Friday, September 29, 2006


Come to think of it, I've never had the doubtful pleasure of watching Law and Order: The Original in Slovak dubbing on Slovak state TV. Having caught a few old episodes of it last night (in English) I'm really glad I haven't. Why, you ask? Slovak translators, I answer. Idiots, the lot of them. As long as I live I will never forget abominations like "Gettysburgská adresa" (i.e. "the address - as in street number and zip code - of Gettysburg" for Gettysburg address, instead of "Gettysburgský prejav") in one episode of West Wing or "ničiteľ" (i.e. "the thing/person which destroys" for destroyer, instead of the proper nautical term "torpédoborec") in several episodes of Babylon 5. All I could do was bang my head against the wall and repeat "And someone got paid for this..."
Listening to the fast one-liners (usually delivered by the late and great Jerry Orbach) and quick retorts filled with idiomatic expressions and slang made me (and my forhead) glad I didn't get to see LandO on STV. I can't even begin to imagine what those shmucks there did to these colorful expressions when translating them:

"Maybe you should stop giving us the runaround."
"- Well she has nerve!
- Not to mention several organs below Mason-Dixon."
"Bachelorette number 1..." (Brisco referring to a young woman)
"Either this girl is doing a real Meryl Streep or she doesn't know anything..."
"Don't quit your day job, detective."
"- What did she expect you to do?
- Well, to be blunt, she'd like me to jump down, turn around, pick a bale o'cotton."

And my favorite from that episode (13x15):

"Makeover maven..."

To translate these wonderful examples of US slang requires not only an extensive knowledge of American language and culture (which most of our translators do not possess), but also cojones on the part of the translator. I've said it once, I've said it twice and I'll say it again: standard Slovak is still a language of the theatre and those famous monday night adaptations. Although slang, expletives and other non-standard modes of expression are a normal part of everyday speech, in any even remotely public context, people are still uncomfortable to use words that are perceived as "not being proper Slovak".
The other day, a buddy of mine wrote an email to a discussion group asking for help concerning an item of hardware. The discussion group in question is not noted for it's insistence on decorum, in fact the lack of any such thing would be item number one on any description of that forum. Yet still, the guy felt the need to put quotation marks around the word "pasovať" (a common, yet non-standard word for "fit"). Why? Knowing the kind of people that hang around the said discussion group, there is no doubt in my mind he wouldn't have any problem saying the word out loud. I suspect that the reason he put those quotation marks there to distance himself from this word is the same reason why most public personae precede every perceived non-standard word or phrase with the waiver "ľudovo povedané" (i.e. "as the simple people would say"): it's the ghost of "spisovná slovenčina" (standard Slovak). Once a beautiful idea, it is now a scary half-dead monster baring its teeth at anyone who'd dare to approach it from the wrong side of the social and dialectal divide, yet incapable of defending itself from being eaten away by anglicisms and general disregard for knowledge and education. I'm pretty goddamn sure this is not what Bernolák or Štúr had in mind.

Oh and fyi, the following is how I would translate the expressions above:

"Možno by ste nás mohli prestať vodiť za nos."
"- Tá má teda drzosť!
- A riadne veďvietečo od pása nižšie k tomu."
"Kandidátka číslo jedna..."
"Buď nám tu táto slečinka predviedla úžasný herecký výkon, alebo naozaj nič nevie..."
"Len si nerobte nádeje, detektív."
"- A čo čakala že urobíte?
- Asi že si sadnem, založím ruky a budem sa tváriť že ja nič, ja muzikant."
"Kúzelníčka s mejkapom..."

Or something like that, given enough time and money. Anyone wants more, you know where to find me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Yesterday's post on meänkieli (and the antiobotics-induced state of mind I'm in) got me thinking about the names of some languages. Terms like "our language" seem a bit strange, but they're far from rare. The brief poll I conducted about my fellow Easternslovakians revealed that many of them refer to speaking in their native dialect as "hutorec/hvarec/kazac po našomu" (lit. "speaking our way"). Even the ancient Hittite word for their language, našili, was once interpreted as derived from -naš = "our" (though these days it's not). But the language name which has always struck me as quite odd is Bislama. When I first came across the name of this pidgin, I filed it under "one of those pidgins/creoles from Africa, Arab conquest, islamization ekcetera ekcetera". Imagine my surprise when I learned that Bislama is an English-based pidgin (closely related to that of the Solomon Islands and Tok Pisin) and is actually spoken in Vanuatu. Connections between Vanuatu and islam? Zero. Having opened the window to let my previous theory fly out, I reached for my copy of Holm's "Pidgins and Creoles. Volume II: Reference Survey" and found the following:

