Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. 1001 Ways to Troll LinguistsA FragmentR. Key O’Logist & Pei-Li O’Logist (66 visits)

1001 Ways to Troll Linguists A Fragment. Discovered by R. Key O’Logist & Pei-Li O’Logist. During one of our regular digs in MIT midden 32-D808, we discovered a coffee-soaked manuscript by a now unknown author. This radical manuscript would certainly have revolutionized the entire field of linguistics, if it had survived whole. Unfortunately, only fragments remainthe rest of the originally quite intact manuscript having been destroyed by caffeine-starved graduate students working on the dig; they repeatedly pressed their donutscake donuts, no less!firmly but not gently against the manuscript in an attempt to extract even a ... more ]

2. Childhood Phonology Exposure Causes Bilabial Trills at BreakfastPhineas Phlegmson & Raz Berrie (63 visits)

Childhood Phonology Exposure Causes Bilabial Trills at Breakfast. by Phineas Phlegmson & Raz Berrie. Introduction and Literature Review. Notker Balbulus (1998) famously argued that childhood exposure to phonological theory would improve language learning and also bring language acquisition more in line with dominant theoretical hypotheses. This paper presents the results of a small-scale trial of his argument. It is found that exposure to materials on phonology did indeed lead to increased phonological variation but at the expense of adherence to familial mealtime norms. Methodology. Three children were selected for this study due to shared kinship features. Their ages were 4.75374 years (male), 3.333333 ... more ]

3. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (39 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!

4. Vol CLXXIX, No 3 (38 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXIX, Number 3 ... 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 Anita G. Gorman Tel Monks Bill Spruiell Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Warning: This Product May Contain Deixis August 2017 ... more ]

5. From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (38 visits)

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XII. 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 twelfth 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 format. ... more ]

6. Simplificational OnomasticsCletus McGraw (35 visits)

Simplificational Onomastics, A Pedagogy for IMMEDIATE Double Freedom. by the DEVELOPER, CREATOR and GRAND MASTER of SIMPLIFICATIONAL ONOMASTICS Cletus McGraw. The gods of Linguistiana have been LYING TO YOU. They tell you that their OPERATIONS operate on OBJECTS, ignoring the fact that the WORLD IS A DOUBLE WORLD, and that there are OBJECTS and SUBJECTS. I have discovered this doubly TRUE FACT, and have applied to EVERY MAJOR LINGUISTICS CONFERENCE in and around the Columbus, Ohio area in the past seventeen years to spread the MESSAGE. And what do you think? I’ve been DENIED admittance to EVERY SINGLE CONFERENCE TO WHICH I’VE APPLIED. It makes you wonder: What are they so AFRAID of? What are they trying to HIDE? ... more ]

7. Some Aspects of the Counting System of NappaholihokDarren Traming (30 visits)

Some Aspects of the Counting System of Nappaholihok. Darren Traming, Research Student in Mathematical Linguistics, University of Ledworth. A feature of counting systems in general is that if the number of letters used to write a given number is tallied, and this is repeated with the number so found, the process will eventually converge to either a single value (e.g. four in English) or a cycle (e.g. trois, cinq, quatre, six in French). In Nappaholihok, a language of Papua New Guinea, the situation is more complex, as explained below. According to the oral history of the Nappaholi people, their ancestors once suffered a humiliating defeat when their chief counted the enemy warriors, saw that he was outnumbered ... more ]

8. About Us (26 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!

9. Archives (26 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 ]

10. Ministry of Propaganda (24 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 ]

11. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (22 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. Poetry Corner (20 visits)

Poetry Corner. Two Poemes from the Archivium of Homonymus Bosch. There was a young man from St. Paul, Who fell in a spring in the fall. T’would have been a sad thing Had he died in the spring; But he didn’t: he died in the fall. ... A Tutor who tooted the flute Tried to teach two young tooters to toot; “Said the two to the Tutor, “Is it harder to toot, or To tutor two tooters to toot?” Amazing Grice. by Sai and Alex Fink with apologies to Paul Grice and John Newton Amazing Grice, O maxims sound that saved my sophistry! I once just lied, but now I’ve found: best lie pragmatically. ’Twas Grice that taught me not to fear; of facts I can take leave. All baseless; not a claim ... more ]

13. An Introduction to Linguistics in Haiku FormAnonymous (19 visits)

An Introduction to, Linguistics in Haiku Form. Anonymous. linguistic theory, hidden representations, to surface structures phonology is, sound patterns of languages, phonemes, allophones phonetics is sounds, articulation of them, acoustics, hearing comp. linguistics is, theory into efficient, implementation morphology is, if same structure, same meaning, then it’s a morpheme syntactic theory, blah blah chomsky chomsky blah, blah chomsky blah blah ... more ] Podcast! Book!

14. Thirteen Untranslatable WordsMichael Covarrubias (17 visits)

Thirteen Untranslatable Words. by Michael Covarrubias. I’m a language lover. I have been since I was a kid. Just about eleven months after being born, I started saying words and I’ve been using them ever since. I probably use words every day and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. After a while, we language lovers have a hard time learning more about our native language. That’s why we branch out to memorize other languages. It can be hard though, because a lot of foreign languages have words in them that we just can’t translate into English. Maybe it’s because we don’t have the concept in English, and that makes it impossible to make up a label for the concept. Or, more interestingly, ... more ]

15. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (17 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 ]

16. Merchandise (17 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. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (17 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!

18. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (16 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. They Have a Word for ThatAnita G. Gorman (15 visits)

They Have a Word for That. By Anita G. Gorman. Today, ladies and gentlemen, we shall speak of words. Well, we are always speaking of words, since we are speaking in words. If you get my drift. It has come to my attention that certain words are important to certain cultures. Is it any accident, for example, that the word ombudsman comes from Sweden, a country that wants everyone to be equal and everything to be fair? Perhaps you do not know this word, since you are American and find Swedish equality and fairness to be a bit boring. What is an ombudsman? Someone who investigates complaints and helps to bring about resolutions. In Sweden, and, I suppose, other countries with blond people, an ombudsman is often a ... more ]

20. RebusWulfila Bruinne, M.F.A., Ph.D. (13 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 ]

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Last updated Aug. 22, 2017.