Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. A Deluxe Diagonal Latin SquareUlfheðnar ber Sarkur (83 visits)

A Deluxe Diagonal Latin Square. by Ulfheðnar ber Sarkur. Latin squares are a relatively common puzzle form consisting of an n×n grid in which every row and column contains each of n symbols exactly once. For this puzzle, we have an 11×11 grid and the letters GH, LM, NO, PR, TU, and Y. In addition, both main diagonals of this puzzle contain each letter exactly once, the grey shaded areas together contain the letters in MOR­PHO­PHO­NOL­OGY, the blue shaded areas each contain a five-letter word (one is GROUP, the other is TOUGH), the red shaded areas each contain a four-letter word (PUNY and UGLY), and ... more ]

2. Prescriptivism and Language Change in American EnglishE. Martyn (77 visits)

Prescriptivism and Language Change in American English. By E. Martyn, University of California, Berkeley. The English language is changing at a frantic rate. The OED added hundreds of new words or definitions in 2017 alone. Many older people, as well as self-proclaimed “grammar Nazis,” feel that the language is becoming corrupted, superficial and ineloquent. However, not everyone agrees that these changes are negative. “Like, y’all should just chill,” insisted Berkeley Linguistics professor Sandra Garlin. “Language change is like totes normal. Like some ancient old white guys made up some bullshit rules you don’t havta listen to. The kinds of English people actually speak are ... more ]

3. Linguistic TopologyI. Juana Pelota-Grande (62 visits)

Linguistic Topology. I. Juana Pelota-Grande, Centre den Geometrik Linguistiken . That many groups of human languages are sprung from some common source is obvious to any student of the subject, whether linguist, philologist, or polyglot. However, the detailed nature of these genetic relationships is often difficult to unambiguously determine--and likely the subject of heated debate. The impressive array of analytic methods brought to bear on the problem is a testament to the inherent difficulty of the task. However, one of the human species' most amazing tools for analysis--vision--has never been fully and properly applied to the problem. Language and vision are two towering pillars of ... more ] Merch! Book!

4. The Pragmatics of Noam Chomsky’s Menswear Criticism and Its Implications for Universal GrammarP.G. McSim (58 visits)

The Pragmatics of Noam Chomsky’s Menswear Criticism and Its Implications for Universal Grammar. P.G. McSim, Junior Research Fellow in Pragmatics, University of Arizona. On March 25th, 2016, Noam Chomsky and the journalist Glen Greenwald took part in an event at the University of Arizona. On greeting Greenwald, Chomsky said the following— You know, there’s this interesting essay by Albert Camus, written during his first visit to the United States, in which he described his surprise at what he regarded as the poor clothing taste of Americans, particularly men’s choices of ties. Somewhat surprised by this, Greenwald replied, “Are you sharing that anecdote because you dislike my tie?” to which ... more ]

5. Collateral Descendant of Lingua PrancaNursery Rhymes From Linguistics LandYune O. Hūū, II (46 visits)

Nursery Rhymes From Linguistics Land. Yune O. Hūū II. Continuing in the great tradition of Stepfather Goose, the following nursery rhymes are presented to ensure their preservation for future generations of young linguists. P’op’ Goes The Ejective! All around the agreement bush, The noun chased the adjéctive. The noun thought ’twas all in fun. P’op’! goes the ejective!, A penny to pay the undergrad, For judgments introspective. That’s the way the money goes. P’op’! goes the ejective!, If John kissed Mary habitually, The action’s imperfective, That’s the way the aspect goes. P’op’! goes the ejective!, Half a pound of subjective case, ... more ] Podcast! Book!

6. TLAs DOA? TBD!Claude Searsplainpockets (42 visits)

TLAs DOA? TBD!. First, gentle reader, I must indulge in a bit of soap-box exposition. Last summer, after a long freelance relationship, I came to be employed by SpecGram full time, under the direct supervision of Slave-Driver Slater. So, of course, I cranked out two fabulous articles for the next two issues. But then I missed my deadline for the January issue by, like, six and a half minutes. Slater not only dumped me from the January issue, but claims to have forgotten my regular spot in the lineup and was only able to “squeeze in” 3/4 of a page or so from me this time. This kind of authoritarian bullying I expect from McBastard, but Slater has usually acted as if there were some ... more ] Podcast!