The second Melanesian product whose market was confined to China was the edible sea slug called the beach-la-mar (cf. portuguese bicho do mar 'creature of the sea', whence French beche de mer), prized in China as a favorite ingredient in soups. Theses sea slugs are found on the coral reefs of Melanesia, the Torres Straits and Micronesia. There the trade often flourished alongside that in sandalwood, frequently carried on by the same traders. It requried close linguistic contact between the Europeans who lived in the trading areas and the islanders who caught the sea slugs and preserved them for shipment through a process of cleaning, boiling, and smoking. The trade language that this situation fostered was often referred to as Beach-la-mar, a name which survives in Vanuatu's PE.

Imagine that. Naming a language after a (ethnic, religious or social) group of people or a country is quite normal. Naming it after a city is quite common, too. But naming a language after a commercial product, that's gotta be rare. Do you know of any other languages with names with interesting history?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Making my way through the dark forrest of the Internet searching for an overview of the Ge'ez script as used by the speakers of Tigrinya (to use with my newly acquired Grammar of Tigrinya), I stumbled across this wonderful site. As its title suggests, it is devoted to all the minority languages of Sweden, both official and non-official. A praiseworthy project indeed, with a billionzilliontrillion links for just about any language freak. In just a few clicks, I found these glossaries of everyday items and concepts in 15 languages, this multiscript online keyboard, a Syriac-English dictionary with a Firefox search plugin and a list of mathematical terms in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. Pretty cool, he?
And I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. After all, the site includes information on Finnish, Saami, Arabic, Farsi, Tagalog, Tigrinya, Luganda, Albanian, even Yiddish, Romani and Syriac/Aramaic, Somali, Thai, Meänkieli, Kurdish...
Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold it right there. Meänkieli?



So meänkieli (meidän kieli = 'our language'), also known as Tornedalen Finnish, is a dialect of Finnish spoken in the area around and including the twin-city of Tornio-Haparanda on the Swedish-Finnish border in Lappland. In Sweden, it is also spoken in Gällivare, Kiruna, Pajala and Övertorneå by immigrants from Finland who started arriving in Sweden in the Middle Ages and whose numbers grew after the Russian annexation of Finland. With 30.000 to 80.000 speakers in Sweden, a grammar and a Gospel translation, an active writer community and a few TV and radio programs, meänkieli was declared an official minority language in 2002.
As for the linguistic characteristics, the Wikipedia article only mentions the lack of the comitative and the instructive case. Hm. How to put it nicely... Duh? Both cases are rarely used in written, let alone spoken Finnish nowadays, so their absence in a dialect is hardly surprising. Longing for more information, I remembered the old saying ("You wanna get something done right...") and set out to investigate the matter. And thus here are a few characteristic features of meänkieli I have observed so far:

1. assimilation:
-ts- > -tt- (Ruotsin > Ruottin; merkitse > merkittee)
-ks- > -k- (mielenkieliksi > mielenkieliki)

2. lack of gemination:
-lla/-llä > -la/lä (samala laila, meänkielelä)
-lle > -le (täysille > täysile)

3. aspiration:
-t- > -th (kutsutaan > kuttuthaan; yhteyksissä > yhtheyksissä, toteutetaan > totheutethaan)
-p- > -ph (lopuun > lophuun; tarpeeksi > tarpheeksi)
-øN- > -hN- (voimaan > voihmaan; kokonaan > kokohnaan)
-ø- > -h- (lauseita > lausheita; kokoon > kokhoon; meänkiehleen)
-N- > -Nh- (viranomaista > viranomhaista; opettaneet > opettanheet; puhuneet > puhuhneet)

It would appear that this phenomenon occurrs in a syllable with a long vowel, such as the passive or the Illative case suffix (kuttuthaan; ...tavalishiin kysymykshiin...) and/or in the syllable immediately preceding long vowels (meänkieli, but meänkiehleen). From where I sit, it looks like the "h" may be at least partly involved in the stem gradation (see e.g. Ruothiin).

4. elision:
-d- > -ø- (rakkauden > rakhauen; oikeuden > oikeuen)
-t# > -# (tullut > tullu)

5. monophtongization:
-oi- > -o- (tarkoittaa > tarkottaa; antoi > anto, but voihmaan)

6. personal pronouns and the copula:
mie olen, sie olet, se oon, met olema, ?, ?

