Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Reasons Not to Study LinguisticsPart IIIDyspepsia Prater and Cynnie Sizzum (161 visits)

Reasons Not to Study Linguistics Part III. Compiled by Dyspepsia Prater and Cynnie Sizzum, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. Linguists, generally, try to encourage others’ interest in their field with enticements such as, “linguistics helps us understand the human condition” “every language provides a unique view of the mind” “linguistics empowers people” “you can work in translation, interpreting, foreign language teaching, the tech industry, fieldwork, etc.” Blah, blah, blah. You see, no matter how exciting a field seems, there’s someone out there who is sick and tired of putting up with it. Rather than promise nothing but ... more ]

2. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (91 visits)

The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective. Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!* Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust usand cut yourself some SLAC! ... Dear SLAC, What’s the plural of focus and how do you pronounce it? I’ve seen it spelled <foci> but do you pronounce that /foʊkaɪ/ or /foʊsaɪ/ ? Or is it something else entirely? Focuses? Focora? Focopodes? Please offer me your insights on pluralization so I can ... more ]

3. Vol CLXXXVI, No 1 (74 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXVI, Number 1 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Senior Editor, Pete Bleackley, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Mark Mandel, Deak Kirkham; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Chris Brew, Christian DiCanio, Joe McAvoy, Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro, Megan Stevens, Daniel Swanson; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Like Blunt Force Trauma to Your Broca’s Area; November 2019 ... more ]

4. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (66 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part E—Phonetics vs. Phonology. Hilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. We will skip the introduction, as we have been there, done that. Once more into the breach! For this installment in our series on Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, we will turn our attention to Phonetics and Phonology and the difference between the two: Phonetics:, ... Phonology:, ... Thanks to Professor Phlogiston, of the Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn, for the opportunity of a lifetime, as a student, to, on this occasion, share with so many of my fellow linguisticians my views, as illustrated above, concerning matters, which are of such immeasurable import ... more ] Merch! Book!

5. At the Mall of Indo-EuropeaHlökk bin Praeteritio ab Ἀπόστροφος von Sōkaiya (55 visits)

At the Mall of Indo-Europea. Hlökk bin Praeteritio ab Ἀπόστροφος von Sōkaiya. ... more ]

6. Rasmus Rask Diamond Puzzle XLila Rosa Grau (50 visits)

Rasmus Rask Diamond Puzzle X. by Lila Rosa Grau. This is the tenth Rasmus Rask puzzle, devoted to the original Mr. Charming Scandinavian Linguist. The puzzle is similar to a crossword puzzle, in that there is a grid for filling in words and phrases, and clues for the ACROSS and DOWN directions. However, all the squares in a Rasmus Rask puzzle are filled with letters, and the answers to the clues may (but are not required to) overlap. Clues for a particular row or column are given together, in the order they appear in the grid. No indication of the amount of overlap between clues is given. Letters spelling out RASMUS RASK in a diamond shape are given to provide a framework for filling in the answers. ... more ]

7. Ministry of Propaganda (49 visits)

The SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. Welcome to the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. The SpecGram Archive Elves™ have undertaken a project to digitize and share a sheaf of early 20th century SpecGram propaganda posters, which were used during the Great Linguistic War and the Second Linguistic War to encourage linguists everywhere to keep a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor during those trying times. We provide the digitized posters here for you to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. Select a poster to see a higher quality image, and for links to share on social media, to email friends, and to view or download the highest quality version of the image. If you have ideas for other messages that need ... more ]

8. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (41 visits)

The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics . For decades, Speculative Grammarian has been the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguisticsand now it is available in book formboth physical and electronic! We wish we were kidding, but no, seriously, we’ve published a large collection of SpecGram articles, along with just enough new material to force obsessive collectors and fans to buy it, regardless of the cost. From the Introduction: The past twenty-five years have witnessed many changes in linguistics, with major developments in linguistic theory, significant expansion in language description, and even ... more ]

9. Whose Puppet Are You?Kae d’Rik Kham (41 visits)

Whose Puppet Are You?. SpecGram Sub Rosa Editor Kae d’Rik Kham. At a recent conference on proto-Slavic (somewhat incongruously in Hawaiʻi), the organisers kindly provided a plenary alternative in the form of a ventriloquist’s act. Being an invited speaker myself, with a narrative that would not sit easily with one particular plenarian, I opted to avoid this one speaker’s litany of observettes on reconstructed vowel nuclei, regarding which I would have struggled to maintain my composure, so I toddled along and enjoyed the show. It didn’t disappoint as so much non-Wagnerian art can do: subtlety of narrative and technical skill were brought together to create a memorable ... more ]

10. How We Think About the Sounds of Chinese–Any Implications for Psycholinguistics?Bii Ming (38 visits)

How We Think About the Sounds of Chinese— Any Implications for Psycho­linguistics ?*. Bii Ming (bii.ming@, Keynote presented at the International Conference on Chinese Linguistics, February 30, 2008, Nanjing, Sinitic States of China. *This work was supported by grant #LKJHG985432 from the Parliament of the Sinitic States of China. I would like to share some observations about how linguists and Chinese native speakers think about the sounds of Chinese, and whether this may have influenced the development of the study of Chinese or even the development of the language itself. Of course, as we all know, when people refer to “the Chinese language” they usually are ... more ]

11. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (37 visits)

Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics. by Trey Jones. As a service to our young and impressionable readers who are considering pursuing a career in linguistics, Speculative Grammarian is pleased to provide the following Gedankenexperiment to help you understand the possibilities and consequences of doing so. For our old and bitter readers who are too far along in their careers to have any real hope of changing the eventual outcome, we provide the following as a cruel reminder of what might have been. Let the adventure begin ... more ] Book!

