Most Popular Pages—Today

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1. Thank You, Historical LinguistThe Third Autonomous Bilborough Linguistics Circle (22 visits)

Thank You, Historical Linguist. Presented by The Third Autonomous Bilborough Linguistics Circle. Who wants to live in the past, hey? Well, linguists do, at least those of the historical linguistics bentand boy, do we have a lot to thank them for. Sure, the average Historical Linguist may not yet have heard of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Prezi, but they have heard of things just as important, if not more so: cognates, the comparative method, attested versus reconstructed forms, glottochronology (often mistaken for an unpleasant throat disease), lexicostatistics (which sounds a bit like a stripper’s stage name) and most of all Jacob Grimm (but not in his capacity as a writer of nightmare-inducing ... more ]

2. Merchandise (14 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 ]

3. Archives (8 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 ]

4. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (6 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!

5. /nuz baɪts/ (5 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Millennials Are Killing an Amount of Grammatical Things. Millennials are regularly accused of “killing” things by simply choosing not to spend their time or money on themnapkins, bar soap, fabric softener, golf, the NFL, sitcoms, beer, cereal, Applebee’s, Hooters, Home Depot, Sears, Macy’s, oil, diamonds, marriage, democracy, the American dream, etc. Anthropological researchconducted largely by linguists who couldn’t find more relevant workhas shown that most of those things are mere cultural byproducts whose popularity one could expect to wax and ... more ]

6. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson and Keith Slater (5 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson and Keith Slater. The old adage “the best defense is a good offense” had served Marsha well... until now ... more ]

7. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart IVStatistical Machine TranslationPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (4 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!

8. Vol CLXXXIII, No 1 (4 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIII, Number 1 ... 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, Virginia Bouchard Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Samuel Andersson Florian Breit Chris Brew Bethany Carlson Tel Monks Mary Shapiro, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Friendly Fire? Don’t Flatter Yourself November 2018 ... more ]

9. RebusWulfila Bruinne, M.F.A., Ph.D. (4 visits)

Rebus. by Wulfila Bruinne, M.F.A. Ph.D. University of North Oodaaq. This puzzle is worth 3 points. ... Lingo Jumble—Orang Pendek, D.Sc. and Orang Mawas, Litt.D. ... E’s-y Cryptogram—Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Erlösende Einigkeit, ... SpecGram Vol CLVII, No η Contents, ... more ]

10. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart ζPhysics vs. Physics EnvyPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (4 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ζ—Physics vs. Physics Envy. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Introductions are superfluous for those who have been keeping up. Now, to the heart of the matter, in which we discuss the long-recognized but little-discussed travesty of unconfidence in our field of study: ... Up next: Diachronic vs Synchronic. References, Cohen, Joel E. (1971). “Mathematics as Metaphor: a review of Dynamical System Theory in Biology. Vol. 1, Stability Theory and Its Applications by Robert Rosen.” Science, New Series, Vol. 172, No. 3984. Dymetman, Marc. (1998). “Group Theory and Computational ... more ]

11. Knights of the Linguistic RoundtableFergus Falls-Brainerd (4 visits)

Knights of the Linguistic Roundtable. by Fergus Falls-Brainerd, Minnesota College of Liberal Arts and Conservative Khokhloma. This puzzle is worth 3 points. Starting on the letter V, jump from letter to letter like a chess knight, spelling out a 13-letter word. (You may reuse letters.), S V N E CS L I O E, O E S E C, ... Self-Defining Puzzle—Swivelhips Smith, D.Phil. ... Lingo Jumble—Orang Pendek, D.Sc. and Orang Mawas, Litt.D. ... SpecGram Vol CLVII, No η Contents, ... more ]

12. Where Have All the Evidentials Gone?The case that they are now in caseR.M.W. Fillmore (4 visits)

Where Have All the Evidentials Gone?, The case that they are now in case. R.M.W. Fillmore, Royal Canadian Mounted Pragmaticists. The pragmatic nuances of grammatical evidential systems in the world’s languages are notoriously difficult to analyze (Bowen, personal correspondence), and yet cross-linguistically they display a remarkably coherent set of semantic features (Aikhenvald, p.c.). Furthermore, these systems have repeatedly been shown to be nearly impossible to borrow or to spread through other forms of language contact (Thomason, p.c.), which suggests that they must be categories of considerable antiquity in the languages that have them (पाणिनि p.c.). These factors, plus ... more ] Book!

