In preparing a talk for some linguists,
I attempted pronouncing some Tlingit,
But the fricative set
Made me hopelessly fret:
“In my talk I will just have to wing it.”
—Morris Swadesh III
I met a distinguished phonologist
Who swore by speech sounds on a checklist
Though his charted phonemes
All burst at the seams:
Their phonetics was what he had missed.
—Cailín na Luimní
For emphasis reduplicate!
When import you can’t overstate!
It takes up more time,
But the rhyme is sublime!
And the result’s truly great-great!
There once was a linguist from France
Who grew only postmodern plants
Their branches were tied
To deferred signifieds
But were chewed through by small differ-ants.
—Col. O. Nihilist
There was an old fellow from SIL,
Who exclaimed, “If you’ve not had your fill,
Each reference grammar
Bangs in with a hammer
Tagmemics, ’til we all feel ill.”
Vowels are made as the tongue
Lets egressing air from the lung
Traverse past the pharynx
And, forcing the larynx,
Flow laminally, noise left unsung.