12. LinguimericksBook ६८ (35 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ६८. The Bar-Raising Principle There once was a field linguistic That loved not a single statistic. The field built a fence With definitions so dense Its contraction became its prime characteristic —Christian DiCanio, Young grad students I just can’t believe in; In my office I’m always a-grievin’: Though they’re smart in the head And leave nothing unread, When they speak they’re unable to even —Morris Swadesh III, There once was a linguistics journal, Whose staff’s views to the mainstream were foreign. “All You lot think you’re clever, Even art,” said some haverer, “But you’re only a glorified urinal.” ... more ]

13. Phonetic Evaporation and PrecipitationThe greatest linguistic discovery of the new centuryTrey Jones (33 visits)

Phonetic Evaporation and Precipitation, The greatest linguistic discovery of the new century. Trey Jones, l’École de SpecGram, Washington D.C.. As is well known in physics circles, mass, energy, momentum, charge, quantum color, quantum flavor, baryon number, lepton number, parity, and probability density are all conserved, and cannot be created or destroyed in normal (non-relativistic, non-nuclear, non–science-fiction) circumstances, despite any number of physical transformations a system may undergo. Why shouldn’t linguistics have its own conservation laws? An obvious candidate is phonological conservationunderlying forms remain constant throughout the ... more ]

14. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXVI.1) (32 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Editors, I was glancing through the magazines in the University Hospital and ran across yours, half-way hidden under a pile of Cosmopolitans. I noticed that you are asking for letters from your readers, and since I read that much I thought I'd write you one. To be honest, I liked the Cosmo issues a lot more than your magazine. They have way better models than you do (don't forget the photoshopping!) and their content is just so much more relevant to my daily life than yours. I was able to flip through your entire magazine in less than 4 secondsthere's just nothing to catch the eye. So I want to suggest that you take a page out of the Cosmo play book and think a ... more ]

15. Archives (30 visits)

SpecGram Archives. A word from our Senior Archivist, Holger Delbrück: While bringing aging media to the web and hence the world is truly a labor of love, SpecGram tries the passion of even the most ardent admirer. Needless to say, we’ve fallen behind schedule. At every turn, the authors found in the pages of this hallowed journal stretch credibility with their gratuitous font mongeringfirst it was the IPA, then a few non-standard transcription systems, then Greek, and not just the alphabet, but the entire diacritical mess, and now I’ve got some god-forsaken Old Church Slavonic glyph sitting on my desk that no one can even name, and which would give the Unicode Consortium ... more ]

16. /nuz baɪts/ (30 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. UN Announces New Year for New Year’s. As the International Year of Indigenous Languages draws to a close, the Untied Nations (UN) have announced that 2020 will be the Year of Speaking the Colonizers’ Language. This will mark the first time since 2018 that the languages of the once-dominant European powers have been recognized in an international year, and only the 49th time out of the past 50 years. Speaking on behalf of the UN, spokesperson Colin Yzerman said, “We have six official languages that collectively are official in more than 100 countries. Come on, everyone, get with the program and speak one of ... more ]

17. Vol CLXXXV, No 3 (29 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXV, Number 3 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Pete Bleackley, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Deak Kirkham, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Brenda Boerger, Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Ça Plane Pour Qui?; September 2019 ... more ]

18. About Us (28 visits)

Speculative Grammarian and Our Story. The august journal Speculative Grammarian has a long, rich, and varied history, weaving an intricate and subtle tapestry from disparate strands of linguistics, philology, history, politics, science, technology, botany, pharmacokinetics, computer science, the mathematics of humor, basket weaving, archery, glass blowing, roller coaster design, and bowling, among numerous other, less obvious fields. SpecGram, as it is known to devotees and sworn enemies alike, has for centuries sought to bring together the greatest yet least understood minds of the time, embedding itself firmly in the cultural and psychological matrix of the global society while ... more ] Podcast!

19. A Name by Any Other NameA Letter from Executive Editor Keith Slater (28 visits)

A Name by Any Other Name. A Letter from Executive Editor Keith Slater. Astute students of the SpecGram author indices are aware that some of our material is published in nom de plume fashion.* Even the most perceptive may have failed to notice, though, that some superficially straightforward attributions are in fact pseudonymous. In the spirit of elevating the educational level of our readership, we offer this guide to the question of when and, more importantly, how to use a proper pen name. Leaving aside the question of the thematic and obvious false names (such as my own Sven Slater, Robert F. Scott, and Edgar Allan Slater), minor orthographic variants such as Keith W. Slater ... more ]

20. Vol CLXXXIV, No 2 (27 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIV, Number 2 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Pete Bleackley, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Deak Kirkham, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Joe McAvoy, James Pasto, Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Now Largely Insect-Free; April 2019 ... more ]

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Last updated Nov. 20, 2019.