite of "death" in terms of existence, and is used for animals, plants, etc., with common overtones of transcendence, whereas βίος refers to human lifestyles and activities, which by metonymy would also relate to things ...


3

See Why "agoraphobia" not "agorophobia"? myia is a first declension noun, so originally in Greek the correct answer was myiaphagia, just as agoraphobia is actually the correct form, historically. But the -o- of the second declension extended to first declension nouns in compounds very very early—so early that -a- compounds are the ...


3

The rules for the formation of compounds are explained in the more elaborate Greek grammars, but I think you are asking about this specific word. In Classical Greek there are quite a large number of compounds from μυιο- or μυο-, as you can see here: μυιο- μυο- Click on the individual words for their meaning. Myo- or myiophagia would be a correctly formed ...


3

It is theoretically possible to decipher an undeciphered language, such as Linear B (Mycenean Greek). Old Chinese did not require decipherment ("Bone oracle script" did), but it did require a bit of fancy work to figure out how the individual characters were probably pronounced. There are a handful of undeciphered scripts, such as Linear A (associated with ...


2

Sumerian is a language isolate: no other language is known to be related to it. Akkadian and Ugaritic, on the other hand, are Semitic languages: they're related to each other (as well as to Hebrew, Arabic, etc), though not very closely. The main connection between them is the basic principle of their writing system (cuneiform), which was also shared by ...


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