Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Germanic Day & The Celebration of Romance (153 visits)

Germanic Day & The Celebration of Romance . We are making something known to you: Germanic Day!. Speculative Grammarian is happy to tell the world about our new yearly holidayGermanic Day! What is Germanic Day? It is a day set aside to think about the Germanic roots that can still be found in English. It gives thanks for the lasting strength of Germanic words. Germanic Day happens on October 13. That was the last day before King Harold was struck down by the Norman gang led by William, and Germanic words at the heart of English began to wane. Before that, English was all Germanic; afterwards, French loanwords took over. What will we do on Germanic Day? ... more ]

2. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (78 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 ]

3. From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIIIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (57 visits)

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIII. The SpecGram Archive Elves™. A recent expedition into the SpecGram archives turned up a sheaf of early 20th century SpecGram propaganda posters, which were used during the Great Linguistic War and the Second Linguistic War to encourage linguists everywhere to keep a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor during those trying times. This thirteenth batch of posters from that collection has been digitized and presented here for you, dear reader, to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. The full collection, which will continue to grow, is available from the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda in an easily browsable and sharable ... more ]

4. Titles in Fantasy LinguisticsAnnouncement from Scholartastic Books (56 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT, Titles in Fantasy Linguistics, from Scholartastic Books, ––– Now Available! –––. Here are a number of titles from Scholartastic Books’ FantLing division that you might enjoy reading: Something Wernicke This Way Comes, by Ray Barred-I A Clockwork Cranberry Morpheme, by Anthony Brackets The Phantom Trill-Breath, by Norton Gesture The Metamorpheme, by Franz Kirkumflexa The Orthography Series by Urula K. Le N’gwaje A Wizard of Orthography The Tombs of Adposition The Farthest Short Vowel Elric of Monosyllabé (series), by Michael Morphosyntactic Elric of Monosyllabé The Sailor ... more ]

5. O, Apostrophe!Anita G. Gorman (54 visits)

O, Apostrophe!. By Anita G. Gorman. Today, my dears, we shall discuss the apostrophe, with all its works and pomps. Or to write that another way, today, my dear’s, we shall discuss the apostrophe, with all it’s works’ and pomp’s. Anyone who is observant has observed that in recent years the apostrophe has become problematic. Our schools seem to have given up teaching its uses, while at the same time our schools have not eliminated our personal desire to be “correct” or to be somewhere above bottom on the social scale. Therefore, amid our social uncertainty and our ignorance of the apostrophe, we try to compensate or overcorrect and end up with “Fresh vegetable’s ... more ]

6. Vol CLXXIX, No 4 (49 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXIX, Number 4 ... 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, Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Tel Monks Bill Spruiell Don Unger Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Evidence? We Don’t Need No Steenking Evidence! October 2017 ... more ]

7. About Us (45 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!

8. Post ScriptChip Carver (41 visits)

Post Script. Chip Carver. In anticipation of the imminent opening of SpecGram’s 85th field officethe Sequoyah Memorial Satellite Office in Tahlequahthe Editor-in-Chief sent an intern down with text to be inscribed on the gigantic obelisk that towers over the building and can be seen from most of northeastern Oklahoma.* Unfortunately, the Editor-in-Chief is away on vacation and the intern has gone missing, leaving behind only a scrap of paper with some weird symbols on it. We suspect there’s some sound reasoning behind the symbols, but we don’t know what to do. Can you help us figure out what we’re supposed to have chiseled into the ... more ]

9. SpecGram Suzie!Psammeticus Entertainment (40 visits)

Psammeticus Entertainment proudly presents.... SpecGram Suzie!. Hey there, Happy Party People! My name is Suzie. A long time ago I thought that maybe I wanted to be a linguist, but then I realized that linguistics actually isn’t very much fun! Linguists try to study human language scientifically in part because they can’t think of anything better to do with their time, and in part because they just can’t manage to get a date for Saturday night. Girls, you don’t really want to be a linguist, because sometimes it can be really, really hard, and it’s always really, really boring! If you study linguistics, you’d have to learn about weird ideas with strange names, like center ... more ] Podcast! Merch!

10. Cartoon Theories of Linguistics Part 3Morphological TypologyPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (35 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part 3—Morphological Typology. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. No need for an introduction, it was covered in previous installments (on non-configurational languages and ergativity). Instead, let us proceed to the next chapter of our Cartoon Theories of Linguistics. I have provided the following cartoonish exegesis of morphological typology for your edification: ... Up next: Statistical Machine Translation. References, Baker, Mark. (1988). Incorporation: A theory of grammatical function changing. Baker, Mark. (1996). The polysynthesis parameter. Comrie, Bernard. (1989). Language universals and linguistic typology (2nd ... more ] Merch! Book!

