Thesaurus Linguae Latinae

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Kizmet, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This article is a few years old but here's what happened. There's a similar article in today's NY Times. Unfortunately, it's behind a paywall. So I googled up another article, this one from the Smithsonian because I wanted to read about it. Maybe you will too. It's about the creation of a comprehensive dictionary of the Latin language that started 125 years ago and might best done by 2050. Fascinating, right?
    Maniac Craniac and SteveFoerster like this.
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    By the time they get this one done, English will be dead. They'll have to start another book for English. I can see it now. "If the word exists in graffiti on a toilet in Manchester or Newark NJ, we've got it."
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  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I find dead languages much more interesting than living languages. It's just so fitting when the means of relating history becomes history and so poetic when the final story told in a language is the story of itself.

    On the other hand, it would have been way cool if I could learn Latin, Egyptian and Sanskrit in my lifetime, and actually had someone to talk to in it. :emoji_nerd:
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    To clarify, I like the IDEA of dead languages, I've never taken to learning any, myself. I'll leave that task to Johann. :emoji_metal:
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sanskrit is pretty relevant, as it's the root of Indo-European languages. Latin and Gaelic (and other Celtic languages) are from the same branch of the Indo-European tree - that's why you can spot many Latin-like words in Irish - from Old Irish and today's spoken Irish. Most of Ancient Rome's neighbours were Celtic -speaking. Heck, the Celts took over Rome and ran it for a year and a half around 390 BC. IIRC they got 100 pounds of gold as a ransom.

    One of the most interesting languages, that's still alive is Maya. Pre-conquest Mayan writing took over four centuries of work by Western scholars to be properly understood, and work is still underway. It can be really complicated - you can get several smaller glyphs hidden in a bigger one. Never seen anything like it! It took a people with fearsome intelligence to put that together! I'm glad to report it isn't anywhere near dead. I think there are around 3 million Mayan speakers today. I'm not sure how many can read the pre-conquest script.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Given that the conquistadors assiduously destroyed all the Mayan writing that they could find, it's no wonder it took so long for the scholars who came after to make sense of the fragments. :(
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Very true, Steve, thanks(?) to Fr. Diego Landa. . But It's coming back for the computer age (via Unicode) . This from WIkipedia:

    "The Script Encoding Initiative project of the University of California, Berkeley was awarded a grant on June 3, 2016 to start the process of a proposal for layout and presentation mechanisms in Unicode text, to the Unicode Consortium in 2017"
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping that someday soon, maybe Mayan school children will all get at least a bit of writing practice in the old script. Or maybe they do, as part of their history curriculum, I dunno. Anyway, if they don't already, they should have the opportunity.
    SteveFoerster likes this.

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