Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Sleeping Furiously Since 1986Everyday OptimalityLaura Ryals (220 visits)

Sleeping Furiously Since 1986 Everyday Optimality. by Laura Ryals. Input: Hair down + wearing skirt + wind ... All three options violate the “Remember to bring a hair tie” constraint, so I didn’t even include it in the tableau. ... more ]

2. Académie Française Has Banned Conlanging, AgainSpecGram Wire Services (116 visits)

Académie Française Has Banned Conlanging, Again. SpecGram Wire Services. Paris, FranceToday marked the 85th consecutive year in which l’Académie française has banned conlanging. The convened panel of Immortals (as members are officially known) passed the measure, a terse 400 words in French (or 70 in its English translation) in a twelve minute discussion that opened with the reading of a passage reminding everyone that the Immortals’ resplendent green uniforms were adopted specifically to denote the military spirit needed for “The War on Conlanging.” Critics of the move have lambasted l’Académie. One detractor, speaking on condition of ... more ]

3. LinguimericksBook ५३ (81 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ५३. To Fieldworkers of Old in Evenkia Raw sewage that downstream is heading To where our tap water’s inletting Might scare you, but never fear! The harsh winter weather here Prevents most diseases from spreading —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, Every fairy tale makes itself true With a witch or a goblin or two. When a linguist tells tales What phantasm prevails? Well, I guess that the phoneme will do —Morris Swadesh III, sibilant schmibilant jusht how progreshshive’sh pre- shervative shpread as di- rectional tact?, anteriority recheshshive harmony shiftsh shetsh of fricativesh into [+back] —Andrew Lamont, Linguistics teachers, they say, “An apple ... more ]

4. The Origin of Tonal Consonants in Native American LanguagesIain Paul Anderson (71 visits)

The Origin of Tonal Consonants in Native American Languages. Iain Paul Anderson, Junior Data Scientist (FTC), Munich University Deep Diachronic Linguistics Experiment. While preparing data from a sample of Native American languages for mass lexical comparison, I noticed a curious feature of the phonology of these languages. We normally expect tone to occur on vowels, but a large number of the languages in the sample contained consonants marked for tone. It was always the same four consonants on which tonal marking occurredthe palatal stop and approximant, and the alveolar fricatives, and they always contrasted rising tone against unmarkedno other tone was marked on these consonants, nor were ... more ]

5. L’Ishing du Gwujlang XILusrveerDorothea Dorfman and Theodora Mundorf (62 visits)

L’Ishing du Gwujlang XILusrveer. by Dorothea Dorfman and Theodora Mundorf, with additional assistance from Bob Kinnick and Dee Reed. Attentive readers will by now be familiar with l’ishing from our previous analysis (SpecGram CLXXIX.2, etc.). Though giving the impression of being parallel to French verlan, l’ishing interchanges words that can be made to align with one another. Earlier we have inspected dialects of l’ishing that are based on moving sounds or letters from one end of a word to the other. We have a short time ago stumbled upon another previously unknown dialect, called lusrveer, in which paired words are each the phonetic reversal of the ... more ]

6. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (45 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 ]

7. Vol CLXXXII, No 2 (41 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXII, 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, Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Andrew Lamont Tuuli Mustasydän Tim Pulju Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General The Pen is Mightier than the Sword, —If Launched with Sufficient Speed August 2018 ... more ]

8. Archives (31 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 ]

9. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (30 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. Marty pleads his case. ... more ]

10. Vol CLIX, No 3 (29 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Volume CLIX, Number 3, July 2010, MANAGING EDITOR, SENIOR EDITOR, EDITOR EMERITUS, Trey Jones, Keith Slater, Tim Pulju, ... CONSULTING EDITORS, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Jouni Maho, Daniela Müller, David J. Peterson, Bill Spruiell, ASSOCIATE EDITORS, Jonathan Downie, Mikael Thompson, EDITORIAL ASSOCIATES, Bryan Allen, Mathew Block, James Coomer, Tom Dougherty, Carin Marais, Laura Payne, Justin Rye, Jessie Sams, Sheri Wells-Jensen, Nick Williams, COMPTROLLER GENERAL, Joey Whitford, ... more ]

11. Describe This!A Letter from the Managing Editor (29 visits)

Describe This!. A letter from the Managing Editor. Perhaps the stress of managing and publishing SpecGram has finally gotten to me, or maybe I've just seen too many poorly written manuscripts describing half-baked ideas lately.1 Whatever the cause, I have, of late, felt a strangely compelling need to abandon my Descriptivist Idealism in favor of Prescriptivist Tyranny. I've never been a big fan of rules that derive their legitimacy from the notion that "That's how it has always been."2 And as far as I'm concerned, erudite appeals to etymologically correct grammatical etiquette fall into that category. So, in no uncertain terms, let me say that graffiti and data are mass nouns in ... more ]

12. The Γραμματο-Χαοτικον ManifestoAnnouncement (27 visits)

ANNOUNCEMENT The Γραμματο-Χαοτικον Manifesto. We are the Γραμματο-Χαοτικον an underground alliance of linguists, philologists, and polyglots. Our self-appointed role is to encourage arbitrary and capricious change both in Language and among languages, world-wide. Our exploits are legion, and though heretofore anonymous, nonetheless famous. A few examples will illustrate our reach: automobileAt the time of the invention of the horseless carriage, any educated person could tell you that it was a grammatical sin to mix ... more ] Podcast!

13. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. XLIX (26 visits)

Language Made Difficult, Vol. XLIX — The SpecGram LingNerds are joined by returning guest Tim Pulju. After some Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics, the LingNerds discuss purported evidence against Chomsky, and then reveal the titles of their books, all beginning with “Language:”. ... listen ]

14. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (26 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 ]

15. 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!

16. Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome (26 visits)

Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome . Are you looking for a book about ancient Roman history that’s interesting, informative, and amusing? No? Oh. Well, all the same, as long as you’re on this webpage already, we’d like to recommend that you buy Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome. Easy to read, full of genuine historical facts, and adorned with amateurish hand-drawn pictures, The History of Rome is so good that even Girolamo Savonarola might hesitate to cast it into the flames. And best of all, it’s only $6.99! Buy one now! Interested, but wary of being burned by a slick advertising campaign for a product that fails to live up to the hype? Then download the free preview and read ... more ]

17. Thirteen Untranslatable WordsMichael Covarrubias (25 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 ]

18. The Historicity of Texts and the Textuality of HistoryBook Announcement from Psammeticus Press (25 visits)

Psammeticus Press,, The Historicity of Texts and the Textuality of History, by Edgartina Olláphersen and Olafrinia Etkarzön, Published 2009. Hardcover, xliv + 784 pages. Price: USD $299.95 In the latest addition to our world-famous Chiasmus Linguistics Project, Psammeticus Press is proud to present a pivotal work that no other academic linguistics press could ever have hoped to publish: The Historicity of Texts and the Textuality of History. This magnificent tome represents a significant advancement of knowledge in the noble field of linguistics. The authors, the two world-renowned scholars of historical sociopragmatic discourse analysis, ... more ]

19. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (23 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!

20. Merchandise (22 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 edition 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 in 2013 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. In 2014, Editor Mikael Thompson entered a deep fugue ... more ]

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Last updated Aug. 17, 2018.