Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CLXXXVI, No 3 (415 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXVI, Number 3 Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Senior Editor, Pete Bleackley, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Mark Mandel, Deak Kirkham; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro, Megan Stevens, Daniel Swanson, Sheri Wells-Jensen; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Linguistics: The Cumin of the Academy; January 2020 ... more ]

2. Extremist LinguisticsDennis Dossier (171 visits)

Extremist Linguistics. Dennis Dossier, Professor of Political History in Linguistics, The Δίς Λεγόμενον Centre for Endeepened Ideation. After enduring decades of the terrible tyranny of Chomskyan syntacticocentrism (as the United Nations once branded it) which launched itself on the world in 1957, syntagmophiles around the world breathed easier and easier through the 1990s as the combined power of George Lakoff’s treatment of There, there: don’t worry about it and Fillmore’s analysis of the Leave me alone construction pulled the head and then body of the Cognitive Construction Grammar baby through the birth canal of data out ... more ]

3. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (169 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!

4. Reasons Not to Study LinguisticsPart IVDyspepsia Prater and Cynnie Sizzum (164 visits)

Reasons Not to Study Linguistics Part IV. Compiled by Dyspepsia Prater and Cynnie Sizzum, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. Linguists, generally, try to encourage others’ interest in their field with enticements such as, “linguistics helps us understand the human condition” “every language provides a unique view of the mind” “linguistics empowers people” “you can work in translation, interpreting, foreign language teaching, the tech industry, fieldwork, etc.” Blah, blah, blah. You see, no matter how exciting a field seems, there’s someone out there who is sick and tired of putting up with it. Rather than promise nothing but ... more ]

5. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (148 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!

6. /nuz baɪts/ (142 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Language Absolutely, Positively Changes How You Think. Despite the groans, mocking and abject boredom of their peers, the Undead Theory Working Group at the University of Tedox have uncovered evidence that really does prove that language shapes how you think in a way that isn’t hand-wavy at all. No siree. In an experiment that seemed to make sense on their funding proposal, they monitored the brain activity of volunteers before and after being exposed to the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Tests showed that all subjects experienced activation of the frontal cortex shortly after exposure. Those with college degrees ... more ]

7. “Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill”by J–––– J––––––Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer (137 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 ]

8. New Year, New YouA Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (134 visits)

New Year, New You. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. Greetings Gentle Reader, and welcome to a new decade of SpecGram. What a decade the last one was! Nearly 1,300 articleswritten by hundreds of contributorswere published in more than 125 issues of Speculative Grammarian. All but the earliest handful of almost 300 episodes of the SpecGram Podcast (requiescat in pace)including 50 episodes of Language Made Difficultwere painstakingly podded and then cast into the æther. We publicly celebrated our Tenth Digiversary in 2014, and privately celebrated our 15th last year: we had a quiet evening with a close circle ... more ]

9. LinguimericksBook ७० (131 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ७०. The Tenure Boogie I invented a field that no-one else would believe It’s a wondrous sub-field that no-one studies but me It got me tenure. (ooh ooh) It got me tenure. (ooh ooh), I’ve got papers in journals and editorships I’ve made theories and frameworks from data I nicked It got me tenure. (ooh ooh) It got me tenure. (ooh ooh), My big monograph made it past the reviewers But its whole readership was two (maybe fewer) It got me tenure. (ooh ooh) It got me tenure. (ooh ooh), I won’t ever do fieldwork, it’s theories for me Cause I like my plush office and my shiny PC It got me tenure. (ooh ooh) It got me tenure. (ooh ooh), My teaching load’s zero as I talk ... more ]

10. Controversy Hits LSA as “Self-Illativizing Sociolinguist” Attacks Established TheoriesSpecGram Wire Services (130 visits)

Controversy Hits LSA as “Self-Illativizing Sociolinguist” Attacks Established Theories. SpecGram Wire Services. Tempers flared at the Linguistic Society of America meetings in New Orleans this week, as self-described “self-illativizing sociolinguist” Nigel Oliver delivered a record three keynote lectures in a single day, each one concisely and conclusively debunking a different mainstream sociolinguistic theory. Oliverwho earned a BA in sociology but has “after deep reflection” come to the conclusion that he is, “deep down inside” a PhD Linguistfound himself at the center of a firestorm of controversy. Sociolinguist Melissa ... more ]

11. Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? (127 visits)

Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? Frank isn’t the only Quipley who finds himself on adventures of dubious credibility. His nephew Josh reports on a surprising discovery from his recent trip to The Netherlands. Josh Quipley just returned from Amsterdam. While the primary purpose of his visit was research into Dutch coffee,1 he also conducted inquiries into the Dutch language. It turns out that this is easier said than done, because, for the most part, the Dutch have stopped speaking Dutch! On his entire trip, which comprised Schiphol2 Airport to downtown Amsterdam and back, Josh heard almost no Dutch whatsoever. In every spoken interaction he had, the locals spoke a flawless ... more ]

12. Archives (124 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 ]

13. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXVI.3) (123 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Eds— While we enjoyed reading Eunice Emigre’s paean to the duality of the linguolabial trill, we were disappointed that he did not address the issue of its divergent articulationssome trillers trill their tongue, some their lip, and never the twain shall meet. Sincerely, Aktiva & Passiva Artikalatoro ... Dear Achy & Breaky, What truth! We encourage readers to discover their own linguolabial tribe and then attempt to visit the other one; it is a journey of great difficulty but great discovery. There is also a lot of slobber involved, so put down some plastic sheeting before you start —Eds. ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ ❦ Dear Eds [comma] If I may ... more ]

14. Speculative Grammarian International Academic and Very Clever Professorial International Linguistics Conference 2020UPDATE (121 visits)

Speculative Grammarian International Academic and Very Clever Professorial International Linguistics Conference 2020 UPDATE. University of New Atlantis, 31st–35th; February 2020. There have been a surprising number of early registrants for the SpecGram 2020 conference following our announcement in last month’s issue of SpecGram. The specific number of registrants, eπ/2 + 1, is surprising because it is irrational. Of course, many linguists in general and SpecGram devotees in particular are irrationalbut we never expected an irrational number of them to register. Would that be paucal or plural? Subsequent to the revelation ... more ]

15. X-Ing It Up: Meandering Musings of a Past-It Professor (120 visits)

X-Ing It Up: Meandering Musings of a Past-It Professor. In the closing minutes of a final year class on the Binding Theory the other week, one of the less attentive but ever lycra-clad students, Charleene (yes, three e’s) piped up “I’m yoga-ing it up all this coming weekend, y’all.” As a British visiting professor at a southern US University, I was unable to reply for some seconds due to the online processing load of “y’all”. The other students were quicker to reply. Masie (who intriguingly is always first to submit the online exercises but is always late to class) wanted to know where and with whomand whether she could come too. Mike was effusively ... more ]

16. About Us (120 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!

17. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (116 visits)

The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective. Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!* Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust usand cut yourself some SLAC! ... Dear SLAC, I am not an aficionado of sportsball or related activities, but I do not wish to seem entirely unschooled in the art of sports-related smalltalk, so I am seeking your advice on how to properly use the term “hat trick” without seeming like I’m trying too hard. I know that, ... more ]

18. Mix & Match #Max & Mitch Ninelette (112 visits)

Mix & Match #. by Max & Mitch Ninelette. The goal of this Mix & Match puzzle is to reconstitute a set of nine 9-letter words that have each had two quadgrams removed. Below are two separate puzzles. Each includes a table to fill out and a set of quadgrams with which to fill it up. Using each quadgram once, fill the blanks in the table to form various nine-letter words. When you are done, three additional words will be revealed in the vertical direction for each puzzle. If you think you’ve figured out all the answersthat’s 24 nine-letter words!submit your solution to the editors of SpecGram by January 15, 2020, and you could win a prize. Solutions and winners will ... more ]

19. A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky AntonymsJessie Sams (106 visits)

A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky Antonyms. Jessie Sams, Stephen F. Austin State University. When students get to college, the majority of them have never thought about antonyms as being anything more than “opposites.” So big is the opposite of small, just like buyer is the opposite of seller. Then, all of a sudden, students are forced into a linguistics course with a professor who tells them that they have to learn to differentiate among different types of antonyms. Student’s minds are nearly exploding with information as they have to learn definitions of terms like ‘converse’ and ‘gradable’ and ‘complementary’ in the world of ... more ]

20. Vol CLIII, No 3 (104 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Volume CLIII, Number 3; January 2008, Speculative Grammarian, Vol CLIII, No 3, e + 1 = 0, MANAGING EDITOR, Trey Jones, SENIOR EDITOR, Keith Slater, EDITOR EMERITUS, Tim Pulju, ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Adam Baker, Chris Brew, Martin Hilpert, Kean Kaufmann, Ken Miner, Tel Monks, Peter Racz, David J. Peterson, Freya Shipley, Bill Spruiell, Mikael Thompson, Tom Weller, Joey Whitford, ... more ]

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Last updated Jan. 24, 2020.