10 episodes

Radio Omniglot is a podcast about language and linguistics, brought to you by Simon Ager, the man behind Omniglot.com, the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages.

Radio Omniglot Simon Ager

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Radio Omniglot is a podcast about language and linguistics, brought to you by Simon Ager, the man behind Omniglot.com, the online encyclopedia of writing systems and languages.

    Omniglot News (05/02/22)

    Omniglot News (05/02/22)

    Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

    There are new language pages about:



    * Tchaman, a Kwa language spoken in southern Ivory Coast / Côte d’Ivoire

    * Mbato (Nghlwa), a Kwa language spoken in the southeast of Ivory Coast.

    * Adele (Gɩdɩrɛ), a Kwa language spoken in central Togo and southeastern Ghana.



    New constructed script: Tamiki, which was created by Damian Izrullah Bin Abdullah to write Tamiki, Adaki and Yusrian-Animan, which are constructed languages he is also creating



    There are new numbers pages in:



    * Eastern Pwo Karen (ဖၠုံ‎), a Karenic language spoken in Myanmar and Thailand.

    * Kanakanavu, a Southern Tsouic language spoken in Namasia District of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

    * Eyak (dAXunhyuuga’), a Na-Déné language that was once spoken in south eastern Alaska and which is being revived.



    New Tower of Babel translations



    * Wamey, a Senegambian language spoken in Guinea and Senegal.

    * Baka, a Central Sudanic language spoken in South Sudan.

    * Bahnar, a North Bahnaric language spoken in Vietnam.

    * Gagauz, Turkic language spoken mainly in southern Moldova, southwestern Ukraine and northeastern Bulgaria.



    On the Omniglot blog this week we have a post about Gossipy Cancans, and the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:



    Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in East Africa.

    The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was

    Puyuma (Pinuyumayan), a Formosan language spoken in Taitung County in the southeast of Taiwan.



    In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we’re getting all trivial and petty and looking into the origins of the word Quibble.



    On the Celtiadur blog there are new post about Burdensome Loads and Fees and Charges.

    There’s a new Celtic Pathways podcast about words for Baskets and related things in Celtic languages.

    I also made improvements to the Western Apache language page.

    For more Omniglot News see:

    https://www.omniglot.com/news/

    https://twitter.com/Omniglossia

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/

    https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, a href="https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/8b1b1d1b-b39e-4277-b28d-479a3b5043b3/ra...

    Celtic Pathways - Baskets

    Celtic Pathways - Baskets

    In this episode we’re looking into baskets, bundles and related things.



    The Proto-Celtic word *baskis means a bundle or load, and comes from the Proto-Indo-European *bʰask- (bandle, band) [Source].

    Related words in Celtic language include:



    * basc = circular necklet or neckband in Middle Irish

    * basc = round, red, scarlet in Scottish Gaelic

    * baich [bai̯χ] = burden, heavy load, labour, duty, sin, sorrow, woe, responsibility, a load or a dry measure in Welsh

    * begh = burden, load in Cornish

    * bec’h = difficulty, effort in Breton



    Words from the same Proto-Celtic root include bascauda (woven mat or vessel to hold basketwork) in Late Latin, bâche (tarpaulin, canvas sheet, cover) in French, vascullo (broom, bundle of straw) in Galician, basket in English, فَشْقَار (fašqār – a heap of sheaves) in Arabic.

    Incidentally, the Irish word bascaed, the Scottish Gaelic basgaid, the Manx basca(i)d/baskad, the Welsh word basged and the Cornish basket, all of which mean basket, were borrowed from English. The Breton word for basket, paner, was borrowed from the French panier (basket), from the Latin pānārium (breadbasket), from pānis (bread, loaf) [source].

    Other words from the PIE root *bʰask- include fascis (bundle, burden, load, high office) in Latin, and possibly bast (fibre made from certain plants used for matting and cord) in English, bast (bast, raffia) in Danish, bast (inner bark, velvet, skin, hide) in Dutch, and bashkë (together, simultaneously) in Albanian [source].