7. Ministry of Propaganda (42 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. Vol CLXXX, No 3 (41 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXX, 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, Brenda Boerger Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Beth Martyn Bill Spruiell Don Unger Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Let Us Confuse Their Language January 2018 ... more ]

9. About Us (37 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!

10. 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 ]

11. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (27 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!

12. The One True ScriptA Letter From the Editorially Bored (26 visits)

The One True Script. A Letter From the Editorially Bored. We at SpecGram would like to wish you a Happy New Year in 2018! We would like to, but we can’tlargely due to the immense stupidity we encounter daily. For much of 2017 we have been fretting over the fact that Kazakhstan has announced plans to drop the Cyrillic alphabet in favor of the Latin alphabet. All the cool languages in the region have done itAzerbaijani, Uzbek, Turkmenand as a result there are elderly speakers of each language who have transitioned from Arabic to Latin to Cyrillic and back to Latin over the last 90 years or so. It’s easy to imagine, after the second or third switch in ... more ]

13. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (26 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. Merchandise (24 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 ]

15. Numeri++Praenomen Gentilicium Cognomen, Esq. (21 visits)

Numeri++. Praenomen Gentilicium Cognomen, Esq.. It would be a great leap forward in humanities-nerd–science-nerd relations if we could convince the STEMmier nerds that linguistics is at least kinda interesting. Of course, linguistics really is interesting, but we have to rope them in first; baby steps are needed before we go full-tilt “minimally transmogrificational principals and parametric aleph movement Chornskyan hegemony” on them. We need to ease them in with simpler thingsfun stuff like auto-antonyms, and useful stuff like what distinguishes en dashes and em dashes, or how to properly use a semicolon. It seems fair to expect our partially ... more ]

16. From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIVThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (20 visits)

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIV. The SpecGram Archive Elves™. A recent expedition into the SpecGram archives turned up 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. This fourteenth batch of posters from that collection has been digitized and presented here for you, dear reader, to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. The full collection, which will continue to grow, is available from the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda in an easily browsable and sharable ... more ]

17. /nuz baɪts/ (19 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Mass Comparison Linguists Announce That All Languages Are Dialects of Pirahã. As a prelude to their upcoming presentation at LSA 2018, mass comparison linguists from the University of Khoesan have announced that their latest computational analysis shows that all languages are actually descended from Pirahã. Their evidence mostly takes the form of constructed *proto-paleo-proto-forms on the basis of Historical Philology carried out by Jen E. Ralise (1966) and May & Kit Uhp (1973). They expect their findings to be treated with exactly the same seriousness and respect as all other mass comparison work. ... more ]

18. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (19 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 ]

19. Save the Adverbs (18 visits)

ANNOUNCEMENT Save the Adverbs. Recently, the Broadly-Construed Commission for Dying Language Forms (BCCDLF) launched a campaign to save rare parts of English speech. Given their cuddly nature and the fact that they are mostly easily understood, adverbs were quickly chosen to publicly front the campaign. Widely misclassified as commonly-spread in their natural environment, adverbs are usually threatened by the poorly understood but well-documented growth in the use of adjectives where an adverb is needed. Fast running out of use in English, where speedy communication is paramount, their emblematic (although not universal) -ly ending is becoming a rare-seen sight. The BCCDLF has therefore called for ... more ]

20. Bestsellers of 2017Announcement from Panini Press (17 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT — Bestsellers of 2017 At Panini Press, we continue to be Committed to the life and career of the Working Linguistbut All Work and No Play makes Jack a Dull Vowel. For your Amusement and Edification, we collect here the Bestselling Fiction and Non-Fiction Books of 2017, from Panini Press. All are now available at Fine Book Retailers world-wide.❦पा General Fiction Lincoln in the Barred-o, by Genre Saunders Y is for Yod, by Supra Grafton The Seventh Functional Language, by Lauryntgealization Binet Camino Island Constraint, by Jargon Grisham Past Perfect, by Danielle Stylometry No ... more ]

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Last updated Jan. 18, 2018.