Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. The Dictionary of What Things Should MeanAccording to Non-LinguistsP. Ublekkoppen Ñon & Suṛɨ Vē (73 visits)

The Dictionary of What Things Should Mean, According to Non-Linguists. P. Ublekkoppen Ñon & Suṛɨ Vē X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. Linguistics, as a subjectdespite its obvious universal appeal and global applicabilityis not well-known or well-understood by non-linguists. Weand a large team of uncredited and unpaid XQK internshave taken it to the streets, so to speak, to get a better sense of how the linguistic laity grok our jargon and/or terms of art. Presented below are over 100 “definitions” of linguistic and linguistic-adjacent terms, provided to us by the general ... more ]

2. A Panoply of Stupid HijinksThe Dijkstra Triplets (Stuart, Kirsten, and Elizabeth) (71 visits)

A Panoply of Stupid Hijinks. The Dijkstra Triplets (Stuart, Kirsten, and Elizabeth). The answers to the clues below all share a common trait. When aligned by their commonality, in the order provided, an additional word will be spelled out. Italian dessert made with egg yolks and wine (8 or 10) Country with a capital... with a capital Fun! (6) People taking a class (8) Pure vowel (11) My ordinal person number (5) Noun or article that identifies a thing (8) First nation, alphabetically (11) Tranquility (8) Verb with an incomplete conjugation (9) Plant whose seeds are not encased in an ovary (10) Speech disorder characterized by sound repetitions (10) Fairly large (7) Royal Dutch airline (3, abbrev) Complete the puzzle and send ... more ]

3. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart XIPrescriptivism vs. DescriptivismPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (65 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part XI—Prescriptivism vs. Descriptivism. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Those in need of an introduction to Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, please review previous installments in the series. Now let us consider the finer distinctions between Prescriptivism and Descriptivism: ... Coming up: Syllables. References, Bessant C. A. M. McEnery (1992). Computational Linguistics: A Handbook & Toolbox for Natural Language Processing. Cameron, D. (2004). Verbal Hygiene. Gleason, H. A. (1961). An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics. Johnstone, B. and D. Baumgardt. (2004). ‘Pittsburghese’ online: vernacular norming ... more ]

4. LinguimericksBook ५४ (63 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ५४. An analysis tedious of ‘wondrous’ On why that word can not rhyme with ‘thunderous’ Enculed petty mouches And ended by smoosh- ing a cockroach by firing a blunderbuss —Pumptilian Perniquity, There once was a phonemic contrast Whose time had just almost passed But for one environment Wherein that the tone was higher meant It had outlasted sound change’s grasp —Mannfrum van Tuckett, The task of emplacing an * Is a fool’s game in syntax, a basilisk Seductive and subtle That puts in a muddle So many so willing their * —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, It’s true that in ev’ry society The language is ... more ]

5. SHRLI: Stealthy High Resolution Linguistic IntakeHellgrün Dunkelblau, Ph.D. and Myrkur-Viviti Темнота (62 visits)

SHRLI: Stealthy High Resolution Linguistic Intake. A case study in semi-unobtrusive quasi-automated pseudo-naturalistic fieldwork. undertaken by Hellgrün Dunkelblau, Ph.D. and Myrkur-Viviti Темнота Department of Computational Fieldwork, Caenoches Technical School, Darkness Falls, Massachusetts, On January 1st, 2005, Caenoches Technical School officially opened the four-story Ciemność Mallumo Hall for the Humanities, a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility for housing four growing humanities departments: Classics, English, Linguistics, and Psychology. Over the previous year, while the building was being constructed, the chairs of the four ... more ]

6. It Was a Dark and Stormy Noun...1987 EditionThe SpecGram Puzzle Elves™ (56 visits)

It Was a Dark and Stormy Noun... 1987 Edition. The SpecGram Puzzle Elves™. Some of our more, ahem, mature readers may remember that back in the mid-80’s Speculative Grammarian ran an annual Bulwer-Lytton-style contest, asking readers to submit the worst possible opening sentence for a linguistically-themed book. In fact, some of those same readers may have submitted entries, and may still be wondering whether or not they won. Sorry about that. The contest entries were in fact judged by the editorial board, but a dispute between Pulju (a Givónian functionalist) and Slater (a Lasnikian generativist) turned uncivil and the winners were never announced. In the meantime, ... more ]

7. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (30 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!