    You can be find more details of words for Burdensome Loads on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

    Adventures in Etymology - Quibble

    Adventures in Etymology - Quibble

    In this Adventure we getting all trivial and petty and looking into the origins of the word quibble.



    Quibble [ˈkwɪbəl] means:



    * A pun (rare. from 17th century)

    * An objection or argument based on an ambiguity of wording or similar trivial circumstance; a minor complaint.

    * To complain or argue in a trivial or petty manner.

    * To contest, especially some trivial issue in a petty manner.



    It comes from quib (a quip or gibe), probably from Latin quibus (in what respect, how?), which appeared frequently in legal documents and came to be suggestive of the verbosity and petty argumentation found therein. [source].

    Quibus comes from quī/quis (who, that, which, any), from Proto-Italic *kʷoi (who, what), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷós/*kʷís (who, what, which, that) [source].

    Words from the same roots include what, who, why, when, which, how in English, and similar question words in other Indo-European languages [source].

    Incidentally, the word quip (a smart, sarcastic turn or jest; a taunt; a severe retort or comeback) possibly comes from Latin quippe (indeed, since, after all, why), from quid (what, why, well), from PIE *kʷid, a form of kʷís (who, what, which) [source].

    Here’s a video I made of this information:



    Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

    I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.



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    Omniglot News (29/01/22)

    Omniglot News (29/01/22)

    Here’s the latest news from the world of Omniglot.

    There are new language pages about:



    * Dangme, a Kwa language spoken in southeastern Ghana.

    * Foodo (Fóodo), a Kwa language spoken mainly in northern Benin.

    * Nkonya (Nkunyá), a Kwa language spoken in southeastern Ghana.



    New constructed script: Harahap – Toge Na Rata, which was created by Pardomuan Harahap is an alternative way to write Batak languages, and also Indonesian and English.



    New adapted script: Beomeouija (범어의자), a way to write Sanskrit using the Korean Hangeul script devised by Adnaan Mahmood.



    There’s a new phrases page in: Dangme, a Kwa language spoken in the southeast of Ghana.

    There are new numbers pages in:



    * Dangme, a Kwa language spoken in the southeast of Ghana.

    * Ottawa (Nishnaabemwin), a dialect of Ojibwe spoken in southern Ontario in Canada and northern Michigan in the USA.

    * Chinook Jargon (chinuk wawa), a pidgin/creole trade language that was used in the Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada.



    On the Omniglot blog this week we’re putting a Dampener things, and looking into the origins of the English word dampener and the French word gâcher (to spoil, ruin, waste), and there’s the usual Language Quiz. See if you can guess what language this is:



    Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in Taiwan.

    The mystery language in last week’s language quiz was

    Sranan (Sranan Tongo), an English-based Creole spoken in Suriname.



    In this week’s Adventure in Etymology we’re seeking a safe haven and other peaceful places.



    On the Celtiadur blog there’s a new post about the words Region and Country and related things in Celtic languages.

    There’s a new Celtic Pathways podcast about words for Rivers and related things in Celtic languages.

    I also made improvements to the Limburgish numbers page.

    For more Omniglot News see:

    https://www.omniglot.com/news/

    https://twitter.com/Omniglossia

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/omniglot/

    https://www.facebook.com/Omniglot-100430558332117

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, a href="https://www.podchaser.

    Celtic Pathways - Rivers

    Celtic Pathways - Rivers

    In this episode we’re diving into words for river.



    A Proto-Celtic word for river was *abonā/*abū, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₂ep- (water, body of water) [Source].

