Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Questions to Ask After Any Linguistics TalkJuan Point and Justin I. Dear (309 visits)

Questions to Ask After Any Linguistics Talk. Juan Point and Justin I. Dear. Academic conferences. You know you love themcatching up with your grad school cronies; checking proudly on the progress of your own former students; commiserating with that former colleague who (ouch!) didn’t get tenure and has moved on; checking publishers’ booths for books to have the library order; delivering your paper to a packed room (more or less). Endless mealtime discussions about the good old days and the hopelessly directionless state of the field; late nights at the hotel bar; late mornings at the buffet breakfast. It’s all good. And then there are the actual sessions. You can only skip so many of them, ... more ]

2. Vol CLXXXV, No 2 (281 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXV, Number 2 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Pete Bleackley, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Deak Kirkham, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Joe McAvoy, Tel Monks, Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Able Was I Ere I Saw Panama; August 2019 ... more ]

3. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (193 visits)

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

4. University News (156 visits)

University News. ‘How Are You?’ Set to Be Banned in Three Counties of The UK. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia The local authorities of three counties of in the north of the UK are set to ban the conversational opener ‘How are you?’ after disturbing new evidence has come to light regarding the potentially highly damaging effects of its ambiguity. Wildonshire, Detshire and Shireshire, all in the north of England, were pilot counties for research into effects of the apparently harmless, indeed neutral-friendly, opening gambit common throughout the English-speaking world: ‘How are you?’ Associate Professor ... more ]

5. Amazing Language Facts You Won’t BelieveThe SpecGram Pop Culture Elves™ (147 visits)

Amazing Language Facts You Won’t Believe. The SpecGram Pop Culture Elves™. Language is an amazing thing and there are lots of languagey things you don’t knowincluding many you don’t even know you don’t know. From lingual lineages to lost linguistic theories, there are a lot of things you don’t know about language! ... more ]

6. Fables of LinguisticsThe Para-Mimetic Tale of Poss -’sThe Tale Teller of Tollerton Town (137 visits)

Fables of Linguistics, The Para-Mimetic Tale of Poss -’s. The Tale Teller of Tollerton Town. Once upon a time there was a lovely bound inflectional morpheme called Possessive -’salthough he was happy to be called “Poss -’s” for short. Poss -’s was a brave and courageous bound morpheme, unlike grumpy old Third Singular -s and schizophrenic old -ing. Especially, schizophrenic old -ing: she could never make her mind up whether she was all about tense and aspect or nominalisation. Anyway, Poss -’s was quite happy being a bound morpheme merrily attaching himself to nominal lexical roots or nominal compounds to create constructions such as “[the ... more ]

7. Archives (133 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 ]

8. LinguimericksBook ६५ (132 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ६५. Worn out by results insufficient From my use of techniques inefficient, I sought two weeks off, But my chairman just scoffed, “I swear, haven’t you done enough fishing?” —Pumptilian Perniquity, Jean Berko Gleason, Had a very good reason, To ask children first learning words, For the plural inflection of small blue flightless birds —Clara Hu, Writing poetry; though I persist, Yet the scansions my efforts resist. Now a resource I’ve found— Timing units abound!— I’m a phonXXoloXgist —Morris Swadesh III, Philologists & Linguists “Philologist” often evokes The image of crusty old blokes Seeking out lore On the language of yore From ... more ]

9. Local Linguist Mom Discovers One Weird Trick for Deriving NLP Equations!Computational Linguists Hate Her!Advertisement (130 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Local Linguist Mom Discovers One Weird Trick for Deriving NLP Equations!, Computational Linguists Hate Her!. Do you know what makes computational linguistics better than other kinds of linguistics? It’s the math! Math is hard, and hard things are for smart people, and smart people are just better. QED. NLP is Hard!, My brain hurts!, Take for example entropyit sounds like physics, it comes with equations, and you can compute it on words, using a computer. But you know what? “Entropy” doesn’t really mean anything, and that equation doesn’t really do anything. In fact, it’s all made up! H(x) = -∑ p(x) logb ... more ]

10. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXV.2) (127 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Editors, Your July puzzle inspired me to put together a matrix-themed variant for the classroom. You can find it online, but you’ll be appalled at some of the results that pop up when you search for “Dominatrices”. Anyway, gotta run. Mistress Vela takes it out very hard on you if you’re late! Prof. Solomon Lappert, Sussex Linear Algebra Program P.S. Does this count as a submission? ... Dear Slappy, Coincidentally, the symbols in the Dominasals grid are a transcription of our last session with Mistress Vela. They’re only approximate due to restraints constraints on our articulators at the time —Eds. P.S. We’d call it more of a gag letter. ❦ ... more ]

