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Author Topic: One syllable countries
Danvers Carew
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Small diversion for you all. I heard the other day that there are only four countries, out of the 193 countries in the world, that have just one syllable in their name, these being Chad, Greece, France, and Spain.

Is this true? And do you think it signifies anything at all?

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Doc J.
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In engliah, perhaps, but does France have more/less than four ? How about Japan ?

Er, that really doesn't answer your question, does it.

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wee wifey
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interesting I pressume Danvers is discussing "in the English language" because of course in French Spain would have more than one, and Cyprus would have only one!

but going through my (limited)geographical knowledge, what you have heard sounds correct, Danvers

little miss

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Tch - I prefer to think at the level of morphemes [Wink]

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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How about Guam? Laos?

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Friends of Alfred
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Wales?

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wee wifey
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loas, definately, but is guam, gwarm or goo-arm?

little miss

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once known as little miss

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Danvers Carew
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I forgot about countries having their own names for their own nations - damned inconsiderate of the blighters if you ask me. So yes, I assume this fascinating fact comes with the unwritten qualifier "in the English language".

ETA: It's clearly not true anyway - how could I have overlooked Wales? To flesh this out a bit, are there many countries which only have one syllable in their native language?

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
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quote:
Originally posted by Danvers Carew:
Small diversion for you all. I heard the other day that there are only four countries in the world, out of the 193 countries in the world that have just one syllable in their name, these being Chad, Greece, France, and Spain.

Is this true? And do you think it signifies anything at all?

Spain has one syllabe? It's almost impossible to me to pronounce it as such. I tend to pronounce it S-PAIN (and most of my fellow countrymen would in fact pronounce it Es-PAIN)

Jaime

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wee wifey
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Jaime, I think this applies to english spoken by ,well, the English, where Spain is definately one syllable (I know we're Heathens [Wink] )

little miss

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once known as little miss

"I don't Pretend to be an ordinary Housewife" Elizabeth Taylor

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BeachLife
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quote:
Originally posted by little miss:
loas, definately, but is guam, gwarm or goo-arm?

little miss

Laos it two sylables when I pronounce it. The laotions I know also pronounce it with two.

Guam is a US territory, not a country.

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Syllavus
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Ack, I keep seeing this topic and thinking that my username is in it. [Eek!]

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Danvers'

quote:
how could I have overlooked Wales?
Force of habit? [Wink]

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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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[lol]

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Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by little miss:
Jaime, I think this applies to english spoken by ,well, the English, where Spain is definately one syllable (I know we're Heathens [Wink] )

I wasn't implying it, it's just that I needed a massive amount of open-mindedness to see it as a syllabe, because SPaniards have wahat could be described as a speech impediment regarding the combination S+consonant at the beginning of words.

(I used to laugh at the conductor of a music programme because she insisted in pronounced Bruce Springsteen's name correctly. I used to think "you're in Spain, you showoff! Here he's called BROOS ESPREENGSTEEN!")

Jaime

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pinqy
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Yep, Spanish lacks the phoneme "sp" at the beginning of words. Not found, doesn't exist, not natural for native Spanish speakers to say. I think it exists in Spanish elsewhere in words, though.

pinqy

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DemonWolf
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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
quote:
Originally posted by little miss:
loas, definately, but is guam, gwarm or goo-arm?

little miss

Laos it two sylables when I pronounce it. The laotions I know also pronounce it with two.

Guam is a US territory, not a country.

All of the Loatians I known pronounce it with one sylable. He pronounces it, "Louse." He also pronounces "Loation" like "Lotion."

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wee wifey
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that's how I always heard it/ pronounced it Demonwolf.

little miss

--------------------
once known as little miss

"I don't Pretend to be an ordinary Housewife" Elizabeth Taylor

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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quote:
Originally posted by Jay Tea:
Danvers'

quote:
how could I have overlooked Wales?
Force of habit? [Wink]
Since my suggestion of Guam was shot down, I have to ask, is Wales a country? The CIA doesn't seem to think so.

