*u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑-: Aspects of Indo-European Popular Culture—Joe R. G. d’Umezzille SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 1 Contents L’Ishing du Gwujlang XII—Mịʀʀŏ̯яяịm—Dorothea Dorfman and Theodora Mundorf
Psammeticus Press

Recipes for Success!

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 maturity of a scholarly field, the most obvious is that a field has not truly arrived until a cookbook of the greatest recipes of its practitioners has been published. Thus, Psammeticus Pressin association with Speculative Grammarianis pleased to present this overview of the contents of The SpecGram Compendious Compendium of Linguists’ Dessert Recipes. Order today!

Chomsky’s Minimalist Universal Cake: Take the standard set of ingredients and MERGE them according to the appropriate constraints. (N.B. while this recipe can in theory produce any cake you like, not enough information is given to do so without using your innate baking instinct.)

Conlanger’s Trifle: Take one page at random from each of the other recipes. Follow the directions inexactly, adding a dash of ergative extract and all of the case endings you’ve ever heard of. Historical linguists can start with a natlang substrate, while beginners may prefer to simply relex crème anglaise. Layer it all together, producing a result not unlike the trifle from “Friends”. When you return to it many conlangs later, don’t forget to update the phonemic inventory with the sound you make upon tasting it! (Serves one unless you’re a former SpecGram editor.)

Esperanto Cake: Inspired by cakes from French, Polish, German and Greco-Latin cuisines, bake a symmetrical cake using the simplest ingredients possible. Gather close friends to sample the cake and then invite the whole world to enjoy your cake. Be prepared for disappointment as your friends disagree endlessly on which knife to use to cut the cake in which way, whereupon the rest of the world shrugs their shoulders and goes back to eating their own cakes.

Ferdinand de Saussure’s Macarons qui Signifient: This light and tasty treat has top and bottom shells of entirely different stuff, held together with a trademark crème de signe. Learn the original recipe that has spread throughout the humanities, yet so often made with substandard materials.

Fodor’s Modular Faculties Cake: Sort cake ingredients by the parts of the baking/eating process to which they contribute primarily. Now assume that every ingredient is domain-specific and bake it separately from any ingredient that contributes to a different part of the process. Serve with interface connecting the individual parts and reprimand any guests who attempt to mix different modules on their plate.

Frege’s Cake: Bake cake. Promise cake to a friend. Leave overnight to cool. On rising next morning, absent-mindedly eat cake. Argue endlessly with friend over whether it was really the same cake.

Gateau d’Académie Française: Before baking, carefully sort through all your ingredients and discard any that have been imported. Substitute with something French, even if it’s nothing like the original. Ignore the fact that nobody actually eats the cake.

Generative Pancakes: Begin with an enumeration of {flour, eggs, milk, sugar, baking-powder, pan, heat-source}. Merge flour with baking-powder, merge sugar, then merge eggs, then merge milk. Note the uninterpretable [uWetness] feature on the flour and begin a process of cyclic head movement until [uWetness] is satisfied. Now merge the pan with the heat and merge this with the adjoined milk/flour compound to create an adjunct structure. Apply move until all the [browning] features are valued. At this point ship the structure off to the ingestion and enjoyment interfaces.

Historical Linguistics Fruitcake: Pick any two languages which each contain at least one word for a grain-based, cake-like food, or a food item with similar texture, such as dry dog food; the two words must share any one phoneme in common. Posit a historical relationship of any nonlinguistic sort (e.g. both groups have been known to pasture livestock on grass). Demonstrate the validity of a previously unsuspected linguistic relationship between the two groups by applying a randomly selected bio-mathematical tool to a carefully selected inventory of baking-related words in the two languages (feel free to regularize the terms and their cultural background first). Introduce and conclude your study with dismissive remarks about the food choices of any well-known historical linguist. Publish in the least selective venues (especially in the popular press); hang out in coffee shops throwing pieces of your cake at unsuspecting patrons while haranguing linguists in internet discussion forums.

