It occurred to me the other day that despite a great range of educational channels available to the modern television viewer, it appears that linguistics has been somewhat ignored. Try as you might, but your cable or satellite provider will sadly not feature “Channel Schwa”, for it does not exist. In terms of a car journey, linguistics is in the back proclaiming, “Are we there yet?!” Unfortunately with the Discovery Channel (etc.) at the wheel, it may be some time before linguistics reaches the destination of a fully-
But fear not, fellow members of the linguistic community! For I have a few ideas of my own for shows which could (partly) fill the schedule of a linguistic channel. These are as follows.
Learn Syntax with Syntax Snake!
A friendly, charming (yet serious) looking snake-
Two teams comprising linguists from different fields battle for pronunciation supremacy, with a phonetician to act as chair and overall ruler of the contest. Team members each must articulate sounds which appear on the IPA chart, different rounds will challenge linguists to their limits! The show will of course come with a “Don’t Try this at Home” warning for viewers, notably the “Last Linguist Articulating!” round.
The Linguistic Odd Couple
Noam Chomsky and a yet to be named Cognitive Linguist find themselves living together. And in tribute to Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, they bicker and argue based upon their linguistic perspectives, though it’s more than likely said disputes do not get resolved.
Pimp My Phonology!
Some young and rad linguists act upon the call of a language community to help change its image by layin’ down some new sounds. Whether you need some new obstruents, or just something with +voice, these guys will revamp your language to make it sound the coolest in your town!
One day, shows like the above may be on a television near you! (Subject to your subscription fee.)
If you’re a network executive we would love to hear from you; if you’re not we’d love to hear from you if you know a network executive or similar!