The Amateur Linguist Formerly Known as Mandeville

Hi all,

Hope you’re having an exciting Monday. I just wanted to add a note to explain the change of name on my profile. I opened this account when I was at university, and chose the pseudonym John Mandeville in honour of a medieval ancestor. To be honest I didn’t think many people would read my language musings, but I decided if I ever got up to a hundred followers I would switch to my real name.

Everything I’ve mentioned about my own background is true. I graduated two years ago (I started this when I was at Oxford but my degree is from Columbia), and currently work in New York City. In terms of languages, my primary one is English, and from my family background (on the non-Quillen/Mandeville side) I also grew up speaking Spanish and, to a much lesser extent, German. I’ve spent a lot of time in Puerto Rico, Germany, and China, so those are by far my best foreign languages. Based on that foundation I’ve also learnt some Dutch, French, Portuguese, and, most recently, Latin. It is obviously much easier to analyse languages one actually knows, but one of my goals for 2021 is to pay more attention to other, non-European languages (I’m particularly interested in Indo-Aryan, which I know shockingly little about).

I have been surprised and excited by how many people on this site are interested in linguistics. I’ve learnt some fascinating new information from commenters, and even had some good debates. I really appreciate all of the interest, and look forward to engaging more with you all going forward!



Former linguistics student; current investment bank analyst who sometimes thinks about something other than spreadsheets

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