1 3 4 5  7 8 » 20
Does that mean she practices transpondental mediation?

No, I think it has something to do with the time George Washington threw his false teeth across the Potomac.
It's been a while since I've looked at the introductory matter in Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary (there's a facsimile edition at the University of Minnesota), but the author of the Web page at
http://www.livejournal.com/users/lo5an/64846.html
did so, and says that Webster "has all the languages descended from that spoken by Noah and he divides them into two groups, the languages of the descendants of Shem and Ham are the Shemitic languages and the languages of the descendants of Japheth are the Japhethic languages." I figure that Webster would not have considered Hebrew to be the one original language, but instead would have recognized it as one of the languages spoken by the descendants of Shem. Without more information, however, the possibility still exists that Webster thought that Noah spoke Hebrew and also thought it had continued as the unchanging trunk of the family tree of languages spoken by Shem's ancestors.
I have read elsewhere of other scholars around Noah Webster's time and before searching for the original language and coming to different conclusions (or no conclusion) about what it might have been. They would not have made the search, of course, if they had been utterly convinced that Hebrew was the original language.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
It's been a while since I've looked at the introductory matter in Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary (there's a facsimile edition at the University of Minnesota), but the author of the Web page at http://www.livejournal.com/users/lo5an/64846.html

A friend of mine over here has the real article. How much is it worth, seeing it is missing the first couple of pages and the binding is quite worn, does anyone know, and should Chris reconsider having it rebound? I advised against it, but I'm no book dealer.
However, I wonder about Lithuanian: It supposedly has the most ... of the others are degradations from it in varying degrees.

It always seems odd to me (that is, always whenever I think about it, which isn't really that often) to ... Should it not be the other way about? 'Should' in the sense of what one might expect - not prescriptively.

One of the main points of The Power of Babel by linguist John McWhorter is that languages build up baroque junk over time complexities which do not serve the purpose of communication. One implication of this is that the youngest languages have the least of these useless complexities: Creole languages (which still retain some of the useless complexities of the pidgins from which they developed, which in turn got those useless complexities from the languages from which they were formed) and the sign languages of the deaf. This does not mean that creole languages and sign languages are less fit vehicles for expressing complex ideas than older languages, however. The speech community adapts the language to its needs, and there is no such thing as a "simple culture" with simple needs.

I was involved in a very long discussion of McWhorter's book in sci.lang , and his ideas got almost no support from the people who posted to that thread besides me.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
No, I think it has something to do with the time George Washington threw his false teeth across the Potomac.

I learned the other day that they were made of hippopotomac ivory and tasted so aggressively foul that he used to steep them in wine overnight to pacify them.

Paul
In bocca al Lupo!
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
No, I think it has something to do with the time George Washington threw his false teeth across the Potomac.

I learned the other day that they were made of hippopotomac ivory and tasted so aggressively foul that he used to steep them in wine overnight to pacify them.

A Web page at
http://www.si.umich.edu/spies/stories-networks-4.html confirms the hippopotamic-ivory part, but it says cow's tooth was another component of the teeth.
The Web site also tells us
Today, the teeth can be viewed at the University
of Maryland's National Museum of Dentistry.
I will add that information to my treasured golden nuggets of knowledge.
If anybody is bored enough to do a 2MB download and listen to a 20kB .wav file, I'd be interested in their take on this sound. Does the word sound like 'hat', 'hot', 'hut', 'hawt, 'haht' or what?

It sounds exactly like 'hot' to me, which in my accent might be close to (ha.t), or between that and (hA.t).

Regards
John
for mail: my initials plus those of alt.usage.english at tpg dot com dot au
It's been a while since I've looked at the introductory matter in Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary (there's a facsimile edition ... would not have made the search, of course, if they had been utterly convinced that Hebrew was the original language.

See Umberto Eco's The Search for the Perfect Language or Hans Aarsleff's From Locke to Saussure . The European scholarly tradition generally held that even though modern-day Hebrew wasn't the perfect language of Adam, it was the closest heir to the Adamic tongue, which had been lost with the fall of Babel. (Theologians were a bit puzzled about why Genesis 10 says that the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth had "their own languages" before the fall of Babel in Genesis 11, but this was explained away as a case of non-sequential narration.)

Scholars going back to St. Augustine believed that Hebrew was closest to the Adamic language, but the idea really took off in the 17th century with the rediscovery of the kabbalistic tradition of Hebrew mysticism. Enlightenment-era thinkers proposed that the Adamic language might still be reconstructed from the scattered elements left by the "confounding of tongues" at Babel and the study of Hebrew was seen as the key to the reconstruction.
The attempt to reconstruct the Adamic language had waned by Noah Webster's time, but Hebrew remained essential to the course of study for educated men in 18th-century America (it was mandatory at Harvard and Yale, and most of the founding fathers were proficient in reading it). As we discussed in a recent thread (1), there were even suggestions that Hebrew be adopted as the official language of the new nation.

(1)
Removed)
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
It's been a while since I've looked at the introductory ... had been utterly convinced that Hebrew was the original language.

See Umberto Eco's The Search for the Perfect Language or Hans

I have read that book by Eco, and in May 2002 recommended it in a post I wrote to alt.english.usage .
Aarsleff's From Locke to Saussure . The European scholarly tradition generally held that even though modern-day Hebrew wasn't the ... recent thread (1), there were even suggestions that Hebrew be adopted as the official language of the new nation. (1)

Removed)

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Show more