Parrot Time - Issue 1 - January 2013


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Parrot Time - Issue 1 - January 2013

  1. 1. Parrot Time The Thinking of Speaking Issue #1 January 201 3T h e Ro s e t t a S t o n e Prem iere Issue !Lan g u ag e Learn i n gTh rou g h Au d i o F erd i n an d d e S au s s u re a n d th e s i g n s o f l a n g u a g e M e xi c o ’ s D a y o f th e D e a d Lan g u ag es I n P eri l Veps , N en ets an d Ko m i
  2. 2. Look beyond what you knowParrot Time is your connection to languages, linguistics and culture from the Parleremo community. Expand your understanding. Never miss an issue.
  3. 3. Contents Parrot Time Parrot Time is a magazine covering language, linguistics and culture of the world around Features us. It is published by Scriveremo 06 The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypher In Egypt, the key to unlocking the mysterious hieroglyphics, the Publishing, a division of Rosetta Stone, was caught up in the lives of a boy king, aParleremo, the language learning community. French general, and the work of two scholars, which would make rivals of their countries. Join Parleremo today. Learn alanguage, make friends, have fun. 1 4 Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Language Widely acclaimed as the father of modern linguistics of the 20th century, the swiss born linguist Ferdinand de Saussure was a teacher, scholar, and once a member of the Neogrammarians. His works inspired generations of linguists on two continents. 37 Revisited - SlangEditor: Erik Zidowecki English slang develops in many ways, even adopting andEmail: distorting words from other languages. We look back to an article from almost one hundred years ago to see how accuratePublished by Scriveremo Publish- it proved to, a division of Parleremo.This issue is available online from 42 We Are The Linguists Linguists and students come together for their own version ofThe editor reserves the right to the song “We Are The World”edit all material submitted. Viewsexpressed in Parrot Time are notnecessarily the official views ofParleremo. All rights of reproduc-tion, translation and adaptation re-served for all countries, except 43 Language Learning Methods - Audiowhere noted otherwise. All copy- We begin our first in a series of articles about language learningright material posted in the public- methods with one of the most portable: audio.ation retains all its rights from theoriginal owner. Parrot Time, Par-leremo, officers and administra-tion accept no responsibilitycollectively or individually for theservice of agencies or persons ad-vertised or announced in the Departmentspages of this publication. 05 Letter From The Editor 20 At the Cinema - L’auberge Espagnole 22 Languages in Peril - The Finno-Ugrics 26 Word on the Streets - The Russian Zone 30 Where Are You? Cover: The bow of a boat, carved into a serpent head, looking out from Eminonu 32 Celebrations - Day of the Dead Port, Tukey over the Golden Horn. The Galata Tower can be seen in the back. 46 Sections - Journals Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 3
  4. 4. Bạn có nói tiếng Việt không? Learn a language, Make friends, Have fun! Parleremo
  5. 5. Letter From The EditorA New Parrot TimeWelcome to the first issue of the new magazine,Parrot Time. M Most people are attracted to languages for at least one ofthree reasons. They might be interested in the science behindthem - the rules, the reasons one language evolves differentlyfrom another, the patterns they can see spanning multiplelanguages, and the theories of how the languages are unitedor divided. They might be interested in the culture of anothercountry - the traditions, foods, ways of viewing the world, andthe way that language is the doorway into all of those as wellas being reflected in them. They might be interested in thepure connection with the language itself - its sounds,rhythms, the way they touch the soul in a way nothing elsecan. Any one of those reasons would and do provide enoughmaterial to fill dozens if not hundreds of magazines withthousands of articles. Parrot Time can not possibly begin tocover that vast expanse of knowledge, nor does it strive to doso. What it does hope to achieve is to bring a level of aware-ness and interest in various aspects of those areas of lan-guages, linguistics and culture. To that end, we will look atartifacts that have significant language influence or intrigue.A perfect example of one is the Rosetta Stone, which providedthe key to unlocking the ancient hieroglyphics. We will lookat famous linguists in both their personal lives and their con-tributions to the study of languages. We begin with Ferdin-and de Saussure and his theories of structuralism andsemiology. We will look at languages that are in danger of be-coming extinct, like three members of the Finno-Ugrics: Veps,Nenets and Komi. We will look at celebrations from aroundthe world, featuring Mexicos Day of the Dead in this first is-sue. We will discuss the varied methods that learners employto reach their language goals. We will discuss all these andmore. Finally, Parrot Time is the magazine for the Parleremolanguage community. It will cover the happenings of thosemembers, the expansion of the website, and the reasons cer-tain things are the way they are. In this issue, we will belooking at three Russian literary giants who have streetsnamed after them in the Russian quarter. We hope you will join us on this journey and in this com-munity. And we hope you will expand your thinking with thisnew Parrot Time.Erik ZidoweckiERIK ZIDOWECKIEDITOR IN CHIEF Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 5
  6. 6. The Rosetta Stone Triple Cypher The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact which provided the key to understanding hieroglyphic writing. I t is a black basalt and 30cm deep (47in x fragment of a stela (a 30in x 12in), it is the free-standing stone writing on it that made inscribed with Egyp- it famous. It contains an tian governmental or ancient royal decree religious records) dis- written in the three covered in Egypt in scripts of Egyptian 1799. While rather hieroglyphics, Demotic, large, being three-quar- and Greek, and thus ters of a ton in weight provided a connection and approximately between the three. 120cm high, 75cm wide,
  7. 7. The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypher Hieroglyphics One of the oldest writing systems of the word is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, which were used for nearly 3500 years, from around 3100 BC until the end of the fourth century AD. The name “hieroglyphics” came from the Greeks who discovered the writ- ings. They called it “ta hieroglyphica” or “sacred carved letters”. Hieroglyphics were mainly reserved for religious or government- al mandates, and the the language was used to inscribe tombs, temples and other monu- ments. Hieroglyphics carved into a wall Hieroglyphics were not letters like we think of in our modern alphabets. They were just use a single glyph to represent a cloud?Sample of simple drawings of common natural and While determinatives didn’t representhieroglyphics sounds, they did represent ideas, and they man-made objects. They were not, however, like cave paint- interacted with words differently. Think of ings to represent basic ideas. them as putting a word into context. If in They were richer than our own English, someone uses the word “plant”, alphabets, far more complex (“plnt”) you don’t know if they are referring and more difficult to learn. The to the act of planting or a living plant. In number of glyphs used varied that case, you could use a determinative over time, from under one- that represents action to clarify the first, thousand to almost six-thou- and another that means life to clarify the sand. second. If you were using the word “plant” to Part of the complexity was talk about a