Iterated Learning Cakes: Create randomized recipe, serve up resulting confection to first subject. Ask subject to try and reverse-engineer the recipe and prepare it to the best of their ability, then serve what they create to the second subject. Repeat procedure through a chain of ten subjects, tracking increase in composystemalexity/edibility.

Language Teaching Cake: Debate endlessly whether cakes are best cooked according to a socio-cultural, cognitive, or linguistic recipe, whether form or meaning should be added to the mix first, and whether technology makes any difference to the recipe at all; realize that a principled choice between recipes is impossible. Bake cake according to some set of quasi-intuitive, experientially-derived principles, or failing that, just how you baked it last time; find that cake tastes okay.

Linguistic Archeology Cake: Start with a Historical Linguistics Fruitcake and add lots and lots of garlic, or as it’s called in the original Basque, “egakortasun arranguratu alienatu ikaragarri” which means “(People) complain that the smell destroys a person’s composure; it’s awful!” It’s awful!

Non-Gricean Linguistics Flan: Feed a giraffe its own necktie while drinking a glass bottle of sandwich.

Plato’s Recipe for a Perfect Cake: Leave your shadowy cave, ideally (no pun intended) with the permission of your jurisdiction’s philosopher-king, and locate the Cake in the idealized world. Bring Cake down and make cakes according to the form of the Cake. Be prepared for ridicule as your guests laughingly find your C/cake(s) too T/tasty.

Psamtik’s “βεκός” Bread: Take two freshly born babies and isolate them in a cave previously seasoned with a sprinkling of sheep. Marinate for several years, until the children invent a cake-type foodstuff. Declare the foodstuff to be “βεκός,” the first dessert invented by humanity.

Sapir–Whorf Translucent Puff Sugar Shells: The original recipe with the secret ingredient, excessive yeast, that creates the empty space at the center of the shell with the curious refractive properties that change everything you see when you look through it. Don’t bother trying to eat it though, because if you poke it at all strongly it will burst and deflate with a rushing hiss of hot airit’s strictly for the entertainment of outsiders.

Smolensky and Prince Bundt Cake: Take any pre-existent recipe and systematically reorder the n rules, bake all 2n of them simultaneously, and serve the one that tastes best.

SpecGram Sherry Cake: The special ingredient is SpecGram specially-aged super-vintage sherry, which is placed in new casks at the beginning of every month, and if there aren’t any other materials (funding happens...or not), just serve the sherry.

Stroopeffectwafels: Prepare Stroopwafels and decorate with colored icing, using it to write the names of basic color terms other than that of the icing color. Anyone who wants one must correctly name the icing color in 100 ms or less.

Theta Rolls: Prepare a Patient using an Instrument, place in a Location for a Time. Transport from Source to Goal, then serve up to a Recipient. Experiencers watch Agents arguing over whether the confection should be called Thematic Rolls.

Toury’s Descriptive Translation Layer Cake: It’s a delightful pseudo-cake, offering excellent potential insights into the source and target baking norms. Analysis of the assumed source recipe underlying it suggests that it may actually be a cheese and pickle sandwich. But it’s the fact that it was once labelled as a cake that matters.

Tower of Babel Cake: Get humanity together to bake a cake so big you can all climb up it to the LORD’s kitchen. End the evening when the LORD comes out of kitchen giving everyone very differently tasting cakes. Fall out with people whose cakes taste differently than yours.

Usage-Driven Grammar Cake: Making no reference at all to ingredients, denying the ontological validity of the construct ‘cake’, and relying only on socio-cultural drivers such as kitchen size / cleanliness, purposes of cooking, the digestive process and the interpersonal dynamics of chefs, allow many different kinds of cake to emerge naturally by simply interacting in a kitchen space. Order all cakes baked along a continuum from grain of wheat through to 10 tier über wedding cake. Taste each cake on the continuum and declare that they’re all equally tasty.

*u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑- u̯erg̑-: Aspects of Indo-European Popular CultureJoe R. G. d’Umezzille
L’Ishing du Gwujlang XIIMịʀʀŏ̯яяịmDorothea Dorfman and Theodora Mundorf
SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 1 Contents