Let’s twist again

Today’s Zippy:

On Tuesday it was Latvian. Today’s it’s Estonian. Can Lithuanian be far behind?

The book of Beatnik poetry Zerbina is clutching has the title LUULE BEAT. BEAT is obviously a loanword from English; LUULE is a noun meaning ‘poetry’ in Estonian; and the word order is head noun before modifier. As for the morphosyntax, what we see above is two base words, uninflected, and that might well be the right form for a title involving a loan word, but what do I know? (Estonian has 14 cases, so there’s plenty of room for complexity here.)

Now, Latvian and Estonian are two of the three languages of the so-called Baltic states (a partly geographic, partly political designation), but they’re not at all related: Latvian is an Indo-European language, in the Balto-Slavic branch, while Estonian is a Finnic (aka Balto-Finnic) language, most closely related (among major extant languages) to Finnish, and more distanty to Hungarian. Wikipedia on Baltic languages:

The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family… Baltic languages are spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. They are usually considered a single family divided into two groups: Western Baltic, containing only extinct languages, and Eastern Baltic, containing two living languages, Lithuanian and Latvian.

Then there’s the geography. The political entities surrounding the Baltic Sea are, starting from Denmark and moving clockwise:

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave annexed from Germany in 1945, and formerly known as Königsberg), Poland, Germany

Then there’s the music. Here:

Come on, let’s twist again like we did last summer
Yeah, let’s twist again like we did last year
Do you remember when things were really hummin’?
Yeah, let’s twist again, twistin’ time is here

From Wikipedia

“Let’s Twist Again” is a song written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, and released as a single by Chubby Checker. One of the biggest hit singles of 1961, it reached #2 in the UK and #8 on the U.S. Billboard pop chart. It refers to the Twist dance craze and his 1960 [single, re-released in 1961] “The Twist”, a UK and U.S. number-one single.

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