We are Language Nerds

Mr. Fob and I have both studied languages, though more literature than linguistics. However, we still often discuss various nuances of language and find ourselves running to the OED for assistance. Here's a sample of today's dinnertime conversation:

FoxyJ: So is N a nasalized sound and M is not?

Mr. Fob: No, both M and N are nasalized, but N is velar.

FoxyJ: Oh, so S-Boogie says "nilk" because her tongue is already moving back in her mouth in anticipation of the liquid "l" sound, right?

Mr. Fob: Yeah, "l" and "k" are both in the back of the mouth.

(Sorry I have no idea how to do APA on blogger) Then S-Boogie went on to ask about how to say her teacher's name, which includes a strong Spanish R. So we discussed how to pronounce the "R" sound, but S-Boogie is struggling with it. Then we had a discussion of how mistress evolved into "Mrs". And then I realized that we really are nerds.

PS--Little Dude has been listening to S-Boogie's homework assignments, and last week she had the letter "u". Now he goes around saying "unicornio" but it sounds like "una [p]orno" . Hilarity!


Azúcar said…
I tried to explain the awesomeness that is the OED to Other Half on Sunday night. I don't think he caught the vision.

I wanted to know if Parley and Parlay have the same root. The online dictionaries say they don't, but I only trust the OED.

I usually end up calling my father and asking him to look it up in his OED.

verification: mastermi

They forgot the nd!
Earth Sign Mama said…
But language is just so coooool. Today we were reading about wild horses, and I wanted to know where the term "mustang" derived. I thought, like many things in the Southwest, it was Spanish, I googled it and voila--there is a word that means feral--moesteno--or something, I forget now...So, I taught my little ESL dudes another groovy connection between our mother tongues. Latin makes us one.
And that Lil Dude and his hilarious pronunciations!!
skylark said…
that is pretty nerdy. and delightful.

it's always nice to be reminded that i'm not alone in my linguistic nerdiness. like when i lived with naiad and she was studying ancient greek and i used to help her study, just for kicks!? and we spent one friday evening reading the odyssey aloud, poring over three different translations simultaneously, just to see how (and try to figure out why) they differed. and then vanessa would explain to me the technicalities of why people pronounce "mountain" the way they do, how the spanishforkian way of saying "fork" is related to the portuguese vowel ó, and so on.

i recently watched a film called the linguists, a documentary about a couple of serious language nerds. oh i can't even express how happy it made me! they've been screening at festivals for the last year or so, and it will be on pbs early next year.

and by the way i was at target the other day, saw the candy displays, and yes, thought of candy porn.
SenecaSis said…
I'll admit it.
I'm a language nerd, too.

For me, it's because I believe that language--it's similarities and it's peculiarities--is one of the only commonalities of human beings that both link us and separate us.

Sometimes I even dream of being a linguistic anthropologist.

There. Now I'm officially "out".
Kengo Biddles said…
Y'all are my kind of people. Miki doesn't understand me when I get all linguisticky.

She just nods and smiles.

It'd be fun to talk about how Ginta says the word "funny" with a voiceless bilabial fricative instead of the standard voiceless labio-dental fricative. (Among other things.)
Alan said…
Woohooo! I finally found some other language nerds! I love this stuff! The OED is the scripture of the secular literary world! My kids are constantly force-fed a diet of Latin and Greek roots lectures for their own vocabulary and I like reading the Vulgate in Latin side by side with the KJV. Guess that makes me pretty nerdy, eh? Love it, love it.
Em said…
Oh, I love this! Ben thinks I'm a complete weirdo for saying things like that. Right now our little one is confusing Spanish "r" sounds for "l" because of the whole lateral versus retroflex liquid thing. She says "naliz." It makes me happy.

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