The Log has a guest post by Stephan Stiller going over the much-discussed issue of language vs. dialect, but doing it with a fresh perspective and sparking an unusually interesting comment thread; I particularly enjoyed this, from frequent LH commenter J.W. Brewer:
We are of course all overlooking the fact that the long-term consequences of the Norman invasion of southern China in 1066 had a massive lexical and syntactic effect on the local topolect that other Sinitic varieties were not exposed to, such that it is unsurprising that modern Cantonese would end up more distant from modern Mandarin than Dutch is from Hochdeutsch.
Myself, I have given up on trying to convince the world to stop using the term “dialect” for forms of speech that from a linguistic point of view are clearly separate languages (notably the regional forms of Chinese and Arabic), but it would be nice if people could be brought to realize that whatever you call them, they are not like Boston English versus Atlanta English.
On another common-linguistic-inheritance front, bradshaw of the future has a typical bradshaw post bringing together far-flung descendents of a single Indo-European ancestral form, in this case queer and truss, both from Proto-Indo-European *twerk. I don’t know whether the blog’s proprietor is unaware of the current sense of that combination of sounds or was simply cheekily ignoring it, but I was as impressed by the lack of notice paid to it as Holmes was by the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.