Archive for December, 2007

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Tales! Of! LINGUISTS!

December 5, 2007

Ladies, Gentlemen, and people who prefer non-gendered identifications;

Gather ’round as I share with you a great tale. A tale that demonstrates to you the special kind of mind needed to be a linguist! You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll bemoan “Oh, god that’s SO true”.

Sadly, this is not really my tale to tell (though I’m sure I’ve got one like it somewhere in my past), but rather my friend and fellow linguist, foleyartist1‘s. She is letting me share it all with you because it is just that fabulous a tale.

So seigyoku and I went to Disneyland this past weekend, and one of the rides we checked out was the Christmas version of It’s a Small World After All. Now, basically this ride is a hellish combination of the title song and various Christmas carols which you listen to as you sit in a little boat passing underneath signs that say “Merry Christmas” in various languages.

As we pass underneath a sign that says ‘Mele Kalikimaka’…

foleyartist1: See, you can tell that this language doesn’t allow codas in its syllables, because it imported the phrase making sure no syllable ended in a consonant. You know, kinda like Japanese, but more hard-core.
seigyoku: I see.
foleyartist1: Based on that, I think it’s probably Hawaiian.
seigyoku: I think it’s Hawaiian too.
foleyartist1: Oh? Why?
seigyoku: Because the sign is surrounded by animatronic hula dancers.

I’m sure I would have noticed them eventually.