All New Graduate Programme in Grammarless Languages
by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia
The University of Garforth has recently announced the world’s first graduate programme in Grammarless Languages, now accepting applications for 2019. The study of grammarless languages emerged in the mid-noughties largely as a response to heavily inflected languages such as Latin, which was labelled by the then-influential Kippax Linguistic Circle as “just hogging too much grammar, when there’s so little to go around.” The first International Conference on Grammarless Languages was held in March 2008 to great acclaim, but the announcement of a graduate programme in the field is a further exciting development.
Grammarless languages comprise about 17.2% of the total number of world languages. Some retain a phonological representation which maps directly over to the conceptual domain, while others such as the Amazonian language Tttttt have dispensed with any structural level whatsoever. An intriguing case within grammarless languages is the language (...) spoken along the tropical shorelines of Siberia. It retains a complete morpheme, ‘kpla’, which encodes a punctiliar aspect, and by polysemy can suggest the notion of a brief extramarital affair. Other than that, however, it is entirely grammarless.
Head of Department, Professor Abercrombia McJerrardian-Smythe spoke exclusively to University News when we turned up unannounced but bearing a couple of custard slices. She told us, as bits of custard and icing sprayed offputtingly from her learned gob, that getting the new programme on its feet was quite a challenge, but that applications are streaming in from around the world. As we got up to leave, Professor Abercrombia was desperate to bend our ears a moment longer about her own research: she’s recently received a $300,000 research grant to look at the under-researched grammarless period of Hungarian, c.1450–1720, when, as a result of a systematic shift in the realisation of agentivity in the spatial preposition system, most dialects of Hungarian went nearly fully grammarless.