Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Vol CLXXX, No ρ (374 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXX, Number ρ ... Speculative Grammarian, in association with Psammeticus Press, is proud to present a special supplemental monograph: The Perplexed Linguist’s Guide to English Departments, by Athanasious Schadenpoodle, Trey Jones, Managing Editor Keith Slater, Executive Editor Bill Spruiell, Monograph Editor, The Perplexed Linguist’s Guide to English Departments Mid-November 2017 ... more ]

2. The Perplexed Linguist’s Guide to English DepartmentsAthanasious Schadenpoodle (306 visits)

The Perplexed Linguist’s Guide to English Departments. Now with Footnotes! Athanasious Schadenpoodle. So, Dear Reader, you have completed your Ph.D. in Linguistics (yay you!), run headlong into the grim realities of the modern job market (poor you!), broadened your ideas about possible teaching contexts (smart you!) and landed a gig in an English department (lucky you?). You’ve potentially got the base of the Maslovian pyramid covered for at least a semester, but you’re in a rather alien environment, surrounded by people who talk funny in a way that Dialectology 501 never prepared you for and who have some markedly odd folkways. Some culture shock is inevitable, but a little knowledge can go a long ... more ]

3. Special Supplemental Letter from the Editor (132 visits)

Special Supplemental Letter from the Editor. The age of innocence has come to an end: You are stranger in a strange landa linguist in an English department. A brave new world, it is, but you find yourself in a catch-22. While obviously not a native son,* you don’t really want to admit to being the stranger that you are. Do you endure one hundred years of solitude, known as a misanthrope and forever among the outsiders, or do you jump straight to the heart of the matter and ask for guidance from your colleagues? A fine balance must be struck, lest your reputation be reduced to a handful of dust, or, ostracized, you become an invisible man;** your career become an American tragedy, the ... more ]

4. The Phonology TestUlfheðnar ber Sarkur (53 visits)

The Phonology Test. Ulfheðnar ber Sarkur. Ahh, the phonology test! It’s a rite of passage among linguists-to-be. There are those who grok the interplay of phonemes and the ordering of phonological processes, and there are those who decide to question whether such complex mechanisms could be instantiated in the human subconscious and whether their apparent existence is merely the echo of historical processes. That second type also tends to drop phonology by the second prelim and scurry off to some “philosophy of language” classwhich is not even taught by the linguistics department, for crying out loud! Dr. Professor Noarn Chornskywho has recently moved to take up a ... more ]

5. The Joy of Old and Odd BooksA Letter from the Managing Editor (51 visits)

The Joy of Old and Odd Books. A Letter from the Managing Editor. ... As I was perusing my signed 1355 first edition copy of Jötunn Svartálfar’s Teach Yourself Gothic in Six Score Minutes per Fortnight, I was struck by the stark disparity between my personal and professional collections of books, as compared to the utter disregard for the written word displayed by the general American populace. Old books and odd books, musty treatises and crumbling tomes, flights of fancy and important, eternal ideas fill the bookshelves of my library and inhabit the chambers of my mind. In contrast, the average personbarely deserving of the appellation homo sapienscover ... more ] Podcast!

6. A Study of L2 Writing Skills Acquisition under Conditions of BiostressJohn Carsey-Brasco and Neddy Jacks (48 visits)

A Study of L2 Writing Skills Acquisition under Conditions of Biostress. by John Carsey-Brasco and Neddy Jacks, Independent Scholars, Austin, Texas. Introduction. There has been extensive research recently on the effectiveness of writing conferences (WCs) in second-language writing acquisition. However, due to showing up late to seminar on the day research topics had to be turned in and failure to read the assigned reading beforehand, the meaning of the abbreviation was misinterpreted, and for the current study topic there is no other research. This study is thus exploratory research, or as our seminar leader phrased it, a flash1 in the pan. The research questions were: R1. What were the ... more ]

7. About Us (42 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!

8. Archives (41 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 ]

9. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (41 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!