Mie, sie etc. is actually a quite common feature of Finnish dialects and/or spoken Finnish. Met (olema), however, appears to be a typical feature of meänkieli.

7. lexical borrowings from Swedish:
frästaus (frestelse)
förlaaki (förlag)

Discovering a 'new' language is bound to make any day brighter. Doubly so today, since I feel like shit - I'm running a fever, every joint in my body seems to have walked out on me and I can't hear squat 'cause of some gorram infenction in my ears. So with your permission I shall now retire and make an appoitment with my doctor. If he won't help me, it will at least get majki off my ass. Yeah, right, like that's ever gonna happen...

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Today one of Pali's learned colleagues found herself at loss for words when one of her students asked her what was the origin of the phrase "modrá krv" ("blue blood") indicating nobility. When he told me about this and the discussion that ensued and asked me to clear up the issue, I had to admit my own ignorance and I promised to do a little digging.
To make good on my promise, as soon as I got home I checked a few sources. They all seemed to be telling the same story, so just to verify, I dug out my copy of OED (Second Edition) where I looked up the word "blood". And voilà:

blood, n.
blue blood: that which flows in the veins of old and aristocratic families, a transl. of the Spanish sangre azul
attributed to some of the oldest and proudest families of Castile, who claimed never to have been contaminated by Moorish, Jewish, or other foreign admixture; the expression probably originated in the blueness of the veins of people of fair complexion* as compared with those of dark skin; also, a person with blue blood; an aristocrat.
Helen XV. (D.) One [officer]... from Spain, of high rank and birth, of the sangre azul, the blue blood.
Cæsar xi. 120 A young nobleman of the bluest blood.

It turns out that Inka was nearly right: she proposed the origin of the phrase lies in the skin of the aristocrats which was of much lighter tone in contrast to that of commoners and peasants who worked in the sun (compare "redneck"). The underlying ethnic/racial aspect of "sangre azul" is quite interesting. The only thing to do now is to find out how this phrase entered our language, especially seeing that its English counterpart is less than 200 years old. So let me just get my etymological dictionary of the Slovak language...



There is no etymological dictionary of the Slovak language. There is no comprehensive dictionary of the Slovak language, either. The last decent grammar is from 1971 (written by the great Eugen Pauliny) and the last comprehensive overview of Slovak morphology is from 1966. I guess our linguists have better things to do. Like, say, telling people what the right word for "dog leash" is (fyi, it's "vôdzka", definitely NOT "vodítko" or "vodidlo"). It's not like our many varied dialects were dying out and in dire need of recording and preserving for the posterity. No sirreeeee.
So until I get my hands on the etymological dictionary of the Czech language, let me present my hypothesis: it's the Habsburgs. Between 1516 and 1700, they ruled Spain and until 1918 they ruled most of Central Europe, including Slovakia. It is possible that the phrase "sangre azul" entered the main languages of the Austro-Hungarian empire (German "blaues Blut", Hungarian "kék vér" and perhaps Latin "sanguis caeruleus/coeruleus", too) even before it entered the English language and then continued to influence other languages of the empire, including Czech and Slovak. I think I'll check the historical dictionary of the Slovak language, too. There's - at last! - one thing the boys and girls at JÚĽŠ got right.

* fair complexion = svetlá pleť

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Inspired by languagehat, I bring you a list of (more or less) randomly selected books from my library which I bought, but still haven't read.

PAVIĆ, Milorad: Hazarski rečnik - ženski primerak
This one is on the top of my "to read" list. Emík bought it for me in some antique book store in Bosnia back in ... I'm not sure when exactly since it's missing my usual ex libris. Couple of years ago, anyway. And I will get to it, I swear. Soon. I mean how can you resist a book which begins like this:

Sadašnji pisac ove knjige uverava čitaoca da neće morati da umre ako ju pročita, kao što je bio slučaj s njegovim prethodnikom, korisnikom izdanja Hazarskog rečnika iz 1691. godine kada je ova knjiga još imala svog prvog spisatelja.

GOITEIN, Shlomo Dov: Mediterranean Society: An Abridgement in One Volume
In my defense I'd like to say that I have actually read volumes II and IV of the full version and even read some of the Genizah documents referred to. Unfortunately, this abridgement omits all the references to T-S documents and is thus 'merely' a great historical work. I'm pretty sure I will pick it up some time before my final exam, though.

