Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rum Pudding

Rum pudding is easy to make. Here's the recipe for this fantastic Danish dessert:

1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
1/4 cup hot water
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hot milk
4 tablespoons rum
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Lightly oil a dessert mold and set aside.
In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water.
Set aside to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
On top of a double boiler beat the eggs.
Slowly beat in the sugar and milk until it is light and lemon coloured.
Place over boiling water.
Stir constantly for 10 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
Stir in the rum and the gelatin mixture.
Fold in the whipped cream.
Pour into the mold.
Cover and refrigerate until the mixture starts to set, about 45 minutes.
Refrigerate until set.

This is a simple and tasty dessert. If desired, you can serve with raspberries or raspberry sauce.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mate in 16

In a game of speed chess I defeated my opponent in 16 moves. He was Marquestreefrog of the United States, who played black. Here are the moves of the game:

1. e4 e5
2. f4 d6

Black declines the pawn sacrifice.

3. Nf3 h6

Black wants to prevent Ng5, but a developing move such as Nf6 is better.

4. Bc4 Nc6
5. 0-0 exf

Now black accepts my pawn. This allows me to build a strong pawn centre.

6. d4 g5
7. e5 d5
8. Bb5 Bd7
9. c4 a6

If black takes my pawn, I can advance the d-pawn.

10. Bxc6 Bxc6
11. Nc3 Bb4
12. e6 fxe

There are two reasons behind the pawn sacrifice. I clear e5 for my knight and after moving the knight I can check on h5 with my queen.

13. Ne5 Bxc3

Black makes a mistake. He probably expects the recapture bxc3, but I can deliver a devastating check on h5. Here black needs to play Nf6.

14. Qh5+ Ke7
15. Qf7+ Kd6
16. c6#

My c-pawn delivers mate. The keys to victory in this game are my ability to expose the uncastled king and black's failure to play Nf6. This enables me to mate quickly.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lamb Caldereta

Lamb caldereta, known as caldereta manchega in Spanish, is a wonderful way to prepare lamb. This recipe takes some time to prepare, but it's well worth the effort. Here is the recipe:

1 kg lamb
1/2 onion
4 cloves of garlic
3 tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 lemon
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup fried almonds
black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup water
olive oil

Chop up the onion and garlic.
Fry in olive oil until golden brown.
Add the tomatoes and green pepper.
Fry until tender.
Add 1 cup of water.
Add the lamb and 1 sliced lemon without seeds.
In a separate pan fry the almonds in olive oil and add.
Add the bay leaf, beef stock and seasonings.
Cook over low heat.
Remove the lemon after 15 minutes.
Add the white wine.
Cook until the sauce thickens and the meat is well-done.
If necessary, add more water.

Lamb caldereta is a fantastic way to cook lamb. Enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2017


The poet Robert Frost wrote a short poem about devotion. Here is the poem:


The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to ocean-
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.

This short poem consists of four verses with nine syllables.  In the poem Robert Frost exemplifies devotion by comparing the ocean and the shore. The two are devoted to one another. True acts of love and devotion aren't always new. Many times they are repetitive acts that persist day after day.

Devotion is like the shore and the ocean. They are inseparable. This can symbolize those whose true devotion to one another is everlasting.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Silent H

The English letter h is usually pronounced, but in a number of words it is silent. This is an example of sound change. The spelling reflects an older pronunciation of the language.

Here is a list of words which begin with a silent h:

hors d'oeuvre

In British English the h is pronounced in herb. However, in American English it isn't. In the name Herb (short for Herbert) the h is pronounced.

The letter h is also silent in other positions in the word. Here is a list:


The h in English is usually pronounced. This is the case in words such as happy, hill, hotel, lightouse and reheat. In certain words, however, the h is no longer pronounced. This is the result of deletion, a common sound change in the languages of the world.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Blueberry Soup

Blueberry soup is very popular in Sweden. This soup can be served hot or cold. It's a very tasty soup and easy to prepare. Here's the recipe:

2 cups blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon potato flour

Rinse and drain the blueberries.
Place the berries in a suacepan.
Add the sugar and water.
Bring to a boil while stirring.
Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes until the berries become soft and disintegrate.
Remove from the heat.
Mix the potato flour with a little water.
Pour slowly into the soup and return to the heat.
Stir continuously until the soup thickens.

This soup can be served with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Denasalization in Portuguese

Portuguese and Spanish are similar languages. However, one of the features which serves to distinguish them in denasalization. A number of Portuguese words deleted an earlier intervocalic nasal which Spanish still preserves. Here is a list to illustrate:

arena areia (sand)
cadena cadeia (chain)
ganado gado (livestock)
general geral (general)
luna lua (moon)
moneda moeda (coin)
persona pessoa (person)
sonar soar (sound)
tener ter (have)
venir vir (come)

In the cases of areia and cadeia, we see denasalization followed by diphthongization. In words such as ganado and tener, we see denasalization followed by vowel deletion. The word vir illustrates denasalization followed by deletion of the unstressed vowel. As a result, we can postulate that in words such as ter the unstressed vowel was deleted. In general, both front vowels are unstressed (geral is stressed on the final syllable), but it seems plausible that the second vowel was deleted because it was the least stressed.

