Bonus Material 2017

A little recap of history: Freelance Reconstruction, the blog you’re currently reading, [1] was originally started as a Tumblr microblog. It turned out though that my blogging style needs a sturdier framework, and for several years now, I’ve been happy to be based on WordPress instead.

This much some old readers may recall. However I never have gotten much into doing quick-paced community engagement blogging on here, in part indeed due to the heavier-duty software. And since I still hang out on Tumblr for unrelated reasons, I’ve also found it useful to have an outlet to comment on things related to linguistics that come up in there.

Thus, enter a new, more casual linguistics sideblog: This has been running for a bit over a year by now, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned anything about it earlier on here. Perhaps I should also request that anon asks be redirected there instead of the old defunct version of this blog?

Here is also a list of some posts on there that might be of interest to the readers on here as well.

1. Original blog posts and commentary on topics:

— on the structure and history of Finnish:

— on Uralic linguistics in general:

— on phonological fun facts and typology:

— other stuff:

2. Links to other blogs, articles etc. without much additional insights of my own:

[1] I’ve seen this blog occasionally linked under the name “Protouralic”, but to be exact, that is only my blog’s URL, not the title. The discrepancy is mainly since I can foresee maintaining this blog long enough that I will no longer be doing freelance reconstruction… It remains to be seen what the blog will be renamed at that point, though.

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120 comments on “Bonus Material 2017
  1. David Marjanović says:

    Internal reconstruction of Burushaski phonology: very interesting, but:

    1) I’m surprised stress isn’t indicated in the transcriptions. Is it omitted in the database? Berger’s work ( > Wikipedia) makes clear that stress is phonemic (or at least unpredictable) and always spells it out. I’d expect stress to have a major impact on aspiration, and perhaps on voice, too.

    2) “Pickax” is /tɕak/? That’s too good to be true. :-) It’s even better than Polish kilof!

    • sansdomino says:

      The StarLing DB does indicate stress; just omitted by me as it doesn’t appear to be relevant for any of this. E.g. the words with medial aspirates, with ND/N correspondences, or with /ld/ are all about evenly split between first and second syllable stress.

  2. David Marjanović says:

    Science as “truth-seeking procedure”: I find it better to think of science as the quest to identify all falsehood. There’s only a vague hope that at some point the truth (or, rather, reality*) may be the only thing left standing.

    That’s why only creationists and historical linguists use words like “proof” and “prove” anymore when talking about science. Sure, most of the time that’s just a ritual, when we write “strongly suggests” we really mean “proves beyond reasonable doubt” and when we write “shows” or “demonstrates” we often mean “proves beyond any doubt we can think of”, but at least it’s a reminder.

    * I like to distinguish truth from reality in epistemology. Reality is that in which the argumentum ad lapidem is not a logical fallacy; it is what science is about. Truth could be the same as reality (physicalism), or the truth could be that reality is some kind of illusion that is inescapable for Puny Humans, e.g. I could be the solipsist or God could be the solipsist or whatever.

  3. David Marjanović says:

    Verbing personal names: merkeln “do nothing and say nothing unambiguous when you’re supposed to be making an important decision”. I think it never got very far, though, and may already be dying out again.

  4. David Marjanović says:

    Natural languages: “Why noun when you can verb?”

    Bureaucratic German: “Why verbiage in the face of the possibility of nouns?”

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