13. Psammeticus Press (4 visits)

Psammeticus Press, BOOKS, SERIES, and MORE The following valuable volumes, spectacular series, and interesting items have been released with pride by Psammeticus Press, an academic publishing house founded in honor of the first and purest of linguistic inquirers: one might criticize his methods, but who could quibble with his results? Follow the links below to learn more about these fabulous books and excellent series, each destined to become a classic in the field. The SpecGram Compendious Compendium of Linguists’ Dessert Recipes by Dàn Gāo & Gatt O. Cooxen Published 2018. 412 pages (with 397 full-color photographs) While there are many possible metrics for the ... more ]

14. The Symptoms and Warning Signs of Framework PsychosisDr. Pill, M.D. (4 visits)

The Symptoms and Warning Signs of Framework Psychosis. By Dr. Pill, M.D.. Framework Psychosis, a new and dangerous affliction sweeping through academia like wildfire, is the unhealthy (and unfounded) belief that one’s framework, whatever it may be, is the one true framework. As a public service, I have written up a set of guidelines that will allow concerned individuals to identify those suffering from Framework Psychosis. If you are an academic, I encourage you to post this list in your lounges, labs, lecture halls, and latrines. With your help, we may yet be able to eradicate FP in our lifetime. There is no such thing as a framework free of complications. If you believe you subscribe to one, you may be a ... more ] Podcast!

15. Abundant Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira (4 visits)

Abundant Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know, (because they aren’t actually true), gathered at great personal risk of, psycholinguistic harm from actual student papers by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira This 44th collection of students’ pearls of wisdom, laboriously digitised from hand-written papers, demonstrates once again how students new to the study of language speculate about grammar after having imperfectly absorbed what their teachers think they have taught them. Test Question—Phonological Patterns. The word ten can be pronounced as transcribed* below, in these utterances: ten dots, [ten], ten bins, [tem], tens, [ten], ten cots, [ ... more ]

16. Everything psychologists wanted to know about linguistics but were afraid to askProf. Dr. Harold Twistenbaum (4 visits)

Everything psychologists wanted to know about linguistics but were afraid to ask. Herr Prof. Dr. Harold Twistenbaum explains:. Where’s linguistics? Linguistics is a branch of psychology, which is a branch of biology, which is a branch of digital electronics. What is biolinguistics? It’s an overt movement to topple necrocomputers (a.k.a. ex-bios) which move covertly without a trace. Its founding principles are crash, sleuth, deterge and remerge. Are linguists psychologists? Nope. They draw trees and leave only the leaves to the psychologist (or to giraffes, whoever comes first). Are psychologists linguists? Nope. They can’t draw trees with their roots up. Are ... more ] Podcast!

17. Because You Can’t... (3 visits)

Because You Can’t Do Everything You Want for Your Favorite LinguistGet Them a Copy of The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics . Give the gift that says, “I don’t really know what you want, my dear linguist, but I’m trying!”The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. We all want to make our loved ones happybut that isn’t always possible. With linguists, it can be particularly difficult, becauselet’s face itlinguists are a difficult bunch: they talk funny, they ask silly questions, and they get excited about the most ridiculous things. “Ooo! ... more ]

18. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart זSynchronic vs. DiachronicPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (3 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ז—Synchronic vs. Diachronic. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. If you have fallen behind, try to catch up. For those who are caught up, a simple explanation of the difference between synchronic contrast and diachronic contrast, illustrated with examples from a couple of the beautiful Romance languagesSpanish and its ancestor, Latin: Synchronic ... Diachronic ... Up next: The Trouble with NLP. References, Barðdal, Jóhanna H. (2001). Case in Icelandic: A Synchronic, Diachronic and Comparative Approach. Blevins, Juliette. (2004). Evolutionary Phonology: The Emergence of Sound ... more ]

19. Podcast—λ♥[love] (Linguistics Love Song) (3 visits)

λ♥[love] (Linguistics Love Song); by Christine Collins; From Volume CLXII, Number 1 of Speculative Grammarian, June 2011. — let me have your heart and i will give you love / the denotation of my soul is the above / if there’s anything i lack, it’s you / as my double brackets, you make me mean things / i can’t say enough (Used with permission.) ... listen ] ... [ read the article ]

20. Strings and Things: A Unificational Meta-Theory for All LinguisticsTrent Slater (3 visits)

Strings and Things: A Unificational Meta-Theory for All Linguistics. Trent Slater. Despite the best efforts in those sciences that ignore the importance of morphological historiography,1 it has so far proved impossible to provide one theory to rule them all. Thus, as head of the largest group of linguistic meta-theoreticians in the Whole World,2 I feel that it falls to me to propose and prove a Grand Theory of Everything Linguistic. First, it is necessary to outline the main reasons for the creation of linguistic theories. According to my exhaustive research,3 there are only three rationales that require investigation. Rationale 1: Linguistic theories are invented in the vain hope ... more ] Podcast!

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Last updated Nov. 18, 2018.