Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

TodayLast 7 daysLast 30 daysAll Time

1. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart INon-Configurational LanguagesPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (179 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part I—Non-Configurational Languages. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. A. Mathematician Friend once told me that, in mathematics, it is sometimes said that if you cannot explain the basic outline of a mathematical idea to a bright and interested 10-year-old, then you don’t really understand it yourself. That got me thinking, and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions: According to my 10-year-old niece, I don’t understand any mathematical ideas. Something similar could be said for linguistic ideas. It is generally accepted that math is hard (Davis & Hersh, Friend, Lakoff & Núñez, Lucas, Mac Lane, ... more ] Book!

2. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (118 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. In the ongoing struggle for dominance, the linguists developed a ritual in which they asserted their linguistic superiority by insulting each other’s Guatemalan language abilities. ... more ]

3. Vol CLXXXI, No 1 (54 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXI, Number 1 ... 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, Samuel Andersson Brenda Boerger Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Beth Martyn Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Steve Straight Daniel Swanson Don Unger, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Forgotten But Not Gone March 2018 ... more ]

4. 2018 Conferences in Nerdolinguistics (52 visits)

ANNOUNCEMENT 2018 Conferences in Nerdolinguistics. In response to the rise of articles on the translation of names in Harry Potter and the newly jiggly emerging field of Pokémonastics, Speculative Grammarian and Panini Press are proud to announce a whole new series of conferences on Nerdolinguistics. They are as follows: Memes for the Old: How and Why the Young Find Humor in Meaningless Internet Drivel Guest speakers: Pew D. Πι Virtual Login, Mobile Devices Only; Recording Available in 2018, Beyond The Hysterical Cackle: Perspectives on the Morphosyntax of 70’s TV Laugh Tracks Guest speakers: Laverne, Shirley, Kotter, Gilligan, Sanford, & Fonzie The Back Lot, Hollywood; January 2018, ... more ]

5. A Minim of Wine and a Minim of Confusion for Maximal ContusionArtemus Zebulon Pratt (51 visits)

A Minim of Wine and a Minim of Confusion for Maximal Contusion. by Artemus Zebulon Pratt, Speculative Grammarian Editor-on-the-Lam. Just the other night, after treating myself to the new Anti-Kosher Burger at our local eatery (shrimp, bacon, fried egg, and cheese atop locally produced rabbit patties), I had the need to treat myself for the new Anti-Kosher Burger and so was relaxing with an unfortunate bottle of experimental wine my wife had been prevailed upon somehow to buy some time ago: “A gift just for you!” she said. I smiled, but knowing her wont it was strictly wait-and-see. She held it out further. “Asparagus wine,” I replied. She held it out even ... more ]

6. What Is Sil Doing?Silvestre Ninelette (48 visits)

What Is Sil Doing?. Silvestre Ninelette. The Ninelette family’s globe-trotting hyperpolyglot has gone into hiding! Sil’s highly controversial keynote presentation this summer at the annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of Dallas ended in a brawl. He only managed to escape thanks to the momentary distraction provided by the timely arrival of the LSD’s world-famous doughnuts and coffee. What Sil lacks in tact he more than makes up for in language ability. His English vocabulary is, oh, 639 three-letter words, among others. He once gave an entire presentation consisting of 15,924 four-letter words in a row. One of Sil’s grad students showed up at SpecGram headquarters with a ... more ]

7. Killing My Rhythm with CommasRoberta Flap, Charles FOXP2, Normative Gimbel (48 visits)

Killing My Rhythm with Commas. (aka Mikael’s Song). sung by Roberta Flap, composed by Charles FOXP2, lyrics by Normative Gimbel. I saw his publications I heard he had a style And so I came to see him To edit for a while And there he was with red pen A stranger to my prose Marking my pain with his fingers Adding a pause to my words Killing my rhythm with commas Killing my rhythm with commas Mulling his rewrites to my words Killing my rhythm with commas I felt all flushed with anger Embarrassed by this clown His awful punctuation Each mark it made me frown I prayed that he would finish But he just kept right on Marking my pain with his fingers Adding a pause to my words Killing my rhythm with commas Killing my ... more ]

8. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (31 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!

9. About Us (30 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. LinguimericksBook ४८ (29 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ४८. The decoded transmission from heaven Our thought, math, and science did leaven For it proved not base ten Neither hex to be in But rather base 6.47 —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, As for topics, they’re what we all know, And the focus is, like, new info. If you mark them real well, Then your stories sound swell, And your information will just flow —Morris Swadesh III, Though the system of kin terms was bothersome Enlightenment struck once I’d pondered some Composition semantic, Then turning pedantic, I cried, “Bob is your grandfather’s other son!” —Pumptilian Perniquity, Some literary linguists once said You should never take sources to bed ... more ]

11. 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 ]

12. Thirteen Untranslatable WordsMichael Covarrubias (26 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. Archives (25 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 ]

14. 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!

15. /nuz baɪts/ (23 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /— / mɔʁso də nuvɛl / Edition. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Québécois maintain anglais may pertain to one domain, but disdain remains germane. Our older readers may recall back in 19901 when the Académie française instituted a series of controversial spelling reforms. Many French speakers abhorred rectifiée spellings such as ognon and cèleri, which ruined a perfectly good mirepoix. The conservatives running SpecGram at the time penned the disapproving editorial “From soupe to nuts!” 2 and the Municipal ... more ]

16. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart IVStatistical Machine TranslationPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (22 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!

17. Merchandise (22 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 ]

18. Ministry of Propaganda (19 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 ]

19. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart BErgativityPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (19 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part B—Ergativity. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. As set forth in the previous installment (on non-configurational languages), our goal is to illustrate important concepts in linguistics via cartoons. (And, as mentioned last time, in so doing perhaps illustrate our own mastery of the material!) For our next foray into the Cartoon Theory of Linguistics, I present the following visual explanation of ergativity: ... Next time, we’ll look at morphological typology. References, Anderson, Stephen R. (1985). Inflectional morphology. In T. Shopen (Ed.), Language typology and syntactic description: Grammatical categories and the ... more ] Book!

20. ObituaryVelma Hortensia Schleppengruber (18 visits)

Obituary. It is with great sadness that we report that Velma Hortensia Schleppengruber passed away last week at the age of 37. Ms Schleppengruber was a legendary figure among laboratory phoneticians as perhaps the most cited subject in the history of instrumental phonetics, though her participation was not limited to that field. Among her most famous appearances in the linguistic literature are the following: “The experimental design was a standard attention-tracking experiment with stimuli on the computer screen accompanying the target sounds. A total of 47 infants were tested, but the data for one infant were excluded due to failure to habituate to the design after 45 habituation trials.” “An initial ... more ]

TodayLast 7 daysLast 30 daysAll Time

Last updated Mar. 19, 2018.