factory, then a determinative for that glyphs were signs that in- building could be added. dicated sounds (called phonograms) or rep- Hieroglyphic inscriptions were normally resented complete words (called ideograms). written in rows from right to left or in Similar to modern Arabic and Hebrew, only columns top to bottom. However, they might the consonants were written, no vowels. For also be written from left to right, similar to example, in English, the word “cloud” would most modern alphabets. The way to tell which way to read an inscription was to look “ be spelled “cld”. However, this could at the direction toward which animals and The name “hieroglyphics” people faced or walked. They always faced came from the Greeks who also represent “cold” “could” “colada”. To toward the beginning of the line. To add to discovered the writings. They tell the difference the complication of reading, hieroglyphics called it “ta hieroglyphica” or between such words, had no punctuation or spaces between words or sentences. “sacred carved letters”. signs were added called “determinat- ives”, which gave Hieratic specific meanings to certain words. In the Because of these complexities, as well as case of “cloud” as “cld”, the determinative for the sacred attachment of hieroglyphics, the cloud would be placed at the end of the Egyptians later developed hieratic, which word. A determinative had no phonetic was a sort of abbreviated version of hiero- value. glyphics. Despite the name, hieratic was not One might wonder why they would both- a derivative of hieroglyphics. The name er spelling out a word at all if they could just “hieratic” derives from the Greek phrase use a determinative instead. For example, ” (grammata hieratika; lit- instead of using three glyphs to spell out erally “priestly writing”). This was first used “cld”, then adding a determinative, why not by Saint Clement of Alexandria in the Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 7
  8. 8. The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypher clay or stone. The two writing then took his army to Egypt systems more likely evolved where he was welcomed as a along the same timeline, rather conquering hero. The Egyptians than one after the other. made him a god and pharaoh, but he had other campaigns to Demotic wage, so he took his army to the Middle East and the Indus River Over time, a form of script evolved from northern hieratic that became very popular. It was These decrees were set in called Demotic (from Greek: δηµ οτικός dēmotikós, “popular”, stone for all to read... in not to be confused with demotic hieroglyphics, Demotic, and Greek). This became used for Greek. much of the government docu- ments. Valley, leaving a regent in charge Around fourth century A.D., of Egypt. Christianity had become more When Alexander died in 323 widespread in Egypt, and hiero- The beginning of the ancient Egyptian BC, his empire was divided glyphics were abandoned be- Loyalist teaching originally inscribed in among his three most trusted cause of their association withstone, but later copied in hieratic script onto generals, and the throne of papyrus pagan gods. Demotic wasn’t a Egypt came to Ptolemy I. The taboo language like hieroglyph- Egyptians welcomed him as partsecond century AD, and at time ics, so remained in use, but of Alexander’s family, and he be-it was used only for religious eventually evolved into Coptic. came a pharaoh, thus setting uptexts. Later, it was used to re- Coptic was a mix of the Greek the Ptolemic Dynasty, the 32ndcord some government decrees alphabet and some Demotic and last of Egypt’sand business transactions, but characters for Egyptian sounds great dynasties. Bynot for sacred purposes. It was that weren’t denoted by the tradition, all hismore commonly written with ink Greek language. It was the first male successorsand brush on papyrus, and alphabetic script used for the were called Ptolemyshows no indication of being a Egyptian language. Probably and all female onesdescendant of hieroglyphs, soon after that, the knowledge of A tetradrachm were named Cleo-which were normally carved in how to read hieroglyphics and (Ancient Greek patra (Greek for silver coin) hieratic was lost. “father’s glory”). portraying Ptolemic Dynasty Ptolemy IV Ptolemy V (Ptolemy Pilopator) In ancient times, Greece had was a weak king, and when he originally been united by Philip died at the age of 41, his son, of Macedon, then ruled by Alex- Ptolemy Epiphanes, was only a ander the Great. After defeating small boy of five and too young Small sample of Coptic script the Persian forces, Alexander to rule. Until he was old enough, 8 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
  9. 9. The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypherthe empire fell into turmoil asdifferent regents fought for con-trol. During this time, surround-ing empires, including theRoman, were vying for controland attempted to take advantageof the internal conflict. ThePtolemic Dynasty lost land inseveral areas. In an attempt to restorepower and control, it was de-cided to coronate the then 13year old Ptolemy V in the city ofMemphis in 196 BC. To furthersolidify his royal credentials, aseries of royal decrees werepassed by a council of priests toaffirm the dynasty of kings. Thedecrees praised Ptolemy, claim-ing him as the manifestation ofdivine grace, and portraying theyoung king as a great benefactorof Egypt who adorned thetemples of Egypt’s traditional Around the turn of the 19th century, prominent French general Napoleon Bonaparte began a campaign of conquest over every major European power.gods, cancelled debts, reduced In 1798, he turned his forces toward Egypt, hoping to take there control and thus underminetaxes, freed prisoners, and nu- Britains trade route to India.merous other deeds. These decrees were set in However, Napoleon didn’t just built forts, the Institute collectedstone for all to read. During the plan a military attack. He artifacts.Ptolemic Dynasty, both Egyptian wanted a complete infiltration of During the summer of 1799,and Greek languages were used, Egypt, gathering information Napoleon’s soldiers tore downso to make sure that as many about Egypt’s past and present some ancient walls to expandpeople as possible could read people, environment, culture Fort Julien in the town ofthese decrees, they were written and resources. Napoleon Rosetta (modern day Rashid),in hieroglyphics, Demotic, and reasoned that to rule a country, near Alexandria. Captain Pierre-Greek. one must know everything about Francois Bouchard found a it. black stone when guiding theNapoleon and the Egypt To that end, he assembled a work, and noticing that it wasCampaign “think tank” of scientists, schol- ars, mathematicians, chemists, covered in ancient writing, turned it over to the Institute. Around the turn of the 19thcentury, prominent French gen- archaeologists and more. He The Institute’s scholars wereeral Napoleon Bonaparte began called them the “Institute of able to determine that the stonea campaign of conquest over Egypt”, and they accompanied was some kind of decree andevery major European power. In him on the invasion when his immediately began attempts to1798, he turned his forces to- forces landed off the coast of translate it. They named theward Egypt, hoping to take there Egypt at Aboukir Bay in August stone the “Rosetta Stone” incontrol and thus undermine Bri- 1798. However, the British navy honor of the town in which ittain’s trade route to India. crushed most of the French fleet, was discovered, and they made leaving Napoleon and his army several copies of the writing on stranded. it, which was in three scripts. They had found a piece of one of Finding the Rosetta Stone the decrees about Ptolemy V, though they didn’t know it at the Napoleon was able to return to France and continue his war time. against the world, leaving some British forces landed on troops to maintain control as Aboukir Bay and were finally well as the scientists to do their able to overcome the French work. They settled in around the troops in 1801. A dispute then Napoleons troops in Rosetta Nile Delta, and while the military arose over the artifacts and find- Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 9