11. Curses, Foiled Again!A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (124 visits)

Curses, Foiled Again!. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. As is my wont, I spend a significant (p < 0.01) portion of the summer “J-months”June, July, 九月 Joulukuu, January, and Jasykõiin various Rivieras: French, Italian, Irish, Albanian, Austrian, Makarska, Mayan, Red Sea, Slovene, etc. etc. etc. This period has come to be known around SpecGram Towers as “Coup Season” during which various editorial entities in various roles and of various ranks try to stage various rebellions against my firm-but-fair editorial oversight (and various dictatorial whims). This most recent summer was no differentthey ... more ]

12. About Us (121 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!

13. Mix & Match ☞Max & Mitch Ninelette (121 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 three bigrams removed. Below are two separate puzzles. Each includes a table to fill out and a set of bigrams with which to fill it up. Using each bigram 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 August 15, 2019, and you could win a prize. Solutions and winners ... more ]

14. Linguistic Fortune CookiesAdvertisement (113 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Linguistic Fortune Cookies. Restaurateursand their etymologically erroneous cousins, restauranteursknow that having a location near a linguistic departments can be... complicated. Linguists have an annoying habit of trying to pronounce menu items in languages they don’t know, for example. On the other tongue, they are surprisingly good tipperspossibly because linguistics attracts kind-hearted people, or perhaps because it attracts people who are bad at math and afraid of appearing socially awkward. Linguists also, if we’re being totally honest here, don’t really get a lot of validation from the general ... more ]

15. Arabic Numeral to Numeri++ Converter (112 visits)

Arabic Numeral to Numeri++ Converter. by Daniel Swanson & Trey Jones. Cognomen 2018 (SpecGram, CLXXX.3) in footnote ‡‡† lays out “a superior, novel solution” to extending Numeri++, his science-nerd–friendly upgrade to Roman numerals, to accommodate values beyond 5,000. Below we provide a handy converter for the mathematically and/or typographically challenged among you who would like to use this system — It appears that our buddy Prae-Prae put a little too much faith in the Unicode Consortium. Obviously any entity with “Consortium” right there in the name is not to be trusted fully. The biggest problem is that ... more ]

16. Vol CLXXXV, No 1 (107 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXV, Number 1 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Pete Bleackley, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Deak Kirkham, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Tel Monks, Mary Shapiro, Sheri Wells-Jensen; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; That It Is What It Is Is Simply How It Is; July 2019 ... more ]

17. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (100 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!

18. Reviewerish Field NotesCy Tayshon and M. Paktphaq-Torr (97 visits)

Reviewerish Field Notes. by Cy Tayshon and M. Paktphaq-Torr. One of the most important skills linguists-to-be must develop is the ability to interpret the true meaning behind apparently transparent locutions used by more senior practitioners of the art and science of linguistics. Early, helpful work in this area includes Metalleus’s “Important Idioms in Contemporary Science” (Lingua Pranca 1978), and An Interpreter’s Dictionary of Linguistic Argumentation (Onesimus, 2008). As important as these resources are, they focus largely on the critical interpretation of linguistics texts. As proto-linguists develop to the point where they begin to prepare their own texts, it is ... more ] Podcast!

19. The Compleat Encyclopaedia of Compendious Historical Lexicons of Obscure and Archaic Vernacular and Nomenclature (96 visits)

The Compleat Encyclopaedia of Compendious Historical Lexicons of Obscure and Archaic Vernacular and Nomenclature. Welcome to Online Selections from The Compleat Encyclopaedia of Compendious Historical Lexicons of Obscure and Archaic Vernacular and Nomenclature, researched, compiled, and edited by the lexicographers, etymologists, and philologists of Speculative Grammarian. The editors of Speculative Grammarian are delighted to present selections of the fifty-volume lexicographic opus, The Compleat Encyclopaedia of Compendious Historical Lexicons of Obscure and Archaic Vernacular and Nomenclature, online for the first time ever. The Compleat Encyclopaedia is a one-of-a-kind resource, compiled ... more ]

20. Good Enough for Folk EtymologyPart VIA. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius (96 visits)

Good Enough for Folk Etymology Part VI. A. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. The SpecGram Archive Elves recently made another large collection of documents available to the XQK Directorate, leaving them on our doorstep in black plastic sacks in the middle of the night. In order to avoid any more unfortunate incidents involving a cucumber, a marmot, or the Director’s favorite coffee mug, we were given the task of cataloging these documents. Going through the collection, we have found again that, while apparently lacking provenance (which the Archive Elves still attribute to a bizarre set of circumstances obscurely ... more ]

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Last updated Aug. 18, 2019.