Recent Posts

Flat Earth General / Re: Definitive Proof
« Last post by devils advocate on Today at 09:11:39 AM »
Proof at last that clouds don't really exist, I always suspected!
Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Citizen
« Last post by Hollocron on Today at 08:54:40 AM »
I hope they can get through this lawsuit.
Flat Earth General / Definitive Proof
« Last post by round_earth_society on Today at 08:23:12 AM »
1. Does the knowledge of regular sound changes help with learning a foreign language related to a language you already know?

It can help, but it depends on how you use the knowledge and whether you're the kind of person that learns best through making logical inferences. I learned Dutch, a language closely related to English, while outside the countries where Dutch is spoken, in part by teaching myself some basic linguistics. Within 6 months of coming to Amsterdam, I have achieved the highest level of language certification offered by the Dutch government.

However, when I tried to explain some of my technique to other learners in the Dutch class I took after I got here, I mostly got blank stares and/or looks of admiration without real comprehension, leading me to believe that this approach isn't for everyone.

Also, I found it most useful in developing an intuition once I already had a basic grasp of the language. I can't imagine it helping very much for learning the basics.

2. Does knowing an archaic language from some family help with learning modern languages from that family?

I would echo Pete's comment that knowing a related modern language is easier. This is the case for a couple of reasons.

First, languages within an area are not totally isolated, they will influence each other and often share innovations that were established after their divergence. For example, consider that most languages in Western Europe today use simple case systems with articles and word order used to convey ancillary information about nouns, despite the fact that both Latin and Proto-Germanic had complex and meaningful case systems with no articles and flexible word order.

There are not very many cases of a language being totally isolated from its relatives, simply because the technology for large numbers of people to travel large distances did not exist until relatively recently. One unusual example would be Finnish and Hungarian, which are members of the Uralic language family that are divided by many countries which speak Indo-European languages. Finnish has been much more influenced by Germanic languages than by languages that it is related to over the past millennium or so, primarily due to its history of Swedish occupation. That said, I do not speak either Finnish or Hungarian, so I could not tell you how similar they actually are.

The point is that nearly all languages have been influenced by their relatives after divergence, and so their last common ancestor is likely to be less similar to them than modern neighbouring languages.

Even without grammatical innovations, there are words in modern languages which simply did not exist in their ancient counterparts. For example, Classical Latin had no word for "tomato", because the tomato was not brought to Europe until the 16th century. It also would have had no word for "television", because the television was not invented until the 20th century. The things that we need our language to refer to have changed over time, and all modern languages have adapted, but ancient languages are suited to the era in which they were spoken.

On top of all of that, it is simply easier to learn modern languages because a) they have more native speakers to learn from, b) there are more resources available to learn from, and c) there is a broader and more active corpus of media in those languages. It would be far easier to learn and compare French and Spanish to each other than to learn Latin and then either one of them.

Now, if you are interested (as I am) in ancient languages as an intellectual curiosity and a source of ancient literature, then by all means study them, but there are far better options out there if your goal is to effectively understand modern languages.
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Sexual Scandals
« Last post by Lord Dave on Today at 05:04:39 AM »
In my personal experience, I have seen several male teachers removed from their careers using this tactic. There is never a conviction--the woman merely makes the accusation, and the damage is done. The teacher's union kicks the teacher out without due process and that is the end of it. As for my involvement, I have filed written statements in at least two of these cases, and in one, my friends and I resorted to creating an underground newspaper to expose the teacher's union for what it was doing.

I've also seen this done with church pastors. It's actually a common occurrence. The tactic is to exploit church insurance policies, which are actually quite expensive because of the prevalence of these accusations. Again, no actual legal due process happens; the accusation is made, the insurance company reacts and removes the pastor, and the woman vanishes back into the woodwork. I've never had it happen to me, but I get around in the liturgical circles and have seen this happen several times to other men in my community.

I suppose you'd like names and dates, but in light of the current political climate, don't you think it more poetic if I just made the accusation and left it for people to either believe or ignore based on whether they want their side to win the argument?
Then you work at a shitty school.
In MY personal experience,this has never happened.  Hell, I had a student use the old "Do guys think about sex every 10 seconds" bit on me.  It failed cause I'm not an idiot.

Also, are you seriously comparing a bunch of teenagers to grown, mature women and using that to paint every god damn accuser?  Really?
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« Last post by Lord Dave on Today at 04:58:48 AM »
I spoke with someome in Oklahoma and the wording ban makes alot mlre sense now.

Its to force people to stop using words that are emotionally neutral and start using words that elicit emotion like instead of fetus, undeveloped baby.

So I take back the Hitler thing.  This shit is normal GOP fuckery.
Suggestions & Concerns / MOVED: Junker changes species
« Last post by junker on Today at 04:55:53 AM »
Slightly off topic but relevant to your post, I am troubled by your posting that you 'Sensed a lie' in my post. I don't lie and don't like being accused of it on a public forum, so would appreciate you being specific about what you feel I was lying about so that I can respond!

It's because i have some doubts in your explanation about camera constantly re-focusing and compensating. It kinda contradicts with my personal observations and subconscious belief of how camera works.
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Sexual Scandals
« Last post by honk on Today at 03:25:38 AM »
Neither of those scenarios are comparable to what happened to Moore. He has nine accusers, not one, and they've offered plenty of corroborating evidence both physically and via witnesses. To believe Moore is innocent means accepting that there must have been some gigantic, unfeasible conspiracy pitted against him, which I don't believe most reasonable people would do. Far from actually researching the case, I'm sure that most of his voters simply turned a blind eye.