Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. The Cartography of the Derivation: A Brief History of the Louis and Clärque ExpeditionCarlos L. P. Rizziani (1,277 visits)

The Cartography of the Derivation: A Brief History of the Louis and Clärque Expedition. by Carlos L. P. Rizziani. This map, the first and most impressive of its kind, is the result of an arduous, unrelenting 40-year expedition across ungovernable expanses, swaths of rich morphology, unaccusative prairies, dangerous constraints, and inhospitable aspectual projections that constitute the known expanses of The Derivation. Prior to this vast undertaking, which cost the lives of more than 28 brave men and women (and at least nine children), efforts to properly govern the peoples of The Derivation were mostly ineffective. The very nature of political borders and binding domains were often in dispute, while secessions of ... more ]

2. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (589 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. The linguists strike back ... more ]

3. A Note on dice ‘dice’Response to O’Moarfz (2018)Ἀστράγαλοι Κυβιχησκιῐ (417 visits)

A Note on dice ‘dice’ Response to O’Moarfz (2018). Ἀστράγαλοι Κυβιχησκιῐ University of Pennsylvania. O’Moarfz (2018) presents an original and resourceful analysis of the English plural in -s, arguing forthmostly that the underlying form (UF) of the plural is /-s/. A wide range of articulatory, typological, and psycholinguistic data is adduced to support, and in support of, this analysis. I welcome O’Moarfz’s proposal both as an important addition to the literature on the English plural and as a contribution to linguistic theory in general: the ... more ]

4. Vol CLXXXI, No 3 (410 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXI, 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, Samuel Andersson Florian Breit Emily Davis Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Andrew Lamont Ollie Sayeed Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Daniel Swanson Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Time Well Spent May 2018 ... more ]

5. Be a Linguistics SurvivorOut-Think. Out-Publish. ... Out Cold.J. Probst and X. Pedition Robinson (378 visits)

Be a Linguistics Survivor, Out-Think. Out-Publish. ... Out Cold.. J. Probst and X. Pedition Robinson, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. As a public service, we have decided to put together an extensive list of heuristics useful for anyone wishing to pursue a career in linguistics and related fields. This, at least, should reduce the chance of readers falling foul of that dread disease: academicus expatriatus.1 No area with the prefix post- or the suffix ism was ever useful. And having both is a serious red flag. Never give data to a theorist. If you study a language no one else speaks, all your conclusions are automatically correct. If no one ... more ]

6. How To Make A Linguistic TheoryMetalleus (277 visits)

How To Make A Linguistic Theory*. Assemble a judicious amount of grammar, preferably English grammar since you’re aiming at readers of English. (If you feel there might be a market for linguistic theories written in Cebuano, by all means, give it your best shot.) Be sure to include passive constructions, accusative-with-infinitive constructions, and constructions with front-shifting. Leave everything else to future research (don’t worry, you’ll never have to actually do it). Set up two levels of linguistic representation; call them Level 1 and Level 2, or even better, Level Alpha and Level Beta. This is to divide your explicanda into two conceptual domains so you can let one explain the ... more ]

7. Literally the Best Contronym Ever!A Letter from Associate Editor Pete Bleackley (228 visits)

Literally the Best Contronym Ever!. A Letter from Associate Editor Pete Bleackley. A contronym, as collectors of linguistic trivia will be aware, is a word that is its own antonym. Many of the examples commonly given, such as cleave, meaning “stick together” vs cleave meaning “split apart” are quite dull. There is, however, one contronym in the English language that is truly splendid, and that, of course, is literally. Consider the elegant paradox of a word meaning “exactly as stated” being a contronym. Consider the chain of semantic shifts that brought this about“exactly as stated” being applied to statements the speaker wished to ... more ]

8. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (222 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, Having read the advice you gave to previous questioners, I am very pleased to send you my question or rather my problem. You see, I was in the hallway of a hallowed place of linguistic learning the other day when a physics professor uttered the following attempt at humour: “Someone tried to get me ... more ]

9. SyllaBerriesAdvertisement (212 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT SyllaBerries. Tongue-tied by endless consonants in your alphabetic cereal? Try new SyllaBerries, the breakfast of linguists! Made from dried syllabub, mixed berries, and whole-grain flakes in the shape of real glyphs, every spoonful is guaranteed to be pronounceable. Join the Mora Majority who’ve switched to SyllaBerries! Captain Mills NEW! SyllaBerries ᏨᏂᎬᏒᏫᏦᏋᏋ Naturally & Artificially Pronounced Syllabary Cereal. 85 characters in every bowl! 100% of your recommended daily allowance of Unicode! ... Warning: Swallow completely before attempting ingressive consonants. ... more ]

10. /nuz baɪts/ (206 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Linguists Admit English Orthography is Just Plain Weird. In the light of documents released exclusively to SpecGram via trusted intermediaries (thanks, grad studentsthe pizza is in the mail), linguists studying English have been forced to publicly admit that its orthography is simply odd. “All that guff about etymology and Akkadian roots was all a big sham,” said Prof Simon Saez of High Cough University. “Look, anyone who tries to explain the house/houses vs. mouse/mice thing by appealing to German is just having a laff.” In a tearful interview in front of ... more ]

11. About Us (203 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!

12. Linguimericks, Etc.Book ५० (200 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book ५०. Aye wants when too college at Skidmore Wear noses were razed it my gram-more. No depart mint or -ology studded syntax nerf ph’nology The air samples of speech axe whir prised more —Virginia Bouchard, Supervisor is angry Data are still unclear and unsound Good job I brought him some tea —Col. O. Nihilist, If only If only we could redefine “standard” so that everyone fit within the first deviation— we’d be done, and linguists could pack and go home! Wait. Come to think of it, I already work at home, which is probably why I came up with that idea to begin with. Note to self: spend less time alone —Morris Swadesh III, Strange trees they have in ... more ]

13. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXI.3) (199 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear SpecGram, It is my not unconsidered opinion that those pied babblers at the Committee on Animalian Pejoratives in English have unfairly pejorativitizivitized the good names of several noble species of bird. What a flock of noddies and dotterels! Sincerely, Robin Kestrel Carbonated- Swamp-Warbler, University of California, Seagulls’ Domain P.S. And they overlooked “dickcissel.” ... Dear Mademoiselle Oiselle, Your hypocrisy towards noddies and dotterels stinks higher than a griffon vulture can fly. Your postscript is unmentionably cruel, so I will not mention it again. Dr. Richard Cissell, Ph.D. Ornithological Editor, Speculative Grammarian ❦ ❦ ... more ]

14. Mix & Match ¶Max & Mitch Ninelette (197 visits)

Mix & Match ¶. by Max & Mitch Ninelette. The goal of this Mix & Match puzzle is to reconstitute a set of nine 9-letter words that have each had two trigrams removed. Below are two separate puzzles. Each includes a table to fill out and a set of trigrams with which to fill it up. Using each trigram once, fill the blanks in the table to form various nine-letter words. When you are done, three additional words will be revealed in the vertical direction for each puzzle. If you think you’ve figured out all the answersthat’s 24 nine-letter words!submit your solution to the editors of SpecGram by May 15, 2018, and you could win a prize. Solutions and winners will be ... more ]

15. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (195 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!

16. People with Lack of Original Research IdeasAdvertisement (193 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT PEOPLE WITH LACK OF ORIGINAL RESEARCH IDEAS (PLORI). ... People with Lack of Original Research Ideas in Linguistics (PLORI), is a national support group for postgraduates and early-career researchers in the broad field of linguistics who are affected by the negative psychosocial, physical and academoprospective effects of Lack of Original Research Syndrome (LOR-Syndrome). While relatively unknown until the late 90s, a high concentration of repetitive and pointless research published in inaccessible places, together with a lack of self-representation of many early-career researchers, has led to a sizeable increase in the proportion of postgraduates and other early-career ... more ] Podcast!

17. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (178 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!

18. Archives (172 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 ]

19. An Introduction to Linguistics in Haiku FormAnonymous (166 visits)

An Introduction to, Linguistics in Haiku Form. Anonymous. linguistic theory, hidden representations, to surface structures phonology is, sound patterns of languages, phonemes, allophones phonetics is sounds, articulation of them, acoustics, hearing comp. linguistics is, theory into efficient, implementation morphology is, if same structure, same meaning, then it’s a morpheme syntactic theory, blah blah chomsky chomsky blah, blah chomsky blah blah ... more ] Podcast! Book!

20. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (153 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!

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Last updated May 25, 2018.