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1. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart XIPrescriptivism vs. DescriptivismPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (55 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part XI—Prescriptivism vs. Descriptivism. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Those in need of an introduction to Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, please review previous installments in the series. Now let us consider the finer distinctions between Prescriptivism and Descriptivism: ... Coming up: Syllables. References, Bessant C. A. M. McEnery (1992). Computational Linguistics: A Handbook & Toolbox for Natural Language Processing. Cameron, D. (2004). Verbal Hygiene. Gleason, H. A. (1961). An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics. Johnstone, B. and D. Baumgardt. (2004). ‘Pittsburghese’ online: vernacular norming ... more ]

2. Archives (9 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 ]

3. About Us (7 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!

4. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (7 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. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (6 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!

6. Vol CLXXXII, No 3 (6 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXII, 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, Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Tel Monks Cathal Peelo Tim Pulju Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Steve Straight Isabelle Tellier Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General “Inconceivable” Merely Indicates, a Failure of Imagination September 2018 ... more ]

7. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (5 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 ]

8. The Dictionary of What Things Should MeanAccording to Non-LinguistsP. Ublekkoppen Ñon & Suṛɨ Vē (5 visits)

The Dictionary of What Things Should Mean, According to Non-Linguists. P. Ublekkoppen Ñon & Suṛɨ Vē X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. Linguistics, as a subjectdespite its obvious universal appeal and global applicabilityis not well-known or well-understood by non-linguists. Weand a large team of uncredited and unpaid XQK internshave taken it to the streets, so to speak, to get a better sense of how the linguistic laity grok our jargon and/or terms of art. Presented below are over 100 “definitions” of linguistic and linguistic-adjacent terms, provided to us by the general ... more ]

9. Psammeticus Press (5 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. Relaunched JournalMunicipal Journal of Language Devolution There has been a lot of interest in environmental influences on language, including the emerging field of geophonetics. Other publishers can jump ... more ]

10. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (5 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 ]

11. The One True ScriptA Letter From the Editorially Bored (5 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 ]

12. CorrigendumTeaching, a Toad, and the Perils of Linear PrecedenceGobemouche Zounderkite, Ph.D. (5 visits)

Corrigendum Teaching, a Toad, and, the Perils of Linear Precedence. Gobemouche Zounderkite, Ph.D. Former SpecGram Assistant Junior Editorial Associate, (Dishonorably Discharged). The regular November issue of SpecGram (CLXXX.1) incorrectly featured a cropped portion of a cartoon from Bethany Carlson’s Linguistics Nerd Camp series; inside the issue the entire cartoon was also incorrectly featured. The cartoon should have appeared on the cover and within the pages of this month’s issue (CLXXX.2). Last month’s issue should have featured a colorized illustration from “Frog and Toad Teach Linguistics” (CLXIII.2) on the cover and internally as part of the ... more ]

13. 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 ]

14. Panini Press (4 visits)

— Welcome to the online home of Panini Press, an academic publishing house formerly dedicated to the proposition that Linguistics is the noblest of the academic fields, but now with a focus on Subjects of more relevance to the Working Linguist’s everyday life and career. ❦पा Important announcements from Panini Press: ❧ 2018 Conferences in Nerdolinguistics (March 2018): 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. ❦पा, ... more ]

15. Peer Review Song CycleMorris Swadesh III (4 visits)

Peer Review Song Cycle, (Kreuz­gutachten­liederzyklus). by Morris Swadesh III. Peer review is a whole lot nicer when I’m the agent not the patient. Peer review. Too often it feels malefactive when probably a mere recipient was intended. “Peer review service performed” seems like neither an achievement nor an accomplishment when presented to the tenure committee. Alas, it may be a mere semelfactive. Peer review encourages me to leave some mistakes for the next reviewer to catch; perhaps that will distract them from the argument itself. Peer review seems to have acquired a new internet sense; somewhere between “skim” and “scan. ... more ]

16. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (4 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. Marty finds incontrovertible evidence that English inflectional noun morphology is an open class. ... more ]

17. Merchandise (4 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 ]

18. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXII.3) (4 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Editor Jones, Thank you for mentioning my book in your recent letter from the Editor-in-Chief. A few comments on your comments: The book is not about historical linguistics, but it’s fine with me if you want to say otherwise. The title The History of Rome identifies the subject matter of the book. If it eases your confusion, you could regard the title as a shorthand version of A Book about the History of Rome. The Hoffa Room got its current name by folk etymology. It was originally called the Offa Room, in honor of the famed King of Mercia. As I recall, in the late 1970’s, a few rambunctious interns started calling it the Hoffa Room as a joke. Eventually, the new name ... more ]

19. /nuz baɪts/ (4 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 ]

20. Abjad-BitsAdvertisement (4 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT Abjad-Bits. Thnk smrt. Thnk ’bjd-Bts crl! As a savvy breakfast consumer (in both senses!) you are more than smart enough to insert your own vowels! Abjad-Bits® are the favorite brkfst cereal among sophisticated connoisseurs of scripts worldwide! Every bowl of Phoenician Phlavored ® Abjad-Bits® contains twenty-two different delicious, colorful consonants (that’s more than 80% of your daily value!). Kids and adults, philologists and grammarians, just love ’em! Postfix Abjad Bits—Phoenecian. ... Try our other fun flavors, too: Arabic, ... more ]

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Last updated Sep. 20, 2018.