Denasalization is one phonological process which is evident in Portuguese. The loss of intervocalic /n/ in Portuguese is not evident in Spanish and other Romance languages. In certain cases, however, Portuguese preserves intervocalic /n/. as in  corona (crown), fonologia (phonology) and telefone (telephone). Thus intervocalic denasalization in Portuguese is variable.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Resultatives are forms that express a change in state as the result of the completion of an event. They appear as predicates of sentences.Resultatives usually consist of a verb, a postverbal noun phrase and a resultative phrase.

The following are examples of resultatives:

He painted the fence white.
She wore her hair up.
He made the curry very spicy.
The door swung open.
The dog licked the bowl clean.

In the example The door swung open the structure consists of a verb and a resultative phrase. This structure is also common in resultatives.

Resultatives are used to form a wide range of sentences. The term is commonly used in linguistics. In the sentence He painted the fence white it is understood that the fence was previously a colour other than white. In resultatives the noun phrase undergoes a change of state.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sour Milk

Sour milk is easy to make. It tastes similar to buttermilk and can be used in baking. Here is the recipe:

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix the milk and lemon juice. Let stand for 15 minutes. Sour milk can be used for baking or as an alternative for buttermilk.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Tinto de Verano

Tinto de Verano is a very popular drink in Spain. It's similar to sangria but simpler. Here's the recipe:

1 part red wine
1 part sparkling water
slice of lemon (optional)

This is poured over ice. For a sweeter drink sugar can be added to the sparkling water. Instead of sparling water, a pop such as Sprite and 7-Up can also be used.

This is a very refreshing drink. It's especially popular in summer. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Swedish Possessive Adjective

Swedish has a third person possessive adjective which doesn't exist in English. This allows two interpretations for sentences such as Peter spoke to the neighbour about his house. In English it isn't clear whether his refers to the subject or object of the sentence. However, in Swedish it is.

Here is the sentence in Swedish:

Peter talade till grannen om sitt hus. The word sitt indicates that Peter spoke to the neighbour about his own house. If Peter spoke to the neighbour about the neighbour's house, the sentence would be Peter talade till grannen om hans hus.

Swedish has a possessive adjective which refers to the subject of the sentence. This allows a distinction which other languages don't. Besides Swedish, Danish and Norwegian also have this distinction.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Echo Questions

Echo questions repeat all or part of a sentence or question. They are often used when the hearer wishes to verify that the entire utterance was understood. Echo questions can also be used to express surprise and to probe for more information.

Here are examples of echo questions in conversation:

We're flying to Hawaii.
You're flying to Hawaii?

They're coming at six.
They're coming at six?

Paula wants to eat duck.
Paula wants to eat what?

Do you understand me?
Do I understand you?

Wendy needs to go home.
Who needs to go gome?

I have a headache.
A headache?

Echo questions are very common in conversation. They echo all or part of a previous utterance. In many cases echo questions are used to confirm or verify information.

Monday, January 2, 2017


Clipping is a morphological process also known as shortening or truncation. This results in words which have been reduced from their original form. English has many examples of clipping.

In final clipping the final part of the word is removed. Examples include bra (brassiere), gas (gasoline) and photo (photograph).

In initial clipping the initial part of the word is removed. Examples include burger (hamburger), gator (alligator) and phone (telephone).

In medial clipping the initial and final parts of the word are removed. Examples include flu (influenza), fridge (refrigerator) and ma'am (madam). In ma'am, the final part of the word is retained, but it can be regarded as medial clipping because the middle of the word is removed.

Clipping is a process which shortens words. It can be classified into three types- final clipping, initial clipping and medial clipping. Of these three the most common is final clipping.

Word-initial /pf/ in German

The German language allows the affricate /pf/ at the beginning of a word. Though written as two letters, this is one sound. The /pf/ developed from /p/ and in fact often corresponds to a /p/ in English.

Here are ten German words which begin with /pf/:

Pfad path
Pfahl pole
Pfanne pan
Pfirsich peach
Pflanze plant
Pflaume plum
Pflug plough
Pfeffer pepper
Pfeife pipe
Pfund pound

The word-initial /pf/ is pronounced /f/ by certain speakers. This affricate often corresponds to a /p/ in English and other Germanic languages. The word  pepper is also pepper in Norwegian, peper in Dutch, peber in Danish and peppar in Swedish. German is unique among Germanic languages for allowing word-initial /pf/ .  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

French Etymology

French etymology is not very phonetic. The reason is that it's based on old French, spoken from the 9th to 14th centuries. The pronunciation of French has changed significantly since this period.

Here are ten words which reflect the difference between spelling and pronunciation in French:

mot (word) the t is silent
sept (seven) the p is silent
vous (you) the s is silent
fils (son) the l is silent
samedi (Saturday) the e is silent
bras (arm) the s is silent
pied (foot) the d is silent
doigt (finger) the g and t are silent
oeufs (eggs) the f and s are silent
haricot (bean) the h and t are silent

From the examples, we can see that French spelling has many silent letters. They were pronounced in Old French but not today. Thus French spelling reflects the changes in pronunciation which the language has undergone over time.

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