Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Cryptolinguistic Puzzle SebēMary ShapiroTruman State University (357 visits)

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle Sebē. Mary Shapiro, Truman State University. Like other cryptic crosswords, the clues in this puzzle are not straightforward. Unlike most, however, this one focuses mainly on languages and linguistics. For instance, the clue for Zapotec might be “Oto-Manguean variety alters pez coat” (anagram of pez coat), or “Indigenous Mexican language to destroy overtime prior to European Commission” (ZAP + O.T. + E.C.), or “a nice top, a zany blouse conceals retro Oaxacan language” (niCE TOP, A Zany), or many other combinations of puns, anagrams, or ... more ]

2. Vol CLXXXI, No 4 (354 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXI, Number 4 ... 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 Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Tel Monks Ollie Sayeed Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Daniel Swanson Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Penguins Need Not Apply June 2018 ... more ]

3. Spaz Attack in the Corner (Cartoon)III (303 visits)

Spaz Attack in the Corner—III. “Yes, yes, yes. I’ll tell you everything I know about GB Syntax. Just, please, don’t make me go to anymore Departmental Colloquia this week. Please. Make it stop.” If... this is your brain... Then... this is your brain on science... this is your brain on humanities... and this is your brain on linguistics. ... more ] Book!

4. Ministry of Propaganda (271 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 ]

5. Letters to the Editor (CLV.2) (226 visits)

Letters to the Editor. A Plea For Decency Linguistics has gone bad, and we need to do something about it. Our discipline is riddled with sinful words like syntax, syndeton, synthetic, and crude innuendos such as genitival, clitic, deictic, and dangling participles. Is it a mere happenstance that durative sounds like the name of a condom? No, it is not. It is a deliberate attempt to vulgarise the field of linguistics by gaudy grammarians after having spent too many nights at X-Bars. These all too obvious attempts at sexualising our discipline must be stopped. It is a moral crime to allow innocent, pure students to be bombarded with such tawdry terms as ... more ]

6. Guidelines for the Behavior of Graduate Students of PhoneticsFelicity Conditions (224 visits)

Guidelines for the Behavior of Graduate Students of Phonetics. Prepared by Felicity Conditions, for distribution by the International Phonetic Association. The IPA symbol for a bilabial click is not called “the cervix,” even if it really looks like one. Students must not giggle every time someone says “labial.” Students are not allowed to start a letter-writing campaign demanding enfranchisement for voiceless phonemes. Students must remember that the IPA only covers the sounds the human mouth can make. Students are not allowed to ask the “cute” TA to produce difficult phonemes for them... slowly... over and over again. “Only prats use Praat” was never funny, and ... more ] Podcast!

7. The Psychological Reality of Fake Newsand Vice VersaA Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (224 visits)

The Psychological Reality of Fake News and Vice Versa. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. In an unusual turn of events, linguisticsqua body of practitioners rather than body of knowledgemay have something beneficial to contribute to the much broader public and political discourse of the day. But first, a short history lesson for the young’uns. Using an unnamed technological purveyor of word sequences well-known to computational linguists and other word nerds, one can see that the use of the phrase psychological reality increased steadily through the early 20th century, with a dramatic increase after 1960 to a peak around 1980, ... more ]

8. Good Enough for Folk EtymologyPart IA. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius (220 visits)

Good Enough for Folk Etymology Part I. A. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. The SpecGram Archive Elves recently made a large collection of documents available to the XQK Directorate, by leaving them on our doorstep in black plastic sacks in the middle of the night. After an unfortunate incident involving a cucumber, a marmot, and the Director’s favourite coffee mug, we were given the task of cataloging these documents. Going through the collection, we have found that, while apparently lacking provenance (which the Archive Elves attribute to a bizarre set of circumstances obscurely alluded to in editorials passim), they shed unexpected light on ... more ]

