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1. Vol CLXXXIII, No 1 (8 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIII, 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, Virginia Bouchard Emily Davis Vincent Fish Deak Kirkham Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associates, Samuel Andersson Florian Breit Chris Brew Bethany Carlson Tel Monks Mary Shapiro, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Friendly Fire? Don’t Flatter Yourself November 2018 ... more ]

2. Ministry of Propaganda (6 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 ]

3. What is the Sound of One Vocal Cord Flapping?A Letter from the Managing Editor (5 visits)

What is the Sound of One Vocal Cord Flapping?. A Letter from the Managing Editor. ... The organisers of the international congress “Langage du travail, travail du langage,” held at Université de Toulouse, October 2008. Chiasmus of the Month, December 2013, As we approach the close of another year, and with it the close of the CLXVIIIth issue of the modern era of SpecGram, the mind drifts readily toward larger questions of life, purpose, and meaning. Then, of course, I realize that we already have semantics, so meaning is more-or-less covered. All we