Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CLXXXI, No 2 (363 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXI, 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, Samuel Andersson Florian Breit Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Callum Robson Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Steve Straight Will Styler Daniel Swanson Don Unger Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Best to Just Back Away Slowly, Without Making Eye Contact April 2018 ... more ]

2. The English PluralAl O’Moarfz (316 visits)

 The English Plural. Al O’Moarfz. I will discuss here an often misanalyzed part of the morphophophonology of English: the allomorphy of the plural suffix. Conventional (that is to say, boring) analyses hold that the suffix must be underlying /-z/ rather than underlying /-s/. An analysis with underlying /-s/ would require a rule of voicing after voiced segments, claimed to be undesirable based on words such as false. Merely describing this line of argumentation makes me physically sick. It should be clear to anyone with a basic training in linguistics that underlying /-s/ is a preferable analysis for empirical, theoretical, typological, and metacontrarian reasons. /s/ is evidently the least marked of the ... more ]

3. Phorensic PhonologyThe SpecGram Puzzle Elves™ (168 visits)

Phorensic Phonology. The SpecGram Puzzle Elves™. Forensic linguistics has received a fair amount of attention of late. This has mainly involved the use of corpus linguistics to identify the authors of disputed documents, but the field is older and more broadly based than is generally realised. How did the following sound changes put away a notorious prohibition-era gangster? If you think you’ve figured it out, send your solution to the editors of SpecGram by April 15th, 2018, and you could win some SpecGram merch. The correct solution and winners, if any, will be announced in the next issue of Speculative Grammarian. — The one-word answer to March’s question, What ... more ]

4. From Our Back Burners to Our After BurnersA Letter from Mergers and Acquisitions Editor Scopperloit Scobblelotcher (160 visits)

From Our Back Burners to Our After Burners. A Letter from Mergers and Acquisitions Editor Scopperloit Scobblelotcher. In a recent editorial we solicited our readership’s non-financial help to keep the moth-eaten wolf of inapt metaphors away from our door and somewhere off on the way across the river and through the woods, since we’d not want him to miss his rendezvous with whatever Freudian or girl-power metaphor currently favored in the academy he’ll get done in by this time. The outpouring of support in our time of need was deafening.1 While we appreciate the thought, we do not need clippings of the joke column from back issues of your local church circular2 or a ... more ]

5. Linguimericks, Etc.Book ४९ (144 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book ४९. The Voyager probe was a plan to Go beyond where our human legs ran to But the linguist in me Can so plainly see That the plaque should have used Esperanto —Col. O. Nihilist, A rare fieldworking dab hand I’d planned to be So I read all I could of the land I’d see. But schistosomes, ague, And bubonic plague mu- tated linguist to accountant quite handily —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, Spatial / temporal / aspectual- directual / evidential / validational- aktionsartic / modal / indicative- verbal categorizational slashes —Morris Swadesh III, I muttered, “It’s 'ta.mi.əs 'stri.ə.təs ” When seeing one climbing a tree at ... more ]

6. Ministry of Propaganda (138 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 ]

7. About Us (134 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. The CAPE of Good HopeHow Radical Lexicologists Restored My Faith in HumankindRhea Porter (134 visits)

SpecGram Wire Services The CAPE of Good Hope, How Radical Lexicologists Restored My Faith in Humankind. Rhea Porter. I was recently assigned the task of reporting on the first meeting of the Committee on Animalian Pejoratives in English (CAPE), a small cabal of lexicologists who had set out to find animal names that could and should become insults in English. I was expecting either a dry, dull, pedantic discussion, or a bitter batch of bitchy barbs being bandied about. Instead, my faith in humanity was restored. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Meghal L’Omanyah, Ph.D. and attended by Dr. Prof. Inzool Ting, D. Sc. and Frau Doktor Doktor Doktor Annie Moll, Ph.D, D.Sc. D.Phil, all professors of lexicology. I was the ... more ]

9. To Shreds, You Say?The Impact of Poly-Catastrophic Mountaineering on Advances in Topographic LinguisticsThe “J. Farnsworths,” Hubert & Cubert (131 visits)

To Shreds, You Say?, The Impact of Poly-Catastrophic Mountaineering on Advances in Topographic Linguistics. The “J. Farnsworths,” Hubert & Cubert, (feat. Owrt-Eames N. Tadders), X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. Back in 2013, Caleb Everett unveiled reports of fieldwork indicating that glottalic airstream mechanisms correlate with elevation: that is, ejectives are found in languages spoken way up high. We at the X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies immediately found ourselves wanting to correct the more egregious errors in this research (or, at least, in the popular press’s reporting of it, as we had not actually read the original work ourselves). To ... more ]

10. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (128 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 ]

11. House of PronounsAdvertisement (128 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT House of Pronouns. The #1 Store for You and Me . Don’t settle for impersonal service— Drop in to visit the PROs! Our singularly qualified personnel possess the expertise to outfit you and yours. ... 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. Using NLP to Defeat NLPΓραμματο-Χαοτικον (120 visits)

Using NLP to Defeat NLP. Γραμματο-Χαοτικον. 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 now reasonably well documented (see “The Γραμματο-Χαοτικον Manifesto” SpecGram CL.4). We seek to enrich the languages of the world through arbitrary and ... more ] Podcast!

14. An Introduction to Linguistics in Haiku FormAnonymous (114 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!

15. From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XVIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (110 visits)

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XVI. 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 sixteenth 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 ]

16. Cultural Constraints on Aharip GrammarLeon Mikhailovsky (102 visits)

Cultural Constraints on Aharip Grammar. Leon Mikhailovsky. Recent research on Aharip, one of the typologically remarkable languages of the Mt. Iso area of Papua New Guinea, has revealed striking evidence in support of recent proposals that a people’s culture can significantly affect the grammar of the language spoken by that people (Everett 2005). In particular, the culture of the Aharip, who live between the 300 and 400 meter isoclines of Mt. Iso, appears to prohibit any direct reference to immediate experience. Instead Aharip culture appears to be governed by a ‘Distant Experience Principle’ (DEP). The cultural and grammatical consequence of the DEP are wide-ranging, including a tense system that ... more ]

17. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (97 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 ]

18. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (94 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!

19. Merchandise (91 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 ]

20. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (89 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!

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Last updated Apr. 22, 2018.