9. University News (208 visits)

University News. All New Graduate Programme in Grammarless Languages. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia The University of Garforth has recently announced the world’s first graduate programme in Grammarless Languages, now accepting applications for 2019. The study of grammarless languages emerged in the mid-noughties largely as a response to heavily inflected languages such as Latin, which was labelled by the then-influential Kippax Linguistic Circle as “just hogging too much grammar, when there’s so little to go around.” The first International Conference on Grammarless Languages was held in March 2008 to great acclaim, but the ... more ]

10. Linguimericks, Etc.Book ५१ (192 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book ५१. I’ve a hell and a half of a time In just getting my poems to rhyme, And for being a prodigy In linguistic prosody, How I follow the rules is a crime —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, There was an old lady from Beith Who could utter without any teeth Her fibbilanth became A famouf tranfcribing game And her vowel sounds beggared belief —Col. O. Nihilist, The twins clashed in dress, and with increasing er- ethistic contention and teasing, were Divergently heveled, And their rivalry sibled Until she accused him of misling her —Недостаточно Денег When constituents ... more ]

11. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (189 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! ... To whimever it may discern, I am but a lowly interpreter. My career has not yet reached the heights whereby I may gigglesnort at the antics of students or divert myself with the vagaries of theoretical noo-aunties. I have whoever, reached an imp’s ass in my development. Ewe sea, I have bean reliably ... more ]

12. SyllaBerriesAdvertisement (181 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT SyllaBerries. If you love SyllaBerries but hate having to twist your head to read them, ᙅᗩᑎᕕᗪᒑᗋᕆ ᕕᗸᐤᖇᒑᘜᒑᕱᗗᒪ SyllaBerries are Evans-sent! Made with Rice Lake rice and Saskatoon berries, they’re the creation for the Cree Nation! You’re never more than 45 degrees away from a perfectly aligned syllable. Didn’t get the vowels you wanted? Simply stir and try again. Try just one bowl and you’ll be Inuit! ᙅᗩᑎᕕᗪᒑᗋᕆ ᕕᗸᐤᖇᒑᘜᒑᕱᗗᒪ SyllaBerries are available at Abigail’s Abu Ghraib Abugida Bodega or wherever fine foods are sold. Major Mills NEW! SyllaBerries ... more ]

13. From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XVIIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (167 visits)

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XVII. 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 seventeenth 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 ... more ]

14. About Us (152 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!

15. Lingua PrancaDates in the Month of May that Are of Interest to LinguistsJames D. McCawley (141 visits)

Dates in the Month of May that Are of Interest to Linguists. James D. McCawley, University of Chicago. (Note: May, the month in which Goodspeed day is celebrated, by recently established tradition, can be seen from the following to be a linguistically auspicious month), May 2, 1919. Baudouin de Courtenay concedes defeat in his bid for the presidency of Poland. May 3, 1955. Mouton & Co. discover how American libraries order books and scheme to cash in by starting several series of books on limericks. The person given charge of this project mishears and starts several series of books on linguistics. No one ever notices the mistake. May 5, 1403. The Great English Vowel Shift begins. Giles of Tottenham calls for ale at his ... more ] Podcast!

16. Archives (125 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 ]

17. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (121 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 ]

18. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (119 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. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (108 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. The Man Who Left His Deictic Center in San FranciscoEdward Tapir and Benjamin Wharf (107 visits)

The Man Who Left His Deictic Center in San Francisco. by Edward Tapir and Benjamin Wharf, Department of Ungulate and Shipping Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst. One of our esteemed colleagues has attended numerous semantics conferences around the world, from the sad streets of Paris to gloomy Rome and even lonely Manhattan. A recent conference at the University of California, San Francisco on spatial representation, however, has left a particularly significant impact on his idiolect. Ever since returning, he has been uttering sentences like these below: I am holding that cup three thousand miles away from San Francisco in my hand. (referring to a cup presently in his hand) Could you please hand me that ... more ] Podcast!

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Last updated Jun. 25, 2018.