11. A Corpus-Linguistic Approach to DemographyMorten H. Albert (35 visits)

A Corpus-Linguistic Approach to Demography. Morten H. Albert, Rose College. This paper develops a corpus-linguistic approach to the demography of North American cities. In a groundbreaking study, Chomsky (1957:17) convincingly showed that it can be proven on linguistic grounds alone that more people live in New York than in Dayton, Ohio. Unfortunately, Chomsky did not go on to develop his corpus methods any further. In the present study, all occurrences of the search string "I live in" were extracted from the American National Corpus. The word forms immediately to the right of the search string were extracted from the concordance and ranked according to frequency. Table 1 shows the ten items with the highest token ... more ] Book!

12. From the Archives!The Sikɹɪt Kɹʌʃ Linguist’s LocketThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (32 visits)

From the Archives!— The Sikɹɪt Kɹʌʃ Linguist’s Locket. The SpecGram Archive Elves™. As previously reported, our very own Butch McBastard unearthed a satchel of papers and other miscellanea labeled, “ Top Secret SpecGram Time Capsule, 1964Do Not Open for 50 Years! ” ... The intermittent wrangling with the SpecGram legal team over potential incriminating evidence proprietary information continues, but we are again able to share with our readers some of the treasures found within the satchel. Here is a photo of the eighth archival item, a Sikɹɪt Kɹʌʃ Linguist’s Locket, a fashion accessory favored ... more ]

13. Archives (32 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 ]

14. Why Linguistics is Not a ScienceThe SpecGram Editorial Board (30 visits)

Why Linguistics is Not a Science. The SpecGram Editorial Board. In a couple of recent editorials we have answered several of the questions most frequently submitted by SpecGram readers. Since the publication of those editorials, by far the most common question received in our offices has been, “Could please furnish us with your bank account number so we can transfer payment to you?” We cannot in good conscience accede to this request, as it violates a number of constraints and therefore suffers from what we like to call “fatal infelicity.” Another frequent question, though, is more worthy of our attention, (though only due to its being fifth on the frequency list) and it is to that more ... more ]

15. Ministry of Propaganda (29 visits)

The SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. Welcome to the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. The SpecGram Archive Elves™ have undertaken a project to digitize and share a sheaf of early 20th century SpecGram propaganda posters, which were used during the Great Linguistic War and the Second Linguistic War to encourage linguists everywhere to keep a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor during those trying times. We provide the digitized posters here for you to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. Select a poster to see a higher quality image, and for links to share on social media, to email friends, and to view or download the highest quality version of the image. If you have ideas for other messages that need ... more ]

16. Merchandise (26 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 ]

17. Linguimericks, Etc.Book ४४ (25 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book ४४. A young lady who lived in Cape Cod Dropped her lovers like each was a yod. Says she, “How are /u/?” They replied, “Rather /blju/; Your di’lect indeed is quite odd.” —P. Ublekkdeaux Meign, On her way past my office one day, A philosopher popped in to say: “Every thing linguists claim Is epistemically vain: All your bes, ares, and wills should read may.” —Morris Swadesh III, There was once a linguist from Bow Who claimed all earth’s languages to know Until filled with grog, He trawled through Ethnologue And discovered at once Judezmo —Vi va Voce, cfg schmfg syntax’s excess com- plexity sux but ... more ]

18. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (25 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!

19. Grey Duck or Goose?Mapping variation in a children’s game in MinnesotaSven Slater and Ollie Bickford (25 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Youth Research Focus is proud to bring you the finest language-related research by the world’s school-aged youth. Grey Duck or Goose?, Mapping variation in a children’s game in Minnesota. Fifth Grade Science Fair Project, by Sven Slater and Ollie Bickford, J. O. Nelson Public School, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA. Research Question. Last year, a new kid named Tyler P. joined our fourth grade class. Tyler was from Illinois or some other southern state, and she told us that down there kids play “duck, duck, goose,” instead of “duck, duck, grey duck” like we do here in Minnesota. We thought this was strange, even for the South, but then we ... more ] Podcast! Book!

20. The Sociolinguistic Impact of Hippie Linguist Naming Practicesɹɒbɪn O’Jonesson (25 visits)

The Sociolinguistic Impact of Hippie Linguist Naming Practices. ɹɒbɪn O’Jonesson. There is little discussion in the literature concerning the social and psychological effects of the distinctive and unusual names given to children by their hippie parents, such as Moonbeam, Peacekarma, Ryvre, Starchild, Redpony, and so many more. Even less attention has been paid to the naming practices of the particular sub-culture of hippie linguists, who advocated for free morphemes in the 60’s and gave their children names such as Monophthongbreathstream, Pronouncopula, Rezonator, Asteriskchild, Redponymy, and Noam. ... The family VW van in 1971. Very few people so-named have kept their monikers into ... more ] Podcast! Book!

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Last updated Oct. 17, 2017.