are u ever too stressed to do anything like ur literally so stressed that it has reduced u to someone who stares at the wall for two hours instead of doing the things u need to do that will make u unstressed

“Five” and “Punch”

This one is a fairly familiar example in linguistics textbooks, but one that is probably surprising to someone not familiar with Indo-European linguistics.

Punch, in the sense of a fruit beverage, is a borrowing from the Hindi pāñć meaning “five”, from the fact that the original version of punch used five ingredients.  Numbers, of course, especially small numbers, tend not to be borrowed, and tend to be pretty stable in meaning as well.  They therefore provide a perfect class to look at when figuring out if groups of languages are related.  The Hindi pāñć descends from Sanskrit páñcan, in turn from Proto-Indo-European *pénkʷe.  In the course of evolving into Sanskrit, short /e/ /a/ and /o/ all merged as /e/, the labiovelars became plain velars (thus kʷ became k) and (before the /o/-/e/-/a/ merger), /k/ became palatized before front vowels, thus, *kʷe became *ke, became *ce, became *ca.

In an early stage of pre-Proto-Germanic, *pénkʷe became *pémpe, a sporadic form of assimilation.  Then, under the normal sound changes, particularly Grimm’s Law, *pémpe became Proto-Germanic *fimf.  In the Ingvaeonic languages, a small group of West Germanic languages (made up primarily of English, Frisian, and Low German), nasals before voiceless fricatives were lost, with compensatory lengthening, thus, *fimf became Old English fīf, which became Modern English five.

There were two PIE roots that appear to have been closely related to *penkʷe which have also left descendants in English. *pn̥kʷ-sti-s meaning “fist” and *penkʷ-ró-s meaning “finger”  The first is the origin of Modern English “fist” and the second is the origin of “finger”.  It is plausible that the original meaning of this root had something to do with “fist” or “hand”.  Compare, for example, the Proto-Austronesian *lima, which meant both “hand” and “five”.

The development of “fist” from *pn̥kʷ-sti-s was this way: the syllabic non-vocalic sonorants became -uC-, thus PIE *n̥ became Proto-Germanic *un.  /kʷ/ (and /kw/, which merged with /kʷ/ early on) lost its labialization (the /w/ sound) in certain contexts, one of which which was when preceded by /u/, including /uC/ sequences.  /k/ before an /s/ or /t/ subsequently became /x/, thus becoming Proto-Germanic *funhstiz, which was simplified to *funstiz.  This became Old English fȳst, the result of the /i/ in the last syllable fronting the /u/.  The vowel was shortened and unrounded to become Modern English fist.  There is, however, another possible etymology of Progo-Germanic *funstiz from the zero-grade of *pewǵ- “punch”, in which case the verbal -n- infix would appear along with the suffix *-sti-s

In *penkʷ-ró-s, Verner’s Law caused /kʷ/ to become /gʷ/.  Most cases of /gʷ/, whether derived originally from *gʷʰ via Grimm’s Law or *kʷ via Verner’s Law were subsequently lost, with various reflexes depending on environment.  Word-initialy, historic *gʷʰ became *b, most likely after Grimm’s Law happened (thus *gʷʰ → *gʷ → *b), but the opposite order is also possible (thus *gʷʰ → *bʰ → *b), while word-medially it generally became either *g or *w.  Unstressed /e/ became /i/, thus creating Proto-Germanic *fingraz.

*please don’t delete the text or self-promote or you’ll automatically be eliminated*

Hello there you amazing people, me (14th) and Vivs (unstress) decided to do an awards together and it’s called Masquerade Party Awards! We are so excited about this so here it is..


  • It’s simple! Must be following me (14th) and Vivs (unstress)
  • Reblog this post! Multiple reblogs increase your chances! 


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  • Featured in the awards page ~ under construction ~
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Happy reblogging and good day! ♡

hey everyone thanks! first of all, i’m flattered you’re asking me of all people questions about process and stuff. second of all, i hope this stuff will be helpful to you. but i get the impression that everyone’s process is different because people are different in terms of how we visualize the world around us or the images in our heads. for example, i sincerely hate doing linework and i will avoid it to my death because i visualize images in color blocks, not lines. other people love linework and emphasize that part of the process the most.

thirdly, thanks for the nice things you say.

so this is kind of my process (for this spring weather thing here). details under the read more cut.

