Brownian thought space

Cognitive science, mostly, but more a sometimes structured random walk about things.

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Chronically curious モ..

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Noranges

I've finally seem to have gotten into the "flow" of thesis-writing! It comes way more easily now; probably because the structural problems have been solved. And here's a little piece of curiosity from the introductory chapter on segmenting speech. Apparently, the Sanskrit word narangah (the orange tree) was picked up by Arabic traders along with the fruit, who took both with them to Moorish Spain, where the fruit is still called naranja. The word (and presumably the fruit) travelled to the English speaking parts of Europe, and it was called a narange. Turns out, people kept mis-segmenting "a narange" as "an arange", from which (after a vowel change) we get our familiar orange.

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