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March 18 slides: PIE phonology, stops

March 11 slides: PIE day one

sound correspondence set

Philip Durkin, ‘Glossary’, from, The Oxford Guide to Etymology.

Benjamin Fortsan, ‘Guide to the Reader: Abbreviations, Symbols, Spelling Conventions, IPA’, Indo-European Language and Culture.

Notes/follow up for Feb 13:

  • How to read the OED online:
  • A list of OED abbreviations:


Feb 13 slides: phoenician greek alphabet

If you’re interested, here are some link for more information about Nestor’s cup:

Here is an article about Nestor’s cup, which may interest you (‘Taking the “Nestor’s Cup Inscription” Seriously: Erotic Magic and Conditional Curses in the Earliest Inscribed Hexameters’):

And here is a a general reading which you may find useful. It is intended for those who have no previous knowledge of etymology. Fortuitously (or not? see my note below) I came across this book called The Secret Life of Words, which, when I named this course, I did not know existed.

Henry Hitchings, ‘Ensemble’, from The Secret Life of Words, New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2008, pages 1-20.

Having recalled that this word comes from Latin ‘forte’ (by chance), I looked it up in the dictionary that comes with my mac. I found this message at the end of the entry which dovetails nicely with our reading on the etymological fallacy:

usage: The traditional, etymological meaning of fortuitous is ‘happening by chance’: a fortuitous meeting is a chance meeting, which might turn out to be either a good thing or a bad thing. In modern uses, however, fortuitous tends more often to be used to refer to fortunate outcomes, and the word has become more or less a synonym for ‘lucky’ or ‘fortunate.’ This use is frowned upon as being not etymologically correct and is best avoided except in informal contexts.