Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CLXXIX, No 3 (522 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 ]

2. On the Interpreting Ability of Non-Human Members of Kingdom AnimaliaProf Trent Slater & Dr Imma Gauld-Fishe (265 visits)

On the Interpreting Ability of Non-Human Members of Kingdom Animalia. Prof Trent Slater & Dr Imma Gauld-Fishe, Centre for Linguistic Arts & Social Sciences, University of In-k-Stain, Ballpoint, Pennsylvania. Introduction. While research on machine interpreting is ongoing,1 few researchers have delved into the arguably more interesting subject of animal interpreting. To resolve this lacuna2 our specialist team set up a simple simultaneous interpreting task and generated qualitative data3 on their performance. The table below details our findings. Animal, Performance, Comparison to Humans, Dog, Ran around chasing its tail, gnawed on the wiring into the ... more ]

3. 1001 Ways to Troll LinguistsA FragmentR. Key O’Logist & Pei-Li O’Logist (237 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 ]

4. They Have a Word for ThatAnita G. Gorman (189 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 ]

5. Childhood Phonology Exposure Causes Bilabial Trills at BreakfastPhineas Phlegmson & Raz Berrie (185 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 ]

6. /nuz baɪts/ (172 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Paper in Conlang Accepted to Journal. In a first for any linguistic field, a paper written entirely in a private conlang has been accepted by the journal of Diverse Philosophical Linguistics and Theoretical Esoterics. Editor-in-Chief Bran Flake remarked that it was the best explanation of the grounding of all linguistic theory he had ever seen, even though he didn’t understand a word. ... more ]

7. About Us (162 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. Letters to the Editor (CLXXIX.3) (155 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Anachronistic Editors, In issue CLXXVIII.3, Bull and Ochs use fin de siècle to refer to a time period they also label “the 1960s and 1970s”. While I understand that fin de siècle is not being used literally, I really struggle with describing the middle of a century as the end thereof. Dr. Tim E. Liness, Dept. of Antiprochronism, and Inframetachronism, Clepsydra University, Megaannum, MA ... Dear Timey Tim, How so very prescriptivist of you! How nice (late 13th C.) of you to send your comment. We’d like to give you a nice (1500s) explanation, but you might be too nice (c. 1400) to handle it, or too nice (late 14c.) to accept it. May ... more ]

9. A More Interesting Observation Than You a ResponseAloysius Vinicius Perle (152 visits)

A More Interesting Observation Than You a Response. Aloysius Vinicius Perle, Assistant Professor of Theoretical Pragmatics, Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff NE. Recently, in the process of perusing a particularly brutal piece of syntactic analysis, we were reliably informed in a footnote that “Pico wrote a more interesting novel than Brio wrote a play” is an eminently asteriskable productionor, rather, non-production, as it supposedly would not be spontaneously produced outside the confines of syntacticians’ offices and insane asylums. Curious that, for not 24 hours earlier we encountered a statement on Facebook, “Everything’s bigger in Texas! Our state has ... more ]

10. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (150 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!

11. WhingeZarfu (149 visits)

Whinge. by Zarfu. I saw the dullest minds of my generation destroyed by nonsense, nonce-rhymed limericks wretched, dragging their feet through amphibrachs and looking through thesauruses, scraggly-bearded hipsters burning through the midnight oil for the proper weighting of connections in the machinery of brain, whom poverty of stimulus inspired to heights of folly in the sempiternal darkness of the Charles River flowing across the tops of cement-booted cognitivists, who battered their brains to pulp against the Gnome and saw glossematic Danes staggering drunk in tagmemic non-illumination, who passed through universities with radiantly crazed eyes hallucinating assignations and light operettas among the ... more ]

12. Linguimericks, Etc.Book ४३ (147 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book ४३. *Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder why you are Placed beside this sentence here, Saying it should not appear —Pete Bleackley, The daily routine keeps me busy: For Linguimericks I’m too dizzy! Good verse is inspired, But, alas, I’m too tired, So I haven’t the time or energy to finish the last line —Dr. Whom, A linguistic crank prone to carrying Out work that his bêtes noires are burying Constructed from Krumen, Tartessian, and Chuvan Libero-Ibero-Siberian —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, Displaying high fieldwork ability Won’t make for domestic tranquility. For asking to tell you “I hit you” or “Kill ... more ]

13. Dear Readers...A Letter from Over(t)ly Sentimental Editor Szerető Ljúbjaščij (142 visits)

Dear Readers.... A Letter from Over(t)ly Sentimental Editor Szerető Ljúbjaščij. We love you. We really love you. Your visits to our site empower us, make us strong, give us hope for the future of Linguistics. If you’ve been reading SpecGram closely, you’ll have already noticed that our theme word for this year is interdependence. Our contributors exude this quality, and as faithful readers you are equal participants in it as well. Without one another, we are nothing. With one another, well, we are really something. And the world cannot help but sit up and take notice when we work out our interdependence together. But there are problems. There always are. This ... more ]

14. Archives (136 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 ]

15. Rasmus Rask Mini Puzzle VILila Rosa Grau (126 visits)

Rasmus Rask Mini Puzzle VI. by Lila Rosa Grau. This is the sixth Rasmus Rask puzzle, devoted to the original Mr. Charming Scandinavian Linguist. The puzzle is similar to a crossword puzzle, in that there is a grid for filling in words and phrases, and clues for the ACROSS and DOWN directions. However, all the squares in a Rasmus Rask puzzle are filled with letters, and the answers to the clues may (but are not required to) overlap. Clues for a particular row or column are given together, in the order they appear in the grid. No indication of the amount of overlap between clues is given. Letters spelling out RASMUS RASK along the diagonal are given to provide a framework for filling in the answers. Grey ... more ]

16. Ministry of Propaganda (125 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 ]

17. From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (117 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 ]

18. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (116 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 ]

19. Some Aspects of the Counting System of NappaholihokDarren Traming (116 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 ]

20. Grammaticalization of and Generalizations to What’s-PRO-Face Among Annoying Pre-TeensHelgi von Helganschtein Searsplainpockets & Claudette von Helganschtein Searsplainpockets (109 visits)

Speculative Grammarian is proud to present yet another irregular installment in the Linguistic Anthropologic Monograph Endowment’s Bizarre Grammars of the World Series. Grammatical­ization of and Generalizations to What’s- PRO -Face Among Annoying Pre-Teens0. Bizarre Grammars of the World, Vol. 71 Prologue. We1 have been taught by our parents to respect our elders, but we have been shocked at the lack of attention paid by grown-up linguists to the interesting and evolving phenomena occurring in our midst. Of course, grown-ups think linguistics is their ally. But they merely adopted linguistic sophistication; we were born in it, molded by it. We ... more ]

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Last updated Aug. 22, 2017.