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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmmm:
. . . is Wales a country? The CIA doesn't seem to think so.

You might say it's a country but not a nation. (i.e., doesn't have membership in the U.N.)

Silas

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
Yep, Spanish lacks the phoneme "sp" at the beginning of words. Not found, doesn't exist, not natural for native Spanish speakers to say. I think it exists in Spanish elsewhere in words, though.

I think it really doesn't exist because when it seems to appear inside words usually there's a syllabe separation in the middle.

E.g. ESPEJO, ASPECTO have the syllabes ES/PE/JO, AS/PEC/TO.

(It doesn't come all that naturally at the end of words either. I can't prove it, but I'd bet a majority of SPaniards would tend to pronounce a word such as "Wasp" more like "WAS-P")

Jaime

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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Here's a list of the 191 nations in the UN: link. IIRC, there's something about Taiwan and Vatican City not being members, but they are also classed as actual countries or something (?).

The UK is lumped together and Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and England aren't considered seperate. So the OP's 'fascinating fact' seems to hold at least in this instance - there are only four countries with one syllable on that list.

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Hans Off
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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmmm:
. . . is Wales a country? The CIA doesn't seem to think so.

You might say it's a country but not a nation. (i.e., doesn't have membership in the U.N.)

Silas

It is often overlooked...

Wales ceases to exist!

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Jason Threadslayer
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quote:
Originally posted by little miss:
loas, definately, but is guam, gwarm or goo-arm?

I've always heard Laos pronounced "laus", one syllable.

Guam is pronounced "gwahm".

quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
You might say [Wales is] a country but not a nation. (i.e., doesn't have membership in the U.N.)

The other way around. Historians use "country" to mean a political entity (a "state") and "nation" to mean "a group of people with a shared history, culture, language, and/or religion, with a sense of belonging to each other". Thus, the terms "nation-state" and "mutlination-state", which are both countries (and states).

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Wales is a principality - meaning that the nominal head is the Prince of Wales.

Here's a table of dates in Welsh history. Wales has been a principality of the Kingdom of England since 1282 (according to that table) but the formal "unification" wasn't completed until 1536 under Henry VIII.

One thing that the table says that I hadn't realised is that Wales was "united under one rule" for a period between 838 and 1039, but formally submitted to the "English" king as over-king in 927. I hadn't realised that Wales had ever been united under one rule independently of England. At that time, the "English" king would really have been the king over the various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (Mercia, Wessex, Anglia etc.) so that doesn't necessarily make the "Welsh" subservient to the "English" any more than anybody in "England" was subservient to the "English" king. I think that the table simplifies these things a little.

After the Norman Conquest, the south part of Wales (the Marches) was under Norman control, and the north, Welsh-speaking part (Wallia Pura) wasn't.

Anyway, Wales has never been an independent nation state in the modern sense, in the way that Scotland, England and Ireland have been. At most, it was (according to that table) a collection of tribes that were briefly united under an independent king. Since then it's always been tied to England in one way or another, or not a unified whole.

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Top Kat
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quote:
Originally posted by pinqy:
Yep, Spanish lacks the phoneme "sp" at the beginning of words. Not found, doesn't exist, not natural for native Spanish speakers to say. I think it exists in Spanish elsewhere in words, though.

pinqy

That's what I thought. So why do people always quote Ricky Ricardo (from "I Love Lucy") as saying, "You have some 'splaining to do"? Wouldn't a Spanish speaker be more likely to add an "e" before an "sp" rather than dropping one? Did Ricky really say it like that?
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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Top Kat:
That's what I thought. So why do people always quote Ricky Ricardo (from "I Love Lucy") as saying, "You have some 'splaining to do"? Wouldn't a Spanish speaker be more likely to add an "e" before an "sp" rather than dropping one? Did Ricky really say it like that?

He might be over-correcting [Big Grin] .

Jaime

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