Category Archives: Language and Linguistics


Meet the Etymology Guy


November 20, 2019 ||

Every November 5, the United Kingdom celebrates Guy Fawkes Night. Guy Fawkes was an Englishman who attempted to blow up the House of Parliament in 1605. The story is fairly well known—but why was this guy named Guy? What kind of a name is that, anyway? As it turns out, it’s kind of a long […]


Balinese lontar work underway!


September 12, 2019 ||

In the previous two updates, we described the Balinese lontar digitization project that PanLex is managing for Internet Archive. The goal is to continue the digitization of the Balinese Digital Library’s scanned lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts) by transcribing them into Unicode text, using the keyboards discussed in the last update. This work has now gotten underway […]


Onomatopœia


July 10, 2019 ||

The term onomatopœia, derived from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία (ὄνομα (ónoma), “name” + ποιέω (poiéō), “to make, to do, to produce”), refers to words whose phonetic forms originate from the sound of the thing or action the word represents. Common examples from English are “oink”, “beep”, and “hiccup”. Japanese is known for having a very large […]


Digitizing Balinese Literature from Lontar Palm Leaves


May 7, 2019 ||

In 2011, the Internet Archive photographed nearly the entire collection of Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts (130,000 leaves in all) as part of an effort to bring out of the shadows the lesser-known literatures of the world and to inspire others to do the same. These traditional Balinese texts were inscribed with a special triangular iron stylus […]


Edible Possession in Halmahera


April 9, 2019 ||

The island of Halmahera is a spider-shaped island located in Indonesia’s Maluku Islands. It was these islands, the so-called “spice islands”, that several European nations sought in the 15th and 16th centuries as the source of cloves, nutmeg, and mace. Along the east coast of Halmahera, the closely related Austronesian languages Patani and Sawai (among others) […]