Rhaetic on screen

I was amazed to hear recently that there is a film out where the dialogue is in Rhaetic. This is one of the more obscure languages of ancient Italy, and not one which usually gets a lot of attention. [NB - some links and videos in this post include images of human remains.] Iceman (2017) is a... Continue Reading →

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Heatwave archaeology

The UK (and many other areas of the world) has been experiencing a prolonged heatwave this summer. Some love it, and some hate it, but it's clearly been fantastic for archaeologists. In the dry weather, grass and crops dry out at different rates depending on what the soil underneath is like - where there was... Continue Reading →

Arrival – Linguists save the earth

Language is a problem for sci-fi. In any story involving contact with alien peoples or human civilisations from the distant future, there has to be a mechanism for understanding what everyone else is talking about, or most plots will never get off the ground. In Star Trek, you have the linguist Uhura, who has already presumably put... Continue Reading →

Reblogged – What the digamma?

An excellently Classical post appeared on the Strong Language linguistics blog last week after someone found the phrase "what the digamma?" in a poem of 1881. I'll let you read Ben Zimmer's musings on whether this is a joke replacement of "what the dickens" or is meant as something closer to "WTF". The comments give... Continue Reading →

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