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Shakespeare (Part III)

(Banner made by the incredibly talented @tiostyles)

Harry X Reader (AU)

In which Harry is a poetic frat boy who just so happens to be the TA for your new English class.

Read previous parts here.

Author’s note: Sorry I’m late again!! As always, all feedback is sincerely appreciated. Enjoy!

English class is your favorite class.

Since your paper, the past few weeks have been stuffed full of theory readings and poetry analyses. You’ve read Wordsworth, Woolf, and many in between. It’s hard not to get caught up in a world of rhyme schemes and symbolism.

Harry has been overly-avoidant. He didn’t look at you when you handed him your essay, and he hasn’t since. You’re just confused. It’s not clear why his eyes skirt around you when his gaze pans across the classroom, or why they glue themselves to the sidewalk when you pass him outside. But every time you see him or the thought of him merely crosses your mind, all you can think about is that second or two when he was in such close proximity. You can almost smell his cologne and see the thin hair spotting his chin.

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Why does English still have the “TH” sound?

The interesting thing about this topic is that English is one of two languages of the Germanic family that has retained the feature commonly called the <TH>-sound which stands for the dental fricatives /θ ð/. If you have a look at the map below which highlights the Germanic tongues in red, only Icelandic and British English (from England, Wales, Scotland + Northern Ireland) in darker red sport these sounds. It is also fascinating because there was a time when the ancestors of all these tongues had dental fricatives but lost them over the last centuries.

Then, why did English maintain a sound that was lost in almost all its sister-languages despite centuries of evolution side-by-side?

Grimm’s Law

First, you have to understand that on the whole, Germanic languages phonetically stand out from the rest of the Indo-European languages for a set of processes that made original IE sounds move one step closer towards fricatives. These evolutions were named Grimm’s Law, after Jacob Grimm discovered this phenomenon in 1875. This is a brief summary of what happened during the splitting of Germanic away from common IE:

This translates into these instances:

  • Greek: Podos/ Latin: Pedis/ Sanskrit: Pada vs English: Foot/ Danish: Fod/ Gothic:Fotus.
  • Greek: Tritos/ Welsh: Trydydd/ Russian: Tretij vs English: Third/ Old Saxon:  Thriddio/ Icelandic:  Þriðji.

There are many more examples but the most relevant here is of course the change of alveolar/dental stops /t d/ into the dental fricatives /θ ð/. This is the first steps in explaining the presence of dental fricatives in English. They descend from a millennia-old process that saw these sounds develop in all Germanic languages.

Verner’s Law

When Grimm’s Law was accepted, a new problem arose; some words clearly didn’t fit within the frame hypothesised by Grimm. For example, Proto-Indo-European pa’tēr turned into father instead of the expected fader while PIE ‘brahtēr gave brother like Grimm’s Law predicted. The alternation can also be found in different forms of verbs. So of course, Grimm must have missed something. It turned out that the solution lies in the change of accents in Proto-Germanic. While stress was relatively free (meaning rather unpredictable) in PIE, PG stress shifted and was placed on the root of the word. The evolution of the phonemes did not affect the consonant if it was word-initial or right behind a stressed vowel. The evolution of these consonants are illustrated in the table below:

This is the reason why PIE /t/ became [θ] and then [ð] in PG for *fadēr while *brōþēr remained untouched. This event helped increase the number  of instances of dental fricatives in Proto-Germanic. But it still doesn’t account for English dental fricatives. Be patient.

High German Consonant Shift  

A new phenomenon took place in the southern dialects of German in the 5th century that consisted in a large-scale shift in the consonantal system. By the mid-5th century, Old English had already been brought to Britain and thus remained utterly unaffected by these changes whose relevant features are the following:

  • θ > d
  • β > b
  • ð > d
  • ɣ > g

As you can see, the dental fricatives evolved into stops and were consequently lost in the phonology. The HGCS was not restricted to German as certain elements can be found as well in Dutch, Low German and Scandinavian Germanic. Probably under the influence of German in the following centuries, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish lost their own dental fricatives as there were multiple and intense cultural and linguistic exchanges between German and “Scandinavian”.

While English, isolated geographically from the rest of Europe and from Germanic influence because of Roman and Norman Conquest, kept /θ ð/. It’s interesting to note that Britons did not have as much as Romans and Normans the inclination to write. Manuscripts by monks may have helped bring a certain standardisation to the language.

Two additional and contradictory phenomena took place in Middle English where /d/ changed to [ð] and /ð/ to [d]. This is why fader changed to father and murðer changed to murder. The sequence of /d/ + unstressed ending -er triggered its evolution to [ð].

In short, dental fricatives appeared in Proto-Germanic via Grimm’s Law and Verner’s Law and Old English managed to maintain [θ] and [ð] because it left the continent before the effects of the High German Consonant Shift could be felt. Its geographical isolation (being on an island) certainly helped protect the relic of the Germanic legacy.

I saw once that Welsh may have had an influence on the upholding of these sounds since both languages had them. However, Latin and French were much more powerful influences on English but that did not impact the keeping of the dental fricatives so a foreign language influence is not really believable. However, French might have contributed to the phonemisation of [ð]. Before French came to Britain, /z v ð/ were only the voiced allophones of /s f θ/. By introducing new graphemes for sounds that were not “official” in English, it turned them into unquestionable elements of the phonology of English.

Isolation may be the biggest driving force on the upholding of these sounds since Icelandic, in a relative similar position, is the only other Germanic language with dental fricatives.

Further reading:

High German Consonant Shift

Grimm’s Law

Verner’s Law

Icelandic Phonology

Russian names: pet names

As in, names for loved ones, not for pets, although those are fun, too.

(I’ve been considering a post like this for a long time, and then I got an ask requesting it, so I decided to go ahead and pick up my drafts. Dear person who requested it, I’m very sorry, I accidentally clicked “send” before I took note of your URL, that’s why I’m not tagging you. Credits for prompting this are yours, anyway.)

Most Russian partners and spouses address and refer to each other by the diminutives or their first names, sometimes using a slightly different version than everyone else (Vitka or Vitenka, rather than just Vitya, Yurka or Yurochka rather than Yura), but generally, they use the same names for each other as their siblings and close friends use for them.

Also, Russians in general (especially Russian men, Georgi Popovich notwithstanding) are a little (okay, a lot) more reserved than people in a lot of other countries; ending every phone call with “I love you”, making sure there are always fresh flowers in the house and bringing each other breakfast in bed isn’t something that happens very often, not even in novels.. 

Therefore, not a lot of Russians make up pet names for each other, call each other something new and sweet every day or even explicitly say “I love you” at all. 

That said, pet names still do exist, and people do use them - sometimes sincerely, and sometimes jokingly or even in mocking.

Before I begin my three-page rant on Russian nicknames, I’d like to make sure we’re clear about three things.

First, my transliteration isn’t the only correct way to spell it. There’s often no right way to transliterate some words or letters, so if you see and like some other way to spell some word - go ahead and use that, it most possibly doesn’t matter. Just watch out for o/a and e/i in unstressed syllables (it’s YurOchka, VitEnka), because those, if spelled wrong, look like spelling mistakes rather than alternative transliterations.

Second, YMMV. Russia is huge. Dialects exist. People are different. There’s a good chance someone may use some words differently, and that’s okay.

Third, I hope everyone’s aware that it’s also okay to use any words you like in your fanfic, even if they only sound Russian, or don’t even sound Russian at all; it’s your text, you’re the one who’s creating the universe your characters live in; the Russia in your fanfic doesn’t have to be exactly the same as the Russia that exists in our world.

If, however, you want to stick to the real-life Russian pet names, this text is for you.

The first thing that’s important to remember when picking a Russian endearment is gender. A lot of Russian words aren’t gender-neutral, and using the wrong gender makes it hilarious if the person is secure in their gender or offensive, if they have gender-related issues. So please, make sure you pick a gender-neutral word or use the correct version of a gendered one. I marked all feminine words with an f, and all masculine with an m, and explicitly stated if the word is gender-neutral.

The word most frequently used in fanfic, “дорогой(m, dorogoy)/дорогая(f, dorogaya)” is, indeed, the equivalent for “darling”, but in real life it’s hardly ever used as an endearment. Instead, it’s more of a word for old married couples: “Dorogaya, you ruined my life, - You’re not exactly a gift yourself, dorogoy!”. It’s used ironically or jokingly much more often than as an actual way to address someone you love. It’s also the same word as “expensive”, so statements like “Moya dorogaya is very dorogaya, that’s the third silver necklace this week” aren’t unheard of.

Much more often used is “милый(m, miliy)/милая(f, milaya)”. It basically means the same - “dear/darling” - but sounds more gentle and intimate. Young women use that, along with lubimiy, on girly forums to refer to their boyfriends (”Last night miliy said that I…”).

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