Beowulf: A Student Edition (ed. by George JACK)
I spotted this one in an OUP catalogue back in 1997 (together with "How to Kill a Dragon") and I just had to have it. Nine years and several changes of address later, I'm still stuck at monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah.

FRIGGIERI, Olivier: Fi parlament ma jikbrux fjuri
I bought this one in October 2003 in Malta (my last real holiday, fyi). The back jacket informed me that in 1986, when the book was first published, it sparked a huge political controversy. There is no better way to get to know a culture than through its political scandals. Besides, you know how much I like gossip :o)

GINZBURG, Carlo: The Night Battles
I got this one for Christmas a few years ago. The subject (witchcraft, shamanism and white magic in medieval Italy) is fascinating and despite my initial impression, the book is written in an impecable scientific manner. Somehow I just haven't found the time yet...

LEWIS, Bernard: What Went Wrong
This is one of those I had to buy ex officio. I tried reading it once, but all it did was to raise my blood pressure. Perhaps after I finish my PhD thesis. If I ever do.

DUMÉZIL, Georges: Mythes et dieux des Indoeuropéens
Not so much 'unread' as in a permanent state of reading limbo for the last 4 years. I only finished the chapter on the 'Rehabilitation of Snorri' and it was so good I could not process more.

8. Jazyk, média, politika
This is a collection of essays on the usage of the Czech and Slovak languages in media and politics. I've been thinking about writing something on the subject myself, so I may read it before long.

PINKER, Steven: Words and Rules
I'm still not sure whether this is a 'I haven't read these' list or a 'I haven't read these, but I plan on reading them' list. If it ends up as the latter, this book doesn't belong here. I mean, come on - "Words and Rules"? Doesn't that just sum up everything that is wrong about T/GG, Chomskyanism, the Minimalist program or whatever those washpots call their religion these days? Tell you what - if I survive reading Lewis, I'll get to this one.

LIPTÁK, Ľubomír: Slovensko v 20. storočí
This is one of those books every Slovak intellectual (feh!) should have on their nightstand. To lend it to a friend who is studying for her Slovak history exam is also a good reason for buying it.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Today's whiskey-tango-foxtrot* moment is brought to you by languagelog:

A less obvious example of the influence of English [on Turkish] is a new phenomenon: the current greeting Selâm in place of Merhaba. This is not evidence of increasing religiosity, but is due to the prevalence of English-language films on television.
The aim when dubbing is to use Turkish words requiring lip movements similar to those of the original, and the lip movements for Selâm are closer to those for 'Hello' than to those for Merhaba.

I'm certainly not surprised at the liberties dubbing translators take with the target language. What astonishes me, however, is the effect those translations could have on a language. And it makes wonder about the possible influence of dubbing on other languages. Take German, for example: when translating English-language movies and TV shows, one of the standard problems is the translation of the auxiliary "to do", especially in affirmative. Lip movement and timing are important factors to consider and so the translators are often forced to push the limits of the German language. For example, one very often hears the literal and absolutely unnatural translation of the auxiliary "to do", such as "Ja, das tue ich" for English "Yes I do". Hold on, did I just say "absolutely unnatural"? Weeeeell... not so much. Consider this example by Goethe:

Ich wollt´, ich wäre Gold,
Dir immer im Sold;
Und tät´st du was kaufen,
Käm´ ich wieder gelaufen.

or this example by STS:

Am weissen Strand tät i Flamenco spiel'n
Oder mit an Tanzbär'n durch die Lande zieh'n
Jede Nacht am Lagerfeuer
Jeder Tag ein Abenteuer

this one from one of the forums on their website:

(3) Tust jetzt Fieberphantasieren oder was?

and this random one I just googled:

(4) Aber übermäßig selektieren tu ich ja nicht, wie gesagt

It would appear that the verb "tun" can indeed be used as an auxiliary verb, especially in certain dialects (the STS guys are from Styria) or registers. We've seen it so far as an alternative to "werden" in conditional clauses (1 and 2), used for emphasis (especially in connection with "ja", see 4) and even employed as an interrogative auxiliary (3). So no, not absolutely unnatural. German "tun" can indeed replace English "do" in certain contexts and perhaps even on a one-to-one basis.
And so I wonder: how much of this usage is a natural development without any interference from English and German dubbing of English-language movies? Can German dubbing contribute to semantic and syntactic extension of "tun", such as the still-too-literal and not-quite-natural "Ja, das tue ich"? Has it already? Has anyone actually heard this or some similar anglicism involving "tun" in everyday usage?