  10. 10. The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypherings of the Institute. The French Historical canons in modern day Rosetta. There is awanted to keep them for their represetation of the Rosetta Stone with a plaqueown, but the British considered between them.them forfeit in the name of KingGeorge III and wanted to takethem back to England. One ofthe scientists, Etienne GeoffroySaint-Hilaire, wrote to the Eng-lish diplomat William RichardHamilton, threatening to burnall the discoveries, in referenceto the burning of the Library ofAlexandria (destroyed during aMuslim invasion in 642). TheBritish gave in and insisted onlyon the delivery of the artifacts.The scientists attempted to hidethe Rosetta Stone but failed, andthey were only allowed to takethe plaster casts and copies ofthe text they had made. TheStone was brought back to Bri-tain and presented to the BritishMuseum in 1802.Translating the Stone The easiest part of the Stone “Ptolemy” and “Alexander” in the them came from a fifth-centuryto translate was the Greek, for text and used those as a starting scholar named Horapollo. He setwhile knowledge of the Greek point for matching up sounds up a translation system basedlanguage and alphabet were lim- and symbols. Åkerblad, however, upon hieroglyphics’ relation toited among certain scholars, the approached the work using his Egyptian allegories. This hypo-Western world had become ac- knowledge of the Coptic lan- thesis led to 15 centuries ofquainted with Greek centuries guage. He noticed some similar- scholars dedicat-ago, during the Renaissance. In ities between the Demotic and ing themselves to1802, the Reverend Stephen We- Coptic inscriptions, and by com- using this trans-ston completed his translation of paring these, he was able to de- lation system asthe Greek text. While this didn’t code the words “love,” “temple” they tried to de-garner much attention, it would and “Greek.” He attempted to code the ancientprovide the basic text to build use those as a basic outline for writings. However,the other translations upon. the rest of the translation. He they all failed, be- In 1802, French scholar managed to find the correct cause the basic Thomas YoungAntoine-Isaac Silvestre de Sacy sound values for 14 of the 29 premise, it wouldand Swedish diplomat Johan signs, but he wrongly believed turn out, was false. Some of the David the demotic hieroglyphs to be later scholars that were working Åkerblad entirely alphabetic. on it were the German Jesuit both set Both de Sacy’s and Åkerblad Anthonasius Kircher, the Eng- about to work, however, provided vital lish bishop William Warburton translate clues, and an English polymath and the French scholar Nicolas the (a person whose expertise covers Freret. Demotic a significant number of subjects) Young made an important portion Thomas Young was able to com- breakthrough in the same year of the pletely translate the Demotic that he completed the Demotic Stone. text in 1814. He then started when he discovered the meaning De Sacy work on deciphering the hiero- of a cartouche. A cartouche is an was able glyphics. oval-shaped loop that around a to detect When hieroglyphics had series of hieroglyphic characters, the prop- been first discovered, one of the and he realized that these car- er names The Rosetta Stone earliest attempt at translating touches were only drawn around of 10 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
  11. 11. The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypher proper names. That enabled him to identi- French Royal Academy of Inscriptions, in fy the name of Ptolemy. Figuring that a which he outlined the basic concepts of name sounds similar across languages, hieroglyphic script: Coptic was the final Young parsed out a few sounds in the stage of the ancient language, the hiero- hieroglyphic alphabet using Ptolemy’s glyphs were both ideograms and phono- name and the name of his queen, grams, and the glyphs in cartouches were Berenika. However, Young was also relying phonetic transcriptions of pharaohs’ on Horapollo’s premise that pictures cor- names. The hieroglyphics code had been Hieroglypics responded to symbols, so he couldn’t quite broken. showing a cartouche figure out how phonetics fit in. Young gave up the translation but published his pre- liminary results in 1818. A former student of de Sacy named Jean François Champollion had also been studying the hieroglyphics of the Rosetta Stone since he was 18, in 1808. He picked up where Young left off, but didn’t make much headway for a few more years. Then, in 1822, he was able to examine some oth- er ancient cartouches. One contained four characters, with the last two being the same. After identifying the duplicated let- ter as being “s”, he looked at the first character, and guessed it to represent the sun. Here, Champollion made a leap using Experts inspecting the Rosetta Stone during the his knowledge of Coptic, in which the word International Congress of Orientalists of 1874 for sun is “ra”. This gave him the name of “ra-ss”, and he only knew of one name that would fit: Ramses, another Egyptian Politics Both France and Britain competed on pharaoh. many levels over the Rosetta Stone. After This connection between hieroglyphics the initial struggle of ownership, their was and Coptic showed to Champollion that also a disagreement about who did the hieroglyphics wasn’t based on symbols or “real work” of translating. The British allegories at all. They were phonetic, so claimed that Young completed the Demot- Jean François the characters represented sounds. He ic and made the breakthrough on the Champollion was then able to correct and enlarge hieroglyphics by figuring out the car- Young’s list of phonetic hieroglyphs, and touches. The French claimed that Cham- finally, using this knowledge and compar- pollion was the true translator, for it was ing to the other translations of the Demot- his insight using Coptic that led to the ic and Greek, translate the rest of the translation. Stone. Moreover, when Champollion pub-Part of Champollions That same year, his achievement was lished his translation in 1822, Young andwork on decypheringthe hieroglyphics announced in a letter he wrote to the others praised his work, but Young published his own work on it in 1823, to ensure his contribution to Champol- lion was recognized, even pointing out that many of his findings had been sent to Paris in 1816. Young had in- deed found the sound values of six of the glyphs, but had not been able to determine the grammar of the lan- guages. Champollion was unwilling to share the credit, however, further dividing the countries. The two countries remain Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 11