10. A Classroom-Based Study of Semantic Entailments: Definiteness, Specificity, and Anaphoric Reference in English, French, and GermanSkiffy Bafflegab (39 visits)

A Classroom-Based Study of Semantic Entailments: Definiteness, Specificity, and Anaphoric Reference in English, French, and German. by Skiffy Bafflegab, Lecturer in Semantic Theory, University of the Four Corners, New Mexico Campus. Introduction. Definiteness and specificity are longstanding topics of research in semantics; in a pre-theoretical view, definiteness indicates that the speaker asserts the hearer can identify the referent of a noun, while specificity indicates only that the speaker herself can identify it. For the most part, specificity is important with indefinite nouns: ‘I’m looking for a French book. Do you have it (spec)/one (non-spec)?’ From a ... more ]

11. Hazards of Fieldwork Among the HiithrobnsnWilliam Moore-Crusoe (38 visits)

Hazards of Fieldwork Among the Hiithrobnsn. William Moore-Crusoe, Winter Academy of Language. The Hiithrobnsn live in a remote, marshy and inhospitable region of Guyana. A traditional greeting amongst them is “Mind where you walk,” wise advice, as it is vitally important to make sure that you remain on what passes for dry land locally. Stray into the mire and you risk being bitten, stung, infected or electrocuted by the various unpleasant creatures that dwell therein. The Hiithrobnsn have 27 words for “swamp” and all of them are pejorative. They can be used as attitudinals conveying various degrees of displeasure, ranging from mild irritation to a declaration of war. Despite this, they are a ... more ] Podcast!

12. Thirteen Untranslatable WordsMichael Covarrubias (38 visits)

Thirteen Untranslatable Words. by Michael Covarrubias. I’m a language lover. I have been since I was a kid. Just about eleven months after being born, I started saying words and I’ve been using them ever since. I probably use words every day and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. After a while, we language lovers have a hard time learning more about our native language. That’s why we branch out to memorize other languages. It can be hard though, because a lot of foreign languages have words in them that we just can’t translate into English. Maybe it’s because we don’t have the concept in English, and that makes it impossible to make up a label for the concept. Or, more interestingly, ... more ]

13. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (32 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 ]

14. Vol CLXXX, No 1 (29 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXX, Number 1 Special Teaching Issue I, Sponsored by Rosetta Stein ... 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, Brenda Boerger Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Beth Martyn Tel Monks Bill Spruiell Don Unger Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Trinken Sie Bier, zum gut studier! November 2017 ... more ]

15. Merchandise (28 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 issue 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 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. ... Discussion. As a result of initial positive feedback, ... more ]

16. Linguistics 897 TA Training/Practicum CourseL’École de SpecGram (27 visits)

Linguistics 897 TA Training/ Practicum Course, Spring Semester 2018, Syllabus. L’École de SpecGram, Paris (Texas), USA. Course Goal: This course is limited to Graduate students who are currently serving as Teaching Assistants. The goal of the course is to help you survive your first semester as a TA, and secondarily to prepare you for a lifetime of teaching Linguistics. Grading: A simple test will be administered at the last class session. Each student will be asked a single question, and all those who answer calmly will receive an “A” grade. Questions will be of the form What are “phonemes” and what do I need to know about them for the test? Instructor: ... more ]

17. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (27 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 ]

18. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (23 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!

19. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart IVStatistical Machine TranslationPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (21 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part IV — Statistical Machine Translation. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. We will dispense with the preliminaries, and get to the meat of the matter. For the next installment in our Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, we will turn our attention to statistical machine translation, using semi- automatically aligned texts: ... Next time: Phonetics vs. Phonology with guest cartoonist Hilário Parenchyma. References, Booth, A. D. L. Brandwood, and J. P. Cleave (1958). Mechanical resolution of linguistic problems. Butterworths Scientific Publications. Brown, P. S. Della Pietra, V. Della Pietra, and R. Mercer (1991). “The ... more ] Book!

20. Psammeticus PressChiasmus of the Month Awards (21 visits)

Psammeticus Press, Chiasmus of the Month Awards ... This somewhat irregular monthly award is a sign of our recognition of and deep appreciation for the authors’ contribution to the upholding of decent writing standards in academic literature and to the dissemination of the finest of speech figures. Winners are selected each month by our Chiastic Editor and Editorial Chiasturge. The honorees to date are listed below. Chiasmus of the Month, October 2017, Tore Kristiansen and Nikolas Coupland (Eds.), 2011, Standard Languages and Language Standards in a Changing Europe, Oslo: Novus forlag. Chiasmus of the Month, August 2017, Maria do Carmo ... more ]

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Last updated Nov. 19, 2017.