Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (141 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. Marty’s long nights doing syntax homework finally catch up with him. ... more ] Book!

2. How to Pay for Linguistic FieldworkSpecGram Editorial Board (70 visits)

How to Pay for Linguistic Fieldwork. by the SpecGram Editorial Board. The thing is is that fieldwork is expensive, and yet we have to somehow pay for it. Or we won’t get to do it. And really, heaven help the poor soul who can’t pay for a trip even to Tahiti, and has to try to come up with some topic on English syntax that hasn’t already been beaten like a dead metaphor. At SpecGram, our interest is is to help people in this kind of situation. So, in the interest of new data (or, should we say, in the interest of no more old English data), and out of a sense of selfless devotion to the betterment of Ph.D. students all across Linguistica, the SpecGram editorial board has pulled together ... more ] Podcast! Book!

3. How Many Languages Do You Speak?Nate F. Spee-Curr & Nonné Divz Bīīqr (58 visits)

How Many Languages Do You Speak?. Nate F. Spee-Curr & Nonné Divz Bīīqr, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. It’s an age-old question, and despite our field’s best efforts, it’s also one that won’t go away. So, instead of just complaining about the question, we decided to go out and find some actual answers. The results are provided below. Archi­phonemicist: I speak |language|that is, an appropriately underspecified version of all of them. Chomskyan: Universal Grammar shows that all languages are equivalent. Computational Linguist: There’s Basic, Fortran, Matlab, C++, VHDL, Java, Python, Javascript and, ... more ]

4. The Γραμματο-Χαοτικον Long-Term Care Facility for Decommissioned Mad Social ScientistsAdvertisement (53 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT The Γραμματο-Χαοτικον Long-Term Care Facility for Decom­missioned Mad Social Scientists. Has your linguist, anthropologist, or historian gotten to be too much for you to handle at home? We at the ΓΧ Facility understand your mad social scientist’s needs and desires. They just want someone to appreciate that their theories are just so perfect, and that if the data doesn’t fit, the world must be changed to make it fit. We know. We understand. And we can help. Our highly trained staff will implement as many of your mad social scientist’s desired real-world changes as is feasible, ... more ]

5. The Language PoliceAnita G. Gorman (45 visits)

The Language Police. By Anita G. Gorman. For quite some time Letitia Archbold had been concerned about the decline in proper English. All sorts of errors were creeping into the language, whether in its spoken or written form. Each day, it seemed, brought yet another example of ignorance, sloppiness, or even overcorrection, the tendency of some people to want to sound erudite even though they had no idea what they were doing and thereby committed an even more egregious error. “Between you and I” was such an example of overcorrection. Those who used this solecism thought they were sounding educated, but they were wrong, wrong, wrong. “Between you and me” is correct, as Letitia would tell herself and ... more ]

6. The Language of PrehistoryMerritt Greenberg and Joseph Ruhlen (37 visits)

The Language of Prehistory. by Merritt Greenberg and Joseph Ruhlen. Sticks and stones may break my bones, and words used to hurt a lot, too. There is perhaps no field of scientific study in which more progress has been madein spite of a complete lack of any clear information on which to base either theories or conclusionsthan in the study of the evolution of human language. The pioneers in this arduous endeavor are to be highly commended for their intrepid tackling of a task of unparalleled difficulty, and for the amazing progress they have made, in spite of having no shoulders (or linguistic data) on which to stand. Recent field research has shown, however, that the elusive data which ... more ] Podcast!

7. On the Wild Extrapolation of Rhodes’ Tame/Wild ScaleFugacious Ƕ. Bangzerrungen (35 visits)

On the Wild Extrapolation of Rhodes’ Tame/Wild Scale. Fugacious Ƕ. Bangzerrungen, FG Klopstock Universiteit. Hinton, Nichols, and Ohala’s 1994 book Sound Symbolism contains a chapter by Richard Rhodes, entitled “Aural Images” in which Rhodes proposes a scale for onomatopoeia ranging from tame to wild. Rhodes discusses what he calls “true onomatopoeia” in which a word “is directly shaped by the sound it represents.” This definition of onomatopoeia is, however, too loose to be of much use to us. But in order to tighten it up we will need to recognize that the class of words we want to treat as onomatopoeic is quite diverse phonetically in that ... more ]

8. Vol CLXXIX, No 2 (34 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXIX, Number 2 ... 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, Adam Baker Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Anita G. Gorman Siva Kalyan Tel Monks Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General All the Theory You Can Eat June 2017 ... more ]

9. About Us (30 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!

10. Archives (30 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 ]

11. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (28 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 ]

12. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (23 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!

13. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (21 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 ]

14. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (19 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!

15. Merchandise (19 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 issue 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 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. ... Discussion. As a result of initial positive feedback, ... more ]

16. RebusWulfila Bruinne, M.F.A., Ph.D. (16 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 ]

17. Quotes: What People are Saying (15 visits)

Quotes: What People are Saying. Here are a few of our favorite things people have said about Speculative Grammarian over the years, collected wild on the internet, or domesticated in email — Q1064. Der Unterschied zwischen der Phonetik und Phonologie ist anschaulich und zugleich unterhaltsam auf dieser Karikatur in der satirischen Online-Zeitschrift Speculative Grammarian (2007, 153-1) dargestellt —Diana Šileikaitė-Kaishauri — Q1063. Speculative Grammarian is a notorious satirical linguistics site —Darkgamma — Q1062. I read this thinking it was serious by accident —Handsomeyellow47 — Q1061. Seems like SpecGram has been ... more ]

18. A Natural History of the WugRodabaugh Venditto (14 visits)

A Natural History of the Wug. Rodabaugh Venditto, Natural Language History Unit. The Wug, or Papuan White Quail (Coturnix neologistica), is a small, white or pale blue, ground-dwelling bird from the Old World Quail (Coturnix) family. It is found only in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Being of a timid disposition, and living in dense undergrowth, it has rarely been seen by outsiders and almost never photographed. Its appearance is known to the outside world mainly by the simple line drawings made of it by the Nappaholi people, for whom it is a totemic animal. Wugs mate for life, and pairs are inseparable, so much so that on sighting a wug, the next thing you are likely to say is “Now there are two ... more ]

19. “Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill”by J–––– J––––––Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer (14 visits)

“Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill” by J–––– J––––––. From Speculative Grammarian CLI.3, July 2006. Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer. ... Double-Dot Wide O, Spoiler Alert !. It’s been more than eight years, so I’m going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret: the nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill is a pig snort, and the double-dot wide O looks like a pig snout. (Some phoneticians will argue that they themselves produce a uvular trill. They probably doespecially when reading journals less interesting than SpecGrambut ... more ]

20. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (14 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ж—The Trouble with NLP. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Please review previously discussed materials as needed. Now that that is taken care of, let us consider why Natural Language Processing (or, its alter-ego, Computational Linguistics) has not been the resounding success regularly predicted by the NLP faithful: ... Up next: Lexicostatistics vs Glottochronology. References, Baeza-Yates, Ricardo and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto (1999). Modern Information Retrieval. Manning, Christopher, and Hinrich Schütze. (1999). Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing. Russell, Stuart J. and Peter Norvig. ... more ] Merch! Book!

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Last updated Jun. 26, 2017.