I have simply always been fascinated by languages. One of my earliest memories is of me harrassing a babysitter after hearing her speak Spanish. I kept asking the words for things.<br /><br />I have a special fondness for dead
languages, by which I mean historical languages: Greek and Latin, of course, the various Mesopotamian languages - finding a Sumerian grammar in English was a great day in my life - Egyptian in its Hieroglyphic and Coptic versions. I learned first about historical linguistics, via Germanic historical linguistics, when I discovered the city library had old copies of Old English and Gothic grammars.<br /><br />For unclear reasons I first majored in Classical Chinese. This also involved some Japanese and Sanskrit for good measure. Then I flipped out, one year short of the major, and switched to classics. One year later I flipped out again, and decided I could handle no more of Texas (allergies; heat; hostile evangelicals; exes best left in Texas) and moved north.<br /><br />Exposure to all of these languages early left me with an enduring hobby: I occasionally indulge in language creation
. Since a certain famous philologist and author, who's books have recently been turned into wildly popular films, also indulged in this habit, I hope no one will judge me for this.
<br /><br />I love grammar. Obscure morphology thrills me. Being able to relate qh/r to english "bear" and latin-derived "feral" is a great pleasure to me, but it means sometimes people's word usage will stop be dead in my tracks as I make some historical connection. I was once with friends at a bar, and we were griping about people who shorten or lengthen our names against our will. One person is just named "Nathan" and he gets a bit put out when people call him "Nathaniel." So I said, "Ah, just 'he gives', not 'God gives.'" These were people who knew Hebrew! And they had no idea what I was talking about. I explained it, and all was clear to them. Then one said, "William, you do this to words all the time?!
" He looked a little concerned.<br /><br />Anyway, while I do love grammar, I'm really most interested in getting to know the thoughts and culture behind the languages. The historical literature of these languages is of great interest to me, especially Greek Poetry. As you can tell from the list above, I have a lot of interests, but I've made a deliberate decision to restrict my interests a bit and really focus on Greek. (I just bought a house which cuts into random, leisure grammar reading, too.)<br /><br />So, Greek, Greek, Greek it is for me. I sort of want to revive my Latin, but I also want to really get much better at Arabic, too. I've not decided yet which will win out that battle, because I'm not slowing down on aoidoi.org for either of them.<br /><br />I think that's enough for now. <br /><br />[face=SPIonic]eu)tu/xete[/face]