*And this delightful phrase is brought to you by The Tensor.

Monday, September 11, 2006


In a recent thread at Better Bibles Blog, the subject of 2nd person plural pronoun in English came up. One of the commenters remarked that he personally feels that a separate pronoun should be introduced to avoid confusion. I replied that at least in American English, that is already happening and the frontrunner seems to be "you guys". Willing to make any sacrifice at the altar of science, I set out to gather evidence from current American usage (i.e. I pulled out the dvds of all my favorite shows).
However, a few hours later I stumbled across the website of the Harvard Dialect Survey, which aims to map the current state of (American) English. The questions and the survey criteria chosen are interesting enough, judge for yourselves:

74. What do you call the little gray creature (that looks like an insect but is actually a crustacean) that rolls up into a ball when you touch it?
75. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
76. What term do you use to refer to something that is across both streets from you at an intersection (or diagonally across from you in general)?

Among the many fascinating information about current American usage and culture, my eye fell on the following:
50. What word(s) do you use to address a group of two or more people?
So without further ado, let us proceed directly to the top three, in ascending order:
At number three, with 13.99%, we have (drumroll)... y'all! What can I say, folks, except Git-r-done!
With 24.82% of the vote, the second place belongs to (drumroll)... you. Ehm. Er. Well, booooooooooooooooooooooooring!
And the winner, with astonishing 42.53%, is (drrrrrrrrumroll)... you guys!!! (music, confetti, tears, flowers etc.)

See, I told you so.

Friday, September 08, 2006


This one goes out to Skippo in memory of one hot summer, IRC and Polish trivia, which forced me to research Polish slang. In the course of my research I stumbled across a list of interesting slang expressions compiled by the students of the IV C class at an unnamed "Liceum" in Poland. Wielkie dzięki, whoever and wherever you are now.
And the rest of you, please find the most interesting items - grouped into semantic categories - and their translations below. Some are accompanied by a literal translation, some are pretty self explanatory.

Ya know what I'm sayin'?
cegła = a cellphone (lit.: a brick)
czaić = to understand (lit.: ?)
czeski film = a difficult subject, gibberish (lit.: a Czech movie. For a detailed explanation, see this article on Polish wiki.)
lać wodę = to lie (lit.: to pour water)
wczesany v temat = well versed in the subject (lit.: combed in into the subject)

Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll
błotko = coffee (lit.: small mud)
bit = music (perhaps from English "beat"?)
dokarmiać raka = to smoke (lit. to feed the crayfish < rak = 1. crayfish; 2. cancer)
pomarańczowe szaleństwo = cigarette filter (lit.: orange craziness)
pościelówa = slow music (lit.: bed music)
ślimak = a (french) kiss (lit.: snail. You can probably guess why...)
turboptyś = cheap apple wine (lit.: ... I'm not sure. But I'm sure noone missed the "turbo" part.)
twix = to insert two fingers into one's/someone's mouth to induce vomitting (most likely based on the popular candy.)
wbijać harpuna = to come uninvited to a party (lit.: to throw a harpoon)
wytwórnia czekoladek = bathroom, loo (lit.: chocolate factory)
zbetonić się = to get drunk (lit.: to make oneself turn to concrete)
zerować = to down a drink in one go (lit.: to zero)

Chicks and dudes

dzban = a person of inferior intelligence (lit.: jug)
klient = a person (lit.: client)
pasztet = a fat girl (lit.: pâté)
pokemon = a strangely looking person
tapeta = a girl with too much make-up (lit.: wallpaper)

The powers that be
antyki = parents (lit.: antiques - as in "antique furniture". Might also be translated as "the ancients".)
buda = school (lit.: shack)
matriks = mother
pokój zwierzeń = teacher's lounge (lit.: animal house)
paszcza lwa = teacher's lounge (lit.: lion's mouth)
pingwin = a nun
smerfy = cops (lit.: Smurfs, based on the sky-blue police cars in Poland)
strażnik Teksasu = school janitor (lit.: Texas Ranger. Not this one. That one.)

