Archive for the “Language” Category

There was one thing that I truly dreaded when I moved to Saint Louis—that I would be forced to start saying “pop” instead of “soda”. Having an uncle in Illinois who had to convert after moving there from the Philadelphia area, it was my understanding that all midwesterners said “pop”. However, as I have gradually noticed, “soda” seems to go over just fine around here. Was my assumption wrong then? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone would do a scientific study to map out dialect differences in the U.S. like the usage of “soda” vs. “pop”? Well, we’re in luck. The good folks at Harvard have done just such a thing. Geniuses that they are, they have put together a dialect survey that includes a question on the generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage. As the results show, St. Louis happens to be situated in “soda” territory, which explains why I’m so comfortable here with respect to my generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage. Confirmation of this result can be found by also looking at the independent study performed on The Pop vs. Soda Page.

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I guess I haven’t really told too many people yet, but I aspire to learn Elvish. In particular, I want to learn Sindarin (or grey-elven), the common elven tongue, even though there is much more information readily available about Quenya, the ancient high-elven language. Over the past couple months I’ve been collecting a useful array of bookmarks on the subject of Tolkien languages. Some of the best finds have been Ardalambion, which has an impressive collection of resources and useful links; The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, which publishes the journal Vinyar Tengwar; and Gwaith I-Phethdain, which has some good resources and a linguistic analysis for every non-English line in the Lord of the Rings movies.

The other day, I was watching some of appendix disc 2 from The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition, and I happened to reach the section on the added scene where Aragorn sings part of The Lay of Lúthien. Much to my delight, this segment included the movie’s language guru Róisín Carty reading the Sindarin text aloud while the camera showed the script. I hadn’t seen that text on Gwaith I-Phethdain (turns out it’s under the soundtrack section), so I was excited to have a new Sindarin text with spoken example to work with as I begin to learn Elvish pronunciation.

Tinúviel elvanui
Elleth alfirin edhelhael
O hon ring finnil fuinui
A renc gelebrin thiliol

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