Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CLXXXVI, No 1 (342 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXVI, Number 1 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Senior Editor, Pete Bleackley, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Mark Mandel, Deak Kirkham; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Chris Brew, Christian DiCanio, Joe McAvoy, Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro, Megan Stevens, Daniel Swanson; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Like Blunt Force Trauma to Your Broca’s Area; November 2019 ... more ]

2. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (306 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!

3. Reasons Not to Study LinguisticsPart IIIDyspepsia Prater and Cynnie Sizzum (264 visits)

Reasons Not to Study Linguistics Part III. Compiled by Dyspepsia Prater and Cynnie Sizzum, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. Linguists, generally, try to encourage others’ interest in their field with enticements such as, “linguistics helps us understand the human condition” “every language provides a unique view of the mind” “linguistics empowers people” “you can work in translation, interpreting, foreign language teaching, the tech industry, fieldwork, etc.” Blah, blah, blah. You see, no matter how exciting a field seems, there’s someone out there who is sick and tired of putting up with it. Rather than promise nothing but ... more ]

4. Lɛ::ŋkθ Mɑ:rk Me::ɪl Ɛ:nhæ::nsmɛ:nt (256 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Lɛ::ŋkθ Mɑ:rk Me::ɪl Ɛ:nhæ::nsmɛ:nt Ladies, does your man suffer from shorter-than-average vowel length? Do your girlfriends giggle when he speaks? Do you wish he could last a little longer? We can help. Our special proprietary herbal supplement mix enhances, extends, enlarges, and expands your man’s vowels. Our pharmacolinguists have created a special blend of these powerful, all natural language herbs: Japanese Ginseng, Hungarian Saw Palmetto, Vietnamese Gingko Biloba, Luiseño Damiana Extract, Sanskrit Yohimbe, Fijian Deer Antler, and Old English Horny Goat Weed, ... “I just love a man with long, sexy vowels!” ... more ]

5. LinguimericksBook ६८ (234 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ६८. The Bar-Raising Principle There once was a field linguistic That loved not a single statistic. The field built a fence With definitions so dense Its contraction became its prime characteristic —Christian DiCanio, Young grad students I just can’t believe in; In my office I’m always a-grievin’: Though they’re smart in the head And leave nothing unread, When they speak they’re unable to even —Morris Swadesh III, There once was a linguistics journal, Whose staff’s views to the mainstream were foreign. “All You lot think you’re clever, Even art,” said some haverer, “But you’re only a glorified urinal.” ... more ]

6. How We Think About the Sounds of Chinese–Any Implications for Psycholinguistics?Bii Ming (228 visits)

How We Think About the Sounds of Chinese— Any Implications for Psycho­linguistics ?*. Bii Ming (bii.ming@, Keynote presented at the International Conference on Chinese Linguistics, February 30, 2008, Nanjing, Sinitic States of China. *This work was supported by grant #LKJHG985432 from the Parliament of the Sinitic States of China. I would like to share some observations about how linguists and Chinese native speakers think about the sounds of Chinese, and whether this may have influenced the development of the study of Chinese or even the development of the language itself. Of course, as we all know, when people refer to “the Chinese language” they usually are ... more ]

7. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (186 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, What’s the plural of focus and how do you pronounce it? I’ve seen it spelled <foci> but do you pronounce that /foʊkaɪ/ or /foʊsaɪ/ ? Or is it something else entirely? Focuses? Focora? Focopodes? Please offer me your insights on pluralization so I can ... more ]

8. /nuz baɪts/ (175 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. UN Announces New Year for New Year’s. As the International Year of Indigenous Languages draws to a close, the Untied Nations (UN) have announced that 2020 will be the Year of Speaking the Colonizers’ Language. This will mark the first time since 2018 that the languages of the once-dominant European powers have been recognized in an international year, and only the 49th time out of the past 50 years. Speaking on behalf of the UN, spokesperson Colin Yzerman said, “We have six official languages that collectively are official in more than 100 countries. Come on, everyone, get with the program and speak one of ... more ]

9. A Name by Any Other NameA Letter from Executive Editor Keith Slater (154 visits)

A Name by Any Other Name. A Letter from Executive Editor Keith Slater. Astute students of the SpecGram author indices are aware that some of our material is published in nom de plume fashion.* Even the most perceptive may have failed to notice, though, that some superficially straightforward attributions are in fact pseudonymous. In the spirit of elevating the educational level of our readership, we offer this guide to the question of when and, more importantly, how to use a proper pen name. Leaving aside the question of the thematic and obvious false names (such as my own Sven Slater, Robert F. Scott, and Edgar Allan Slater), minor orthographic variants such as Keith W. Slater ... more ]