  12. 12. The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cyphercompetitive to this day on who obtained, and their release gran- been learned about their history,should get credit and who ted by representatives of the na- ways of life, beliefs, and techno-should own the Stone. While the tional government which owned logical advances. It has alsoRosetta Stone was being dis- them, that is not the same state aided in solving the mysteries ofplayed in Paris in 1972, in celeb- of Egypt that exists today. The the pyramids and other ancientration of 150 years since French could also give possible events. We still don’t know howChampollion published his find- claim to the Stone as spoils of far its importance will stretch, asings, rumors flew that Parisians war. Egyptian artifacts, in the form ofwere plotting to secretly steal the Also, the Rosetta Stone is pharaohs’ tombs, are still beingStone. There was even disagree- not like other artifacts found in discovered. Ironically, while thement over the portraits of Young the exchange. It is not a work of Stone was originally made toand Champollion that were dis- art, or religious icon, and its bolster a weak king, its existenceplayed alongside the Stone, with value arose from the potential opened up the history of all thethem being of unequal sizes and information it could yield as a kings and civilizations that hadthus glorifying one scholar over key in the decipherment of been lost with the knowledge ofthe other. hieroglyphs. Therefore, while it a the hieroglyphics. PT The Egyptian government piece of Egyptian heritage, itshas also been involved with its importance was only fulfilled byown claims. In 1999, Egypt the work of the Europeans, bothmade it well known that they French and British, who trans-would not be celebrating the bi- lated it. Without that, it wascentennial of the finding of the only one of thousands of stonesStone because it was in the with writing on it.hands of the British. They had For this reason, it has beenwanted Western countries to seen by some as a piece ofgive back Pharaonic period mas- “world heritage”, and therefore itterpieces, including the Rosetta shouldn’t matter where it is dis-Stone, in 1996, but UNESCO played. An exact copy also existsagreements grant the right to re- in the Egyptian Museum ofcover items only on those stolen Cairo, but the politics of whoafter 1971. Still, in 2003, Egypt has the original is likely to con-again requested the return of the tinue for a very long time.Rosetta Stone. The British Mu-seum sent them a replica in2005, but refused to give up the Conclusion The importance of theStone. Rosetta Stone in its aid to deci- The issue of ownership is phering Egyptian hieroglyphicsvery tricky. While technically the can not be overstated. It un-Rosetta Stone and all the relics locked the unknown history ofcaptured by the British from the so much of the ancient Egyptian The Rosetta Stone on displaydefeat at Alexandria were legally culture. So much has since ¿Habla usted español? Parleremo 12 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
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  14. 14. Ferdinand de Saussure Signs of Language Swiss born linguist Ferdinand de Saussure is widely recognized as the creator of the modern theory of structuralism as well as the father of modern linguistics of the 20th century. H e laid the foundation for many develop- ments in lin- “semiology” would in- fluence many genera- tions to come. His work also laid the ba- guistics, and his sic foundation for the perception of linguist- concept known as ics as a branch of a structuralism in the general science of larger fields of the so- signs, which he called cial sciences.
  15. 15. Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Language His Life guages). It was considered by most as a brilliant work, and the book launched de Ferdinand de Saussure was born on Saussure’s reputation as a new expert be- November 26, 1857, in Geneva, Switzer- cause of its contributions to the field of land, into a family of well-known scient- comparative linguistics. This work also re- ists. vealed an important discovery in the area Young Ferdinand was a bright and of Indo-European languages that became eager student, and he showed promise to be known as de Saussure’s laryngeal early on in the area of languages. He theory. However, the theory would not be- learned Latin, Sanskrit, Greek, English, come widely accepted until the mid-20th German, and French. His mentor at that century. De Saussure also published “Re- age was the eminent linguist Adolphe Pict- marques de grammaire et de phonetique” et who encouraged the young man to pur- (Comments on Grammar and Phonetics) sue his growing passion for languages. in 1878. Because of his parent’s work, he at- In 1880, he completed his doctoral tempted to follow in their footsteps and dissertation and graduated summa cum began attending the prestigi- laude from the University of Leipzig.A linguistic system is ous University of Geneva in Shortly afterwards he moved to Paris anda series of differences 1875, studying chemistry began lecturing on ancient and modernof sounds combined and physics. He was only languages. there a year, however, beforewith a series of he convinced his parents to His first professional work in the fielddifferences of ideas. allow him to go to Leipzig in of linguistics was as a teacher at the École Pratique Des Hautes Études in Paris. 1876 to study linguistics. There, he taught numerous languages, in- He studied Sanskrit and comparative cluding Lithuanian and Persian, which he linguistics in Geneva, Paris, and Leipzig, had added to his range of languages. He as well as a variety of courses at the Uni- also became an active member of the Lin- versity of Geneva, and commenced gradu- guistic Society of Paris, in which he served ate work at the University of Leipzig in as its secretary in 1882. He remained at 1876. the École Practique for 10 years before While in Leipzig, he became part of a leaving in 1891 to accept a new position circle of young scholars known as the as professor of Indo-European languages Neogrammarians. Karl Brugmann, a and comparative grammar at the Uni- prominent member of the group, was one versity of Geneva. of his mentor. He was also close to Karl Verner and University of Leipzig others in the group. Two years later, in 1878, Saussure, now 21, published his first full-length book, “Mémoire sur le système primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo- européenes” (Dis- sertation on the Primitive Vowel System in Indo- European Lan- Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 15
  16. 16. Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Language De Saussure lectured onSanskrit and Indo-European as Who Were The Neogrammarianswell as teaching historical lin-guistics at the University of The Neogrammarians (also known asGeneva for the remainder of his Young Grammarians, Germanlife. It wasn’t until 1906 that Junggrammatiker) were a German groupSaussure began to teach his of linguists, originally at the University ofcourse of “General Linguistics”. Leipzig, in the late 19th century. TheIt was this class which would group flourished between 1875–1893, andbecome the basis for his per- its primary members were Karlhaps most influential work “A Brugmann, August Leskien, HermannCourse in General Linguistics”. Osthoff, and Berthold Delbruck. MostThis was published in 1916, modern linguists share thethree years after his death, and Neogrammarians’ objective approach towas edited entirely by two of his language data and their insistence on itsstudents, Charles Bally and Al- systematic nature.bert Sechehaye. The book trans-formed the comparative andhistorical philology 19th-century They proposed the Neogrammarianinto the 20th-century contem- hypothesis of the regularity of soundporary linguistics. change, in which a diachronic sound change affects simultaneously all While living and teaching in words in which its environment is met, without exception. That is, ifGeneva, de Saussure married within a language, the way a letter or combination of letters isand had two sons. Saussure pronounced is alterred, all words using that combination immediatelycontinued to lecture at the uni- have their pronunciations change within the same area the change hasversity for the remainder of his been until his death from canceron February 22, 1913. The Neogrammarian hypothesis was the first hypothesis of sound There has been indication, change to attempt to follow the principle of falsifiability according tothrough historical records, that scientific method (any exception that can be reliably reproduced shouldde