8. Vol CLXXXII, No 3 (30 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXII, Number 3 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief Keith Slater, Executive Editor, Associate Editors, Pete Bleackley Jonathan Downie Mikael Thompson, Assistant Editors, Virginia Bouchard Mark Mandel Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Tel Monks Cathal Peelo Tim Pulju Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Steve Straight Isabelle Tellier Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General “Inconceivable” Merely Indicates, a Failure of Imagination September 2018 ... more ]

9. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (29 visits)

Language Made Difficult, Vol. L — The SpecGram LingNerds are on their own this time. After some Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics, the LingNerds discuss the dangers of mispronouncing the names of Canadian provinces, and then advise students as to what they should *not* do. They also fail to celebrate the 50th episode. Many outtakes are provided. ... listen ]

10. 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!

11. Archives (27 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 ]

12. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (26 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ж—The Trouble with NLP. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Please review previously discussed materials as needed. Now that that is taken care of, let us consider why Natural Language Processing (or, its alter-ego, Computational Linguistics) has not been the resounding success regularly predicted by the NLP faithful: ... Up next: Lexicostatistics vs Glottochronology. References, Baeza-Yates, Ricardo and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto (1999). Modern Information Retrieval. Manning, Christopher, and Hinrich Schütze. (1999). Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing. Russell, Stuart J. and Peter Norvig. ... more ] Merch! Book!

13. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (26 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!

14. Merchandise (25 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Merchandise. Introduction. In order to lend a hand to our good friends and steadfast supporters over at the Linguist List during their 2006 fund drive, we prepared a small selection of limited edition SpecGram merchandise, including T-shirts, stickers and magnets. Originally these items were only available as prizes awarded as part of the Linguist List fund drive. In 2012, several of the SpecGram editors suffered from a rare form of collective frontal lobe damage, which made it seem like a good idea to put together a SpecGram book. The result in 2013 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. In 2014, Editor Mikael Thompson entered a deep fugue ... more ]

15. Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome (25 visits)

Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome . Are you looking for a book about ancient Roman history that’s interesting, informative, and amusing? No? Oh. Well, all the same, as long as you’re on this webpage already, we’d like to recommend that you buy Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome. Easy to read, full of genuine historical facts, and adorned with amateurish hand-drawn pictures, The History of Rome is so good that even Girolamo Savonarola might hesitate to cast it into the flames. And best of all, it’s only $6.99! Buy one now! Interested, but wary of being burned by a slick advertising campaign for a product that fails to live up to the hype? Then download the free preview and read ... more ]

16. Ministry of Propaganda (24 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 ]

17. Letters to the Editor (CLI.3) (23 visits)

Letters to the Editor, ... To the most respected Editors, In the fall I’ll be a first-year grad student in linguistics at R––– University. A couple of the current fourth-years told me that the International Phonetic Association was adding several new symbols for sounds that have previously been considered to have questionable status as phonemes. They said that the most contentious new addition was double-dot wide-O, a nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill. I’ve leafed through several back issues of SpecGram, Language, and a few other journals. I’ve searched the Linguist List archives, and scoured the web. I can’t find anything about it (though right ... more ] Podcast! Merch!

18. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (23 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 ]

19. Latin to 与工以口-尺口爪凡以 Converter (22 visits)

Anybody and everybody uses Roman script. 山巨 刀巨与巨尺立巨 仍巨十十巨尺。 What we need is something more distinctive. 与工以口-尺口爪凡以 亡口爪仍工以巨与 十廿巨 仍巨与十 口斤 巨凡与十 凡以刀 山巨与十。 Elegant, refined, and beautiful! 凹与巨 与工以口-尺口爪凡以! ... more ]

20. Son of Lingua PrancaA New Basic Word Order: VOVArnold P. Fasnacht (19 visits)

A New Basic Word Order: VOV. Arnold P. Fasnacht. Department of Linguistics, School of Agriculture and Drama, University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, Hoople, North Dakota 61637. Recent years have seen a steady increase in the number of attested basic word order types. Greenberg (1963) originally recognized only three types, VSO, SVO, and SOV. Pullum (1977) added VOS to the list, but proposed that no others were possible. Derbyshire (1977) confirmed the existence of OVS, and recent reports (SIL Grapevine 1978) have indicated that OSV must also be recognized. These findings have caused a certain flurry of excitement among theoretical linguists. Reactions to the discoveries may be broadly divided into two classes, ... more ] Book!

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Last updated Sep. 20, 2018.