Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. X-bar Diagram AcquisitionTel Monks (409 visits)

X-bar Diagram Acquisition. Tel Monks. I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. —Gertrude Stein The year 2007 marked the thirtieth anniversary of Jackendoff (1977), the book that made the following diagram such a part of the linguist’s life. (1) ... The intervening 30 years have seen the X-bar provide the basis for more utterances than can be imagined with increasingly complex examples, such as (a personal favourite): (2) ... Unfortunately, the original English sentence has been lost, and we can only offer conjecture as to the utterer’s intent. However, in the euphoria that X-bar diagrams have brought to linguistic studies, little thought has been given ... more ]

2. Reasons Not to Study LinguisticsPart IIIDyspepsia Prater and Cynnie Sizzum (271 visits)

Reasons Not to Study Linguistics Part III. 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 ]

3. Vol CLXXXVI, No 2 (263 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXVI, Number 2 ... 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: Brenda Boerger, Joe McAvoy, Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro, Megan Stevens, Daniel Swanson; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; The Best of Journals, The Worst of Journals; December 2019 ... more ]

4. How We Think About the Sounds of Chinese–Any Implications for Psycholinguistics?Bii Ming (262 visits)

How We Think About the Sounds of Chinese— Any Implications for Psycho­linguistics ?*. Bii Ming (bii.ming@, Keynote presented at the International Conference on Chinese Linguistics, February 30, 2008, Nanjing, Sinitic States of China. *This work was supported by grant #LKJHG985432 from the Parliament of the Sinitic States of China. I would like to share some observations about how linguists and Chinese native speakers think about the sounds of Chinese, and whether this may have influenced the development of the study of Chinese or even the development of the language itself. Of course, as we all know, when people refer to “the Chinese language” they usually are ... more ]

5. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (257 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!

6. Vol CLXXXVI, No 1 (206 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXVI, Number 1 ... 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: Chris Brew, Christian DiCanio, Joe McAvoy, Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro, Megan Stevens, Daniel Swanson; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Like Blunt Force Trauma to Your Broca’s Area; November 2019 ... more ]

7. LinguimericksBook ६८ (172 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ६८. The Bar-Raising Principle There once was a field linguistic That loved not a single statistic. The field built a fence With definitions so dense Its contraction became its prime characteristic —Christian DiCanio, Young grad students I just can’t believe in; In my office I’m always a-grievin’: Though they’re smart in the head And leave nothing unread, When they speak they’re unable to even —Morris Swadesh III, There once was a linguistics journal, Whose staff’s views to the mainstream were foreign. “All You lot think you’re clever, Even art,” said some haverer, “But you’re only a glorified urinal.” ... more ]

8. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (162 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, What’s the plural of focus and how do you pronounce it? I’ve seen it spelled <foci> but do you pronounce that /foʊkaɪ/ or /foʊsaɪ/ ? Or is it something else entirely? Focuses? Focora? Focopodes? Please offer me your insights on pluralization so I can ... more ]

9. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (157 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 ]

10. Ministry of Propaganda (146 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 ]

11. University News (139 visits)

University News. TV Chef and Government Boffins Spruce Up Linguini with Linguistics. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia Celebrity chef Claudesia van O’Hara, famous for her pioneering reality TV cheffing programme Cook-a-Doodle-Doo, has teamed up with linguists from the Southport Institute of Language Investigation and the Basildon Institute of Linguistic Inquiry (SILI-BILI) to investigate how lexical and grammatical constructs can add, in her words, “taste, tone, texture and adventure” to food and cooking. In a series of six programmes, O’Hara will be mixing standard linguistic constructs such as place of ... more ]

12. Reasons to Become a Professional LinguistWye T’Kolr and Prof. Fess Oar (139 visits)

Reasons to Become a Professional Linguist. Wye T’Kolr and Prof. Fess Oar, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. In an effort to attract more talent to the august profession of Linguistics, the X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies has commissioned a unique survey into the reasons why professional linguists have chosen their career. It is out hope that these will serve to inspire future generations — “Being an unprofessional linguist just didn’t hold much fascination for me anymore.” —BB, Norfolk, England “I wanted to be able to sling around enormous Greco-Latinate terms and mathematical formulae, but without the inconvenience of having ... more ]

13. At the Mall of Indo-EuropeaHlökk bin Praeteritio ab Ἀπόστροφος von Sōkaiya (139 visits)

At the Mall of Indo-Europea. Hlökk bin Praeteritio ab Ἀπόστροφος von Sōkaiya. ... more ]

14. Archives (129 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. Blends for FriendsWinning Words for Wise Writers, Worthy Word Wranglers, and other Wanton WrongdoersBook Announcement from Psammeticus Press (128 visits)

Blends for FriendsWinning Words for Wise Writers, Worthy Word Wranglers, and other Wanton Wrongdoers, by Blenda Portman-Toe, Published 2020. 84 pages + 943 pages of citations and etymologies As linguistics continues its meteoric ascendance in the academic zeitgeist, scholarly and even not-so-scholarly writers would be well-advised to “get with the [minimalist] program” and take on the trappings of linguists and linguisticsin order to please and appease their soon-to-be intellectual lords and masters. There’s no better way to signal one’s in-group status than with a bit of jargon-heavy wordplay taken a tad too seriously. To that end, ... more ]

16. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (127 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!

17. About Us (126 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!

18. On the Predicament of the Predicate: A Pristine ProposalLois Lingerie (122 visits)

On the Predicament of the Predicate: A Pristine Proposal. Lois Lingerie, Professor of Mythology in Linguistics, The Δίς Λεγόμενον Centre for Endeepened Ideation. Among the bestial and infernal hordes of rabid terminological Cerberi that prowl hither with a snarling aggression punctuated only by the stalactitic drip of salivation which is itself surpassed by that poised-to-strike slunking thither that bespeaks a readiness to maim the clarity of thought and efficiency of insight that the anti-individuation of terminologicalisms heralds, none is more pesticidal to the tender shoots of linguistic theorising than that of the unnecessary polysemy ... more ]

19. Whose Puppet Are You?Kae d’Rik Kham (122 visits)

Whose Puppet Are You?. SpecGram Sub Rosa Editor Kae d’Rik Kham. At a recent conference on proto-Slavic (somewhat incongruously in Hawaiʻi), the organisers kindly provided a plenary alternative in the form of a ventriloquist’s act. Being an invited speaker myself, with a narrative that would not sit easily with one particular plenarian, I opted to avoid this one speaker’s litany of observettes on reconstructed vowel nuclei, regarding which I would have struggled to maintain my composure, so I toddled along and enjoyed the show. It didn’t disappoint as so much non-Wagnerian art can do: subtlety of narrative and technical skill were brought together to create a memorable ... more ]

20. A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky AntonymsJessie Sams (122 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 ]

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Last updated Dec. 9, 2019.