Saussure had a great fear of invalidate the simplest theory). However, today this hypothesis ispublishing any of his works un- considered more of a guiding principle than an exceptionless fact,til they were proven to be abso- because numerous examples of lexical diffusion (where a sound changelutely accurate. Therefore, many affects only a few words at first and then gradually spreads to otherof his works were never released words) have been shown.during his lifetime, and many ofhis theories have since been ex- Other contributions of the Neogrammarians to general linguistics wereplained in books by other au- (from Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics):thors. Also, according to RobertGodel, in an essay in “Cahiers The object of linguistic investigation is not the language system,Ferdinand de Saussure”, de but rather the idiolect, that is, language as it is localized in theSaussure was “terrified” when in individual, and therefore is directly observable.1906 the University of Genevaasked him to teach a course on Autonomy of the sound level: being the most observable aspectlinguistics, because he believed of language, the sound level is seen as the most important levelhimself not qualified for the job. of description, and absolute autonomy of the sound level fromGodel wrote that de Saussure syntax and semantics is assumed.“did not feel up to the task, andhad no desire to wrestle with the Historicism: the chief goal of linguistic investigation is theproblems once more. However, description of the historical change of a language.he undertook what he believedto be his duty.” Analogy: if the premise of the inviolability of sound laws fails, The editors of his posthum- analogy can be applied as an explanation if plausible. Thus,ous work, “A Course in General exceptions are understood to be a (regular) adaptation to aLinguistics”, Bally and related form.Sechehaye have been criticizedfor not clearly showing how theirprofessor’s ideas evolved as well 16 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
  17. 17. Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Languageas for not making clear that deSaussure rarely believed his in- Synchronic vs. Diachronic Linguisticsnovative concepts to be whollyformed. Scholars have also cited Two ways of studying languages are synchronic andevidence that de Saussure wasstrongly influenced by his aca- diachronic linguistics. Synchronic is the study of a languagedemic peers, William Dwight at a certain point. It looks at the way the language works atWhitney and Michel Bréal, sug-gesting that de Saussure’s theor- a particular point, like Shakespearean English. The Englishies were not as original as they of that time is different from Modern English. Diachronic iswere once believed to be. Before he died, de Saussure the study of the changing state of language over time. Thathad told some friends that he would compare the differences between Shakespeareanwas writing up his lectures him-self, but no evidence of this was English and Modern English, seeing how the first becamefound. In 1996, eighty years the second. In a sense, its looking at languages as anlater, a manuscript in Saus-sure’s handwriting was found in evolving being rather than a fixed entity.his family home in Geneva. Thisproved to be the missing originalof the work, and in 2002, “ÉcritsDe Linguistique Générale” (Writ- of “signs” in a language (Semi- phonemes (tiny sound units thatings in General Linguistics, pre- ology). help distinguish between utter-pared by Simon Bouquet and ances), for which the laryngealRudolf Engler) was published. This new textual source an- Laryngeal Theory theory was the best explanation. Nowadays, the existence ofswers several questions about In Saussure’s first major publication, which dealt with these sounds is widely acceptedwhat de Saussure believed. It Indo-European philology, he by philologists, mainly becausealso brings to light new elements proposed the existence of proposing their existence helpswhich require a revision of the “ghosts” in Proto-Indo-European explain some sound changeslegacy of Saussure, and call into (PIE) called “primate coeffi- that appear in the language des-question the reconstruction of cients”. The Scandinavian schol- cendents of PIE.his thought by his students in ar Hermann Möller suggested It is most likely that dethe Course in General Linguist- that these might be laryngeal Saussure’s attempts to explainics. consonants, leading to what is how he was able to make sys-Theories now known as the laryngeal the- ory, and the sounds became tematic and predictive hypo- theses from known linguistic De Saussure brought about data to unknown linguistic data known as “laryngeals”.many changes in linguistic stud- stimulated his development of These consonants haveies. He emphasized a synchronic structuralism. mostly disappeared or have be-view of linguistics in contrast to come identical with otherthe earlier diachronic view. Thesynchronic view looks at the sounds in the recorded Indo- Structuralism European languages, so their De Saussure created twostructure of language as a func- former existence has had to be terms to define a way to look attioning system in whole at any deduced primarily from their ef- language. The first, “parole”,given point of time. The dia- fects on neighbouring sounds. which is French for “speech”,chronic view looks at the way a There were three such laryn- refers to the sounds that a per-language develops and changes geals: h1, the “neutral” laryn- son makes when speaking, or aover time. This distinction was geal; h2, the “a-colouring” graphic representation of thatconsidered a breakthrough and laryngeal; and h3, the “o-colour- sound. The same paroles mightbecame generally accepted. ing” laryngeal. exist in multiple languages, but His work was wide ranging, The theory did not begin to have very different meanings.and the three most predominant achieve any general acceptance The second term, “langue”,contributions are those dealing until Hittite was discovered and which is French for “language”,with Indo-European philology deciphered in the mid-20th cen- refers to the system of conven-(Laryngal Theory), the relations tury. At that point, it became ap- tions and rules that are appliedbetween words and rules (Struc- parent that Hittite had to paroles, to make them under-turalism), and the combinations Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 17
  18. 18. Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Languagestandable between people. As an how primates developed lan- their broad interpretations of deexample, the sound we make in guages, was the first successful Saussure’s theories, whichEnglish for “see” ([si:]), has mul- solution of a plane of linguistic already contained ambiguities,tiple meanings in English: it is a analysis, using the de Saus- and their application of thoseverb meaning to visualize with sure’s hypothesis. In the Copen- theories to non-linguistic fieldsan eye, a large body of water, hagen School, Louis Hjelmslev such as sociology and anthropo-and a letter of the alphabet. We proposed new interpretations of logy, led to some theoretical dif-understand its meaning by its linguistics from the structuralist ficulties and proclamations ofcontext, which is part of the theoretical framework. the end of structuralism in thoserules set up in the langue. In America, de Saussure’s studies.Moreover, the same parole ideas helped guide Leonardmeans “yes” or “if” in Italian,and is understood by the langue Bloomfield and the post-Bloom- fieldian Structuralism practices. Semiology While de Saussure seems toof that language. These influenced such research- have veered off the path estab- Both of these ideas are in- ers as Bernard Bloch, Charles lished for him by his scientifictegral to the modern theory of Hockett, Eugene Nida, George L. relatives, he was and still