Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages

It's always nice to receive a new publication in the post! The book Creating Orthographies for Endangered Languages, edited by Mari C. Jones and Damien Mooney, is an edited volume arising in part from Mari's work with the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group and its associated Cambridge Conferences on Language Endangerment. I always enjoy conferences which... Continue Reading →

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Talk: HiSoN 2017, New York

I'm very excited to be speaking this week at the Historical Sociolinguistics Network Conference (HiSoN) 2017 in New York, hosted by NYU and CUNY Graduate Centre. I hugely enjoyed HiSoN 2015, and met some lovely people doing fascinating work there, so I'm looking forward to this year's conference hugely. I'm speaking on the first day of... Continue Reading →

Mauss, Oscan and translation problems

I mentioned over here that there were some mentions of Oscan in Marcel Mauss's The Gift, and also that there were some problems with some of the English translations of this essay. I thought I'd expand on this year, in case anyone happens to be reading The Gift and wants to know a bit more about... Continue Reading →

The demos of Roccagloriosa

Today's inscription is a fantastic example of linguists getting a huge amount of information about ancient societies out of very short texts. How short? Well, about two letters actually. Buxentum 2 (c. 300 BC) reads <ΔΗ>, or <DE> to transcribe it into the Roman alphabet. The two letters are joined by one of their lines, to make... Continue Reading →

Corfinium – Italia or Italica?

Over the Easter holidays, I've been reading Mary Beard's SPQR, which I highly recommend. I was particularly pleased that so much of it focusses on early Rome and its relationship with Italy - it was at least a third of the way through before we even got to Sulla. Mary, as usual, brings out all... Continue Reading →

Plautus and plavtad

Here's a nice post by Matteo Calabrese on the meaning behind the name of the Roman dramatist Plautus, with a reference back to the post I wrote on the Pietrabbondante tile in January. If you were wondering, his name is derived from a nickname meaning "flat-footed" - but as far as I know, we can... Continue Reading →

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