    Related words in Celtic language include:



    * abhainn [əunʲ/oːn̠ʲ] = river in Irish

    * abhainn [a.ɪn̪ʲ] = river or stream in Scottish

    * awin [ˈawənʲ] = river in Manx

    * afon [ˈavɔn] = river or stream in Welsh

    * avon [ˈavɔn] = river in Cornish

    * aven [ˈɑː.ven] = river in Breton



    The names of the river Avon in England and the river A’an (Avon) in Scotland were borrowed from Proto-Brythonic the *aβon (river) [source].

    Words from the same PIE roots include अप् (ap – water, Virgo) in Sanskrit, and possibly words for ape in English and other Germanic languages, which might have originally referred to a water sprite [source].

    Another Proto-Celtic word for river was *rēnos, which comes from the Proto-Indo-European *h₃reyH- (to flow, stream) [source].

    Related words in Celtic languages include:



    * rían [r͈ʲiːa̯n] = sea, ocean, path, course, way or manner in Old Irish

    * rian = course, path, mark, trace, track or vigour in modern Irish

    * rian [r̪ʲian] = method, mode, system, arrangement, control, management, order or sense in Scottish Gaelic

    * rane = stanza, track or verse in Manx



    Names for the river Rhine in many languages come from the same roots, via the Latin Rhēnus and/or Gaulish Rēnos. For example, the English word Rhein comes from Middle English Rine/Ryne, from Old English Rīn, from Middle/Old High German Rīn, from Proto-West Germanic *Rīn, from Proto-Germanic *Rīnaz, from Gaulish Rēnos [source].

    The Latin word rīvus (small stream, brook, rivulet) comes from the same PIE roots, and is the root of river-related words in Romance languages, such as rio in Italian and Portuguese, and ruisseau (stream, brook, creek) in French [source].

    Incidentally, the English word river comes from Middle English ryver/river(e), from Anglo-Norman rivere, from Old French riviere, from Vulgar Latin *rīpāria (riverbank, seashore, river), from Latin rīpārius (of a riverbank), from Latin rīpa (river bank), from PIE *h₁reyp- (to scratch, tear, cut) [source].

    You can be find more details of Celtic words for river on the Celtiadur, a blog where I explore connections between Celtic languages in more depth. I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog.

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    Adventures in Etymology - Haven

    Adventures in Etymology - Haven

    In this Adventure we’re finding a safe haven and other peaceful places.



    A haven [ˈheɪvən] is:



    * A harbour or anchorage protected from the sea

    * A place of safety

    * A peaceful place



    It comes from Middle English haven(e), from Old English hæfen [ˈxæ.fen] (inlet, harbour, port), from Proto-Germanic *hab(a)nō [ˈxɑ.βɑ.nɔː] (harbour, haven), from PIE *kh₂p(ó)neh₂, from *keh₂p- (to take, seize, grasp) [source].

    The English word abra, which means a narrow mountain pass, was borrowed from Spanish abra (small bay, inlet, glade, clearing), which comes from French havre (haven), and comes ultimately from Proto-Germanic *hab(a)nō via Middle Dutch, Old Dutch and Proto-West-Germanic, or Old Danish and Old Norse [source].

    Other words from the same Proto-Germanic roots include Hafen (harbour, port, haven) in German, haven (harbour, port) in Dutch, hamn (harbour) in Swedish, and havn (harbour, haven) in Danish [source].

    Incidentally, the word heaven doesn’t come from the same roots as haven. Instead it comes from Middle English heven(e) [ˈhɛv(ə)nə] (heaven, the heavens), from Old English heofon [ˈxe͜o.fon] (sky, heaven), from Proto-West-Germanic *hebun (sky, heaven), the roots of which are uncertain [source].

    In case you’re interested, here details of the origins of the word harbour.

    Here’s a video I made of this information:



    Video made with Doodly [afflilate link].

    I also write about words, etymology and other language-related topics on the Omniglot Blog, and I explore etymological connections between Celtic languages on the Celtiadur.

    You can also listen to this podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, Podchaser, PlayerFM or podtail.

    If you would like to support this podcast, you can make a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or contribute to Omniglot in other ways.



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