That's hot!
bij na jajo! = beat it! (lit.: hit the egg!)
jazda = something good (lit.: a ride)
kat = a boring conversation (lit.: executioner?)
masa = something good
myk = a good idea
nowa trawa = yes (lit.: new grass)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


So far, it's been a nice weekend: I did some laundry, watched a bit of TV, had penne al' arrabbiata and I took part in a fascinating discussion concerning the meaning of the word "horn" in the Old Testament over at Lingamish's place. Passages like "the horn of my salvation" (Psalms 18:2) and "in my name shall his horn be exalted" (Psalms 89:24) are usually accompanied by notes stating that "horn is a symbol of strength" or something to that effect.
After thorough examination, the consensus seems to be that in these instances, קֶרֶן (horn) refers to authority or political power. The evidence is plentiful:
  1. In Job 16:15, Job mentions his horn being defiled in the dust when describing how God "hath broken him asunder".
  2. Jeremiah 48:25 speaks of the kingdom of Moab whose "horn is broken" and whose "arm is cut off".
  3. Zechariah 1:21 speaks of four horns which scattered Judah and mentions "the horns of the Gentiles" which will be cast out.
  4. In Ezekiel 29:19, the Lord gives Egypt to Nebuchadrezzar, but in 29:21 He promises to "cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them". In other words, Babylonia is now the great power, having conquered the previous great power, Egypt. But the day will come when the Lord will raise Israel to that status.
  5. Lamentations 2:3 - notice the parallelism between "He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel" and "he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy".
  6. Lamentations 2:17 - again, note the parallel "he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee" and "he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries."
  7. The text of Revelations 12:3, 13:1 and 17:3 describes, respectively, a great red dragon, a sea monster and a "scarlet coloured beast" with 7 heads and 10 horns each. A strikingly similar motive appears Daniel 7:23-24 where another 10-horned beast is depicted and Daniel explicitly states that the 10 horns represent "ten kings that shall arise".
  8. The Ugaritic Ba'al Cycle, where the god El is often referred to as = the bull, El, the father. El and other gods have often been portrayed with bull horns.
  9. In KTU 1.92, Ba'al desires Ashtart and seeks her out. Then “Ba'al raised his horn in front of the guards. The guards replied: the city is well guarded…”* The horn here could again be a symbol of authority, used by Ba'al to compel the guards to answer/let him pass.
  10. Even Arabic might provide a clue. In Arabic, Alexander the Great is usually referred to as ذو القرنين = "he with two horns". The standard explanation given is that it indicates his power in both West and East.

There is one more option we should consider: the obvious sexual one. One could bring up the following arguments:
  1. 1 Samuel 2:1 where Hannah's "horn is exalted in the LORD".
  2. Again, Job 16:15, which could also be interpreted as Job lamenting the loss of his manhood and his inability to father any more sons (his sons having died previously).
  3. KTU 1.10, which is a description of a sexual encounter between Ba'al and (probably) Anat. In it, Ba'al greets Anat with the words “(Ba'al) shall anoint the horn of your strength.”*
  4. Again, KTU 1.92.
According to Stehlík**, in both KTU 1.10 and 1.92, the horn is an euphemism for both male and female genitalia. Additionally, qrnh in KTU 1.92 could be read as both "his horn" and "her horn". Stehlík lists 1 Sam 2:1, passages in Psalms quoted above (plus 89:17, 89:24 and 112:9) and Jeremiah 48:25 as proof of the sexual meaning of horn. But as we have seen, the context does not support this: Job speaks of his suffering, Jeremiah of the judgement that will "come upon the plain country" (48:20-25) and Psalm 112 - to pick one - refers to the good man who "hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour" and in the next verse goes on to say "The wicked shall see it (i.e. the horn), and be grieved". I mean... Ehm... surely not!

In the light of all of this, I can only agree with Lingamish. With my thanks to Peter and Ian, I shall now retire to a) sleep, b) gather more information, at least on the Ugaritic side of the story.

One last thing: there are several passages which indicate that "horn" could be a synonym of "head".
  1. Notice the parallelism 1 Samuel 2:1: my heart - my horn - my mouth.
  2. Psalm 74:4-5: "(I said) to the wicked: lift not up the horn; lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck."
That would bring us to Lingamish's question "why only one horn?" and Peter's response concerning unicorns in the Septuagint and KJV. But that we shall leave to another day.

* Translation courtesy of Ondřej Stehlík's "Ugaritské náboženské texty". A must have if you're interested in Ugaritic and/or mythology and you read Czech. You don't read Czech? Go and learn. You're not seriously considering reading Švejk in translation, are you?
** "Ugaritské náboženské texty", p. 311.