isstructuralism. De Saussure put Trager, Rulon S. Wells III, and widely regarded as a scientist.forth that a word’s meaning is through Zellig Harris, the young His perception of linguistics as abased less on the object it is re- Noam Chomsky. This further in- branch of science he called se-ferring to and more on its struc- fluenced Chomsky’s theory of miology (the theory and study ofture. That is, when a person Transformational grammar, as signs and symbols) and throughselects a word, he does so in the well as other contemporary de- his teachings, he encouragedcontext of having had the velopments of structuralism, other linguists to view languagechance to choose other words. such as Kenneth Pike’s theory of not “as an organism developingThis idea adds another dimen- tagmemics, Sidney Lamb’s the- of its own accord, but as asion to the chosen word’s mean- ory of stratificational grammar, product of the collective mind ofing, since humans normally and Michael Silverstein’s work. a linguistic community.”instinctively base a word’s Outside the field of linguist- De Saussure’s “Course inmeaning upon its difference from ics, the principles and methods General Linguistics” laid out athe other words which were not employed by structuralism were notion that language may bechosen. So the words we use are adopted by scholars such as Ro- analyzed as a formal system ofdecided upon by our refining our land Barthes, Jacques Lacan, different elements, which he re-meanings in a logical, structured and Claude Lévi-Strauss, and ferred to as “signs”. Within afashion. were implemented in their vari- languages, these signs evolve De Saussure’s theories on ous areas of study. However, constantly. A sign comprises ofthis subject laid down thefoundations for the struc-turalist schools in both so- Modern day University of Genevacial theory and linguistics.His impact on the develop-ment of linguistic theory inthe first half of the 20thcentury is huge. Two cur-rents of thought cameabout independently ofeach other. In Europe, the mostimportant work was beingundertaken in the PragueSchool. Nikolay Trubetzkoyand Roman Jakobsonheaded the efforts of thePrague School in setting thecourse of phonological the-ory for the decades follow-ing 1940. Jakobson’suniversalizing structural-functional theory of prim-atology, which dealt with 18 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
  19. 19. Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Languagetwo parts: the signifier (what it “sign” for the object or idea. Despite his many and for-sounds or looks like in vocal or Without that, nothing has mean- midable contributions to thegraphic form) and the signified ing. field of linguistics, de Saussure(the object the signifier repres- We know what a cup is has been criticized for narrowingents). through its relationship to other his studies to the social aspects For example, a small object things. It holds water, unlike a of language, thereby omitting thethat can be held in the hand and book, while a lake also holds wa- ability of people to manipulateholds a liquid for drinking would ter, but we can’t hold that in our and create new the “signified” of the sound hands to drink from it. Our However, his scientific approach“cup”, which would be the signi- minds, therefore, develop con- to his examination of the naturefier. The relationship between cepts because of these relation- of language has had impacts onthe two parts of the sign, de a wide range of areas related toSaussure postulated, is hazy linguistics, including contem-and the parts may be impossible porary literary theory, decon-to separate because of their ar- structionism (a theory of literarybitrary relationship. There is no criticism that proposes thatparticular reason that the sound words can only refer to other“cup” is applied to that particu- words and which tries to showlar object, as can be easily ships. When we form these how statements about any wordsshown by looking at its name in relationships because of what subvert their own meaning), andother languages (tasse, cupán, other objects are not, we are structuralism.filxhan, kop, bolli, cangkir). forming negative relationships, Fan or critic, however, one Moreover, because of this ar- known as “binary oppositions”. must concede that Ferdinand debitrary nature of the relation- Followers of Saussure have Saussure’s contributions to hisship, signifiers can shift within a extended this two part structure field as well as others were farlanguage over time. The meaning of signs to a three part one, in reaching and revolutionary, andhappens only when people agree which the signified is an idea or have influenced generations ofthat a certain sound combina- concept (like the idea of holding scholars. PTtion indicates an object or idea. a liquid in an object) and the ob-Then this agreement creates a ject itself is called the “referent”. WORKS (1 878) Mémoire sur le système primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo-européenes (Memoir on the Primitive System of Vowels in Indo-European Languages) (1 878) Remarques de grammaire et de phonetique (Comments on Grammar and Phonetics) (1 91 6) Cours de linguistique générale (Course in General Linguistics); ed. C. Bally and A. Sechehaye, with the collaboration of A. Riedlinger, Lausanne and Paris: Payot; trans. W. Baskin (1 993) Saussure’s Third Course of Lectures in General Linguistics (1 91 0–1 911 ) (2002) Écrits de linguistique générale (Writings in General Linguistics) (edition prepared by Simon Bouquet and Rudolf Engler) Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 19
  20. 20. At the Cinema - Lauberge Espagnole At the Cinema Lauberge Espagnole ’auberge Espagnole is a film start, this is a French movie taking L by French writer and director place largely in Spain, so both those Cedric Klapisch. It tells the languages are included. Xavier lives in story of Xavier, a French stu- an apartment with six other students, dent who spends a year each from other countries, so add on studying Economics in Bar- English (British, not American), celona via the Erasmus program. It Catalan, Danish, German and Italian. follows his adven- tures of dealing with another culture, various affairs, andLAuberge Espagnole an apartment full ofR 1 22 min other students fromComedy / Romance / Drama all over Europe.1 9 June 2002 (France) The movie itself doesn’t have aCountry: France & Spain straight forward plot or goal, which mayLanguage: confuse some people. French, Spanish, English, Instead, it is more ofCatalan, Danish, German, a collection of scenesItalian that show some of the stuff that Xavier and those around him deal with. Since life itself doesn’t In regards to the other students, have a single plot, I found this setup they are mostly stereotypes, which to be more believable. might upset a few people. I found the The name of the movie seems to stereotypes to be funny and played off “ cause confusion. It won an award at well against each other. One of the The movie itself the 2002 Karlovy Vary Film Festival as best scenes to show this is when doesnt have a “Euro-pudding”, played in Spain as Xavier is first interviewed to see if they straight forward plot “Una Casa de Locos”, in the UK as will accept him as a new flatmate. You “Pot Luck” and in North America as have the flatmates seated around the or goal, which may “The Spanish Hotel” before finally set- table, arguing over which questions confuse some people. tling on the title “L’auberge Es- they should be asking as well as ex- pagnole”, which is the Spanish version plaining where they are from, while of the American title. Xavier just looks on, thinking in his There are countless reviews of head (parts of the movie have him this 2002 movie, so I don’t plan on do- narrating in this fashion) how much ing a point by point review of its plots he wants to be a part of them. or events. Rather, I want to talk about There are other scenes like this. why this movie is of interest to lan- One scene shows Wendy (the English guage learners and travelers. From the woman) answering the phone in the 20 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
  21. 21. At the Cinema - Lauberge Espagnoleapartment to find Xavier’s are still just learning Spanish.mother on the other end. Not When they ask him to useunderstanding French, Wendy Spanish, he tells them it would Quoteschecks the wall by the phone be unfair to the other students These are some quotes from thewhich has a chart on it, show- (although they speak both movie to give you a sense of theing various phrases, grouped Spanish and Catalan), and ideas in language. The humour in says if they want to speak (Quotes are taken from the “this scene is her misunder- IMDB)standing the French for “uni- One of the main discussionsversity” (faculté). This regarding languages in-highlights the confusion that Xavier: When you first arrive in acan happen in a multilingual volves the clash between new city, nothing makes sense.environment, in which many Catalan and Spanish in Everythings unknown, virgin...language learners have prob- Spain. After youve lived here, walked these streets, youll know themably found themselves in, by inside out. Youll know thesechoice or accident. Spanish, go to Madrid or South people. Once youve lived here, America. crossed this street 10, 20, 1000 This follows up with a times... itll belong to you scene with Xavier and Isabelle because youve lived there. That (a woman from Belgian) talking was about to happen to me, but I to other students about iden- didnt know it yet. tity, culture, and language. Isabelle later says it’s a drag to be torn between two languages, and Xavier points out that Bel- Xavier: Later, much later, back in gium has Flemish and Walloon, Paris, each harrowing ordeal will but Isabelle tells him that’s not become an adventure. For some the same. She tells her she is idiotic reason, your most horrific Flemish, that she doesn’t speak experiences are the stories you most love to tell. Walloon, and when she goes to Another scene showing the Flanders, she tells them she isdynamics of the flatmates in- French so they speak French tovolves the refrigerator. They her. Essentially, your own situ- Isabelle: Its contradictory tohave divided the refrigerator in- ation isn’t strange.. just others. defend Catalan at the veryto sections for each flatmate, There are numerous other moment were creating aand there is some friction when scenes which show differences European Union.anyone puts something in the between the cultures and lan- Catalan Student: I dont agree.wrong place. A quick scene guages, so I would recommend First of all, because werelater shows the refrigerator now dicussing identity. Theres not this to anyone with an interestin total chaos, with just the one single valid identity, but in either of those. It’s also justnarrative “The refrigerator sor- many varied and perfectly a generally fun movie to watch.ted itself out”. PT compatible identities. Its a One of the main discus- question of respect. For example,sions regarding languages in- I have at least two identities: myvolves the Gambian identity, which I carryclash internally, and my Catalanbetween identity. Its not contradictory toCatalan and combine identities.Spanish inSpain. TheErasmus Xavier: Im French, Spanish,students are English, Danish. Im not one, butfrustrated many. Im like Europe, Im allthat their that. Im a real mess.professorinsists onlecturingthem inCatalanwhile they Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 21
  22. 22. Languages in Peril - The Finno-Ugrics Languages in Peril The Finno-Ugrics There are thousands Northern Veps, the most dis- likely to learn it. Efforts were of languages that are in tinctive dialect, is spoken made to revive it and at the south of Petrozavodsk and start of the 20th century, danger of becoming ex- north of the river Svir. schools were started for tinct. Here, we will be Speakers of this dialect refer teaching Veps. At the same looking at three of them to themselves as “ludi” or time, a written version was that are a member of the “lüdilaižed” created us- Finno-Ugric family: . ing a form of Veps Whether it can be the Latin al- Veps, Nenets and Komi. revived... or not will belongs to phabet. If you mention the the Balto- depend on how many Veps Finno-Ugric language group Finnic of these children will primers and branch of text books to a language geek (since a the Finno- pass it on to the next were pub- non language geek will just look at you like you’ve grown Ugric lan- generation lished start- a third head), chances are guages and ing in 1932, they will only be able to tell has close but an as- you of two or three lan- ties to both Karelian and similation policy was intro- guages in it: Finnish, Esto- Finnish. It only has approx- duced in the Soviet Union, nian and Hungarian. imately 6 thousand speak- and with the Vepsians being There are, however, as ers, a sharp drop from a a minority group, these with most language groups, reported 12 thousand from schools were closed down, a number of lesser known Soviet statistics in 1989 (al- the teachers were thrown in related languages. We are though all the Soviet statist- prison, and the textbooks going to look at three of ics related to this are were burned. Many Vepsi- them. questionable), and that is ans gave up the language largely in the older genera- and, being surrounded by tion; younger people are not Russians, adopted Russian Veps as their language Veps, or Vepsian (native: instead. vepsän kel’, vepsän keli, or In 1989, ef- vepsä) is spoken by, unsur- forts were restar- prisingly, the Vepsians (also ted to revive the known as Veps). These language, but they people mainly live Russia have not been now, and the language has largely successful, three main dialects, spoken and the number of in specific regions. Central native Veps Veps is spoken in the Saint speakers contin- Petersburg region and west- ues to decline ern Vologoda Oblast. South- today. Now, In ern Veps is also spoken in Russia, over 350 the Saint Petersburg region. A Soviet textbook for native speakers of Veps printed in children are learn- the 1930s.22 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
  23. 23. Languages in Peril - The Finno-Ugricsing the Vepsian language in five ity, so much so that they are Latin alphabet, but this wasnational schools. Whether it can sometimes referred to as separ- changed to Cyrillic in 1937 andbe revived and the decline re- ate languages. Both have been is still in use today. Forest Nen-versed or not will depend on how greatly influenced by Russian, ets was only first written in themany of these children will pass but Tundra Nenets has also 1990s using the Cyrillic alpha-it on to the next generation. been influenced by Northern bet as well. Khanty and Komi, while Forest Both of the Nenets are con-Nenets Nenets has adopted aspects of sidered endangered languages, Another Finno-Ugric lan- Eastern Khanty. The dialects of but Forest Nenets is on the seri-guage, belonging to the Sam- Khanty are mutually unintelli- ously endangered list, which en-oyedic branch, is Nenets (native: gible, so these influences further compasses those languages withНенэця’ вада / Nenėcjaˀ vada ). divide the Nenets dialects. Komi few children learning the lan-The name “Nenets” is taken from will be discussed further later. guage.their word for “man”. The native The Nenets were first writtenterm for their language is “n’en- using pictographic symbols Komiytsia vada”. And older term called “tamga”. Orthodox mis- Now Komi (or Zyrian, or Ko-“Yuraks” is more widely known sionaries, like modern linguists, mi-Zyrian) has a much largeroutside of the former Soviet Uni- If a language could have number of speakers then Nenetson and is taken from the Komi or Veps, with over 350 thousandword “yaren” referring to Sam- an identity crisis, .. Komi speakers, mainly in the Komioyeds. It has two main dialects, would be a likely Republic of northern Russia.spoken in northern Russia by candidate for one. This language is part of thethe Nenets people. Permic branch of the Finno- The first dialect is Tundra tried to create a written form for Ugrics and is closely related toNenets and is more widely Tundra Nenets and in 1830, the other member of thatspoken with over 30 thousand archimandrite Venyamin branch, Udmurt.speakers than the second dia- Smirnov published some reli- Komi has several dialectslect, Forest Nenets, which has gious texts using one of these with two main dialects. Komi-just 1-2 thousand speakers. Un- forms. In 1895, some spelling Zyrian is the largest of the dia-like the dialects of Veps, which books for Tundra Nenets were lects, spoken in the Komi Re-are mutually intelligible, Tundra created, but they did not last. A public, and it is used as theand Forest Nenets have only a literary language for it was es- main literary basis for that area.very limited mutual intelligibil- tablished around 1931 using a The second dialect, Komi-Yo- dzyak, is spoken in the southern parts of the Komi Republic as well as in a small area of Perm. Both dialects are closely related and mutually intelligible. Komi has gone through quite a number of writing sys- tems over the centuries. The writing system Komi first used was the Old Permic script, in- vented by a missionary in the 14th century. The alphabet seemed to be a mix of medieval Greek and Cyrillic. In the 16th century, this was replaced by the Russian alphabet with some modifications. In the 17th cen- tury, Komi adopted the Cyrillic alphabet then changed again in the 1920s with another modified Cyrillic alphabet, Molodtsov. It changed to the Latin alphabet in the 1930s, then in the next dec- ade converted back to Cyrillic with a few extra letters. In its Nenets family in their chum current form, it has seven vow- Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 23
  24. 24. Languages in Peril - The Finno-Ugrics meaning children no longer comprise of morphemes at-Trilingual learn the language as their tached together without(Russian, Zyrian mother tongue at home. In many changes happeningand English) sign 1989, the First Komi Na- between them. Each of thesein a hotel inUkhta, Komi tional Congress established morphemes has its ownRepublic a Komi National Revival meaning, so a normal Finno- Committee, which managed Ugric verb will consist of to get Komi and Russian separate morphemes which declared coequal state lan- relate the tense, aspect and guages in the Komi Repub- agreement. lic, but progress in reviving Now you know more it beyond that has been about the Finno-Ugric lan- limited. guages in general as well as about some lesser known Commonality members than probably did A common tie in the before. Next time one of your Finno-Ugric languages is friends mentions he or she the absence of grammatical is learning Finnish or Hun- els. If a language could have gender, a trait shared with garian, you can ask them if an identity crisis (and some English. They also have a they have considered one of will argue they can), Komi rich case system which can these other related lan- would be a likely candidate be daunting to first time guages. Then they can look for one. learners. They are also nor- at you as if you’ve grown a The Komi language is mally agglutinative in third head. PT “definitely endangered”, nature, meaning words are Nenets children on a sled. If endangered languages aren’t passed on to the children, they cannot survive. 24 Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3
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  26. 26. Word on the Streets The Russian Zone Th e s treets of P arl erem o are n am ed after fam ou s wri ters for th e l an g u ag e of each q u arter. Th i s i s wh ere we t a k e a q u i c k l o o k a t wh y th ey are fam ou s .
  27. 27. Words on the Street - The Russian Zone улица Лермонтова Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (Russian: Михаил Юрьевич Лермонтов) 1 5 October 1 81 4 – 27 July 1 841 Mikhail Lermontov was a which he accused the inner circles famous Russian romantic writer, of the government to be complicit in poet and painter, considered to be Pushkin’s death. Tsar Nicholas I the greatest Russian poet, second banished Lermontov to the only to Pushkin. His influence on Caucasus for his impertinence. Russian literature is felt even today and his works can be easily quoted Lermontov finished his greatest from memory by millions of work, the novel “A Hero of Our Time” Russians. His had his first in 1839, which featured a published poem, “Spring”, in 1830. disenchanted young nobleman One of his greatest works was named Pechorin. It earned him “Borodino”, a poem describing the widespread acclaim, but it also Battle of Borodino, the major battle described a duel which was similar of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, to the one which eventually took his was first published in 1837. life. In July of 1841, a russian army officer named Nikolai Martynov took However, his works weren’t offense to one of Lermontov’s jokes, always appreciated. Expressing his challenged him to a duel, and and his countries anger at the death Lermontov was killed by the first of Pushkin in 1837, he composed shot. the passionate “Death of the Poet” inBibliography Online• Spring, 1830, poem Works by Mikhail Lermontov at Project• A Strange Man, 1831, drama/play Gutenberg• The Masquerade, 1835, verse play• Borodino, 1837, poem• Death of the Poet, 1837, poem Translations of various poems by Mikhail• The Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov, 1837, Lermontovpoem• Sashka, 1839, poem ov/lermontov_ind.html• The Novice, 1840, poem• A Hero of Our Time, novel Various Lermontov poems in Russian with• Demon, 1841, poem English translations, some audio files• The Princess of the Tide, 1841, ballad• Valerik, 1841, poem mo/poetpage/lermontov.html Texts of various Lermontov works Parrot Time | Issue #1 | January 201 3 27
  28. 28. Words on the Street - The Russian Zone улица Бунина Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin (Russian: Иван Алексеевич Бунин) 22 October 1 870 – 8 November 1 953 Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin was the literary giants of the time. He met very first Russian writer to win the and became close friends with Anton Nobel Prize for Literature and his Chekhov, as well as Maxim Gorky, collection of works in poetry and to whom he dedicated a collection of stories is said to be one of the poetry, “Falling Leaves” (1901). He richest in the Russian language. also met Leo Tolstoy in 1894 and was infatuated with his prose. He won his award based mainly Bunin tried to match Tolstoy’s own on his autobiographical novel “The lifestyle, and was even sentenced to Life of Arseniev”, published in 1939, three months in prison for but his list of works was extensive distributing Tolstoyan literature in both before and after that. He was 1894, but he managed to avoid also best known for his short novels doing the time due to a general “Dry Valley” (1912) and “The Valley” amnesty when Nicholas II took the (1910) and his cycle of nostalgic throne. stories “The Dark Alleys” (1946). Bunin died in 1953, the same Bunin was friends with and year as Joseph Stalin, of a heart influenced by many of the great attack.Bibliography Short novelsShort story collections • The Village, 1910• To the Edge of the World and Other Stories • Dry Valley, 19121897 • Mitya’s Love, 1924• Flowers of the Field, 1901• Bird’s Shadow, 1913 Poetry• Ioann the Mourner, 1913 • Poems (1887–1891)• Chalice of Life, 1915 • Under the Open Skies, 1898• The Gentleman from San Francisco, 1916 • Falling Leaves, 1901• Chang’s Dreams, 1918 • Poems, 1903