10. Whose Puppet Are You?Kae d’Rik Kham (150 visits)

Whose Puppet Are You?. SpecGram Sub Rosa Editor Kae d’Rik Kham. At a recent conference on proto-Slavic (somewhat incongruously in Hawaiʻi), the organisers kindly provided a plenary alternative in the form of a ventriloquist’s act. Being an invited speaker myself, with a narrative that would not sit easily with one particular plenarian, I opted to avoid this one speaker’s litany of observettes on reconstructed vowel nuclei, regarding which I would have struggled to maintain my composure, so I toddled along and enjoyed the show. It didn’t disappoint as so much non-Wagnerian art can do: subtlety of narrative and technical skill were brought together to create a memorable ... more ]

11. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXVI.1) (145 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Editors, I was glancing through the magazines in the University Hospital and ran across yours, half-way hidden under a pile of Cosmopolitans. I noticed that you are asking for letters from your readers, and since I read that much I thought I'd write you one. To be honest, I liked the Cosmo issues a lot more than your magazine. They have way better models than you do (don't forget the photoshopping!) and their content is just so much more relevant to my daily life than yours. I was able to flip through your entire magazine in less than 4 secondsthere's just nothing to catch the eye. So I want to suggest that you take a page out of the Cosmo play book and think a ... more ]

12. On the Predicament of the Predicate: A Pristine ProposalLois Lingerie (128 visits)

On the Predicament of the Predicate: A Pristine Proposal. Lois Lingerie, Professor of Mythology in Linguistics, The Δίς Λεγόμενον Centre for Endeepened Ideation. Among the bestial and infernal hordes of rabid terminological Cerberi that prowl hither with a snarling aggression punctuated only by the stalactitic drip of salivation which is itself surpassed by that poised-to-strike slunking thither that bespeaks a readiness to maim the clarity of thought and efficiency of insight that the anti-individuation of terminologicalisms heralds, none is more pesticidal to the tender shoots of linguistic theorising than that of the unnecessary polysemy ... more ]

13. Rasmus Rask Diamond Puzzle XLila Rosa Grau (127 visits)

Rasmus Rask Diamond Puzzle X. by Lila Rosa Grau. This is the tenth Rasmus Rask puzzle, devoted to the original Mr. Charming Scandinavian Linguist. The puzzle is similar to a crossword puzzle, in that there is a grid for filling in words and phrases, and clues for the ACROSS and DOWN directions. However, all the squares in a Rasmus Rask puzzle are filled with letters, and the answers to the clues may (but are not required to) overlap. Clues for a particular row or column are given together, in the order they appear in the grid. No indication of the amount of overlap between clues is given. Letters spelling out RASMUS RASK in a diamond shape are given to provide a framework for filling in the answers. ... more ]

14. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (123 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 ]

15. Vol CLXXXV, No 4 (122 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXV, Number 4 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Pete Bleackley, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Deak Kirkham, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Exorcising Some, Exercising Others; October 2019 ... more ]

16. Merchandise (119 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 ]

17. At the Mall of Indo-EuropeaHlökk bin Praeteritio ab Ἀπόστροφος von Sōkaiya (116 visits)

At the Mall of Indo-Europea. Hlökk bin Praeteritio ab Ἀπόστροφος von Sōkaiya. ... more ]

18. A Preliminary Field Guide to Linguists, Part OneAthanasious Schadenpoodle (114 visits)

A Preliminary Field Guide to Linguists, Part One. Athanasious Schadenpoodle, University of Nueva Escranton. Introduction While naturalists have long observed the behaviors of some of the better-known families within the Order Academica, producing for the lay person such fascinating and useful volumes as Jane's Guide to Physicists and The Sierra Club Picture Guide to Psychologists, the Family Linguistica has so far not been shown a great deal of attention. This is, in part, justifiable--the small numbers of linguists, and their comparatively drab plumage, draws fewer amateur naturalists. Still, there is a need for at least one major publication on the subject. While the ... more ] Podcast!

19. Archives (110 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 ]

20. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (109 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!

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Last updated Nov. 20, 2019.