Word Games

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by PsychoticEpisode, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

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    Are they really an exercise for the brain? I enjoy a good crossword. It feels good to use the old noggin but I think it probably takes more grey matter to create a good crossword, although I stand to be corrected.

    Crosswords et al are fairly popular in N.A. it seems. I was wondering if other languages display the same passion for word puzzles as English seems to. I've never seen a crossword in any language other than English. I tried googling and came across several sites that say they have crosswords in many different tongues but I couldn't find a site that would show at least one example.

    Anyway, is the only prerequisite for good word puzzles an alphabet?
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The phonetic and grammatical structure of a language can be a big problem in composing a crossword puzzle. In Spanish, there is only one word that ends in J, reloj (clock). Only a couple of interjections like Ah! end in H. Names like Saramanch are Catalan, and proper names from the Mesoamerican languages like Aztec and Cuauhtemoc are the only words that end in C. I think there are no words at all ending in B, F, G, M, P, Q, T, V and X except foreign names and internationalized scientific terms. This makes it almost impossible to build the bottom and right-hand edges of the grid, where every word in one direction is required to end with a letter from the middle of the word going the other way.

    The problem is even worse in Italian. Only a handful of Italian words end in consonants. In, non, il, ed, un, per... I think I just listed more than half of them.

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    They don't even form plurals in -S or verb inflections in -N.

    On the other hand I can't imagine you'd have any trouble at all in French or Czech.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Are there any word puzzles in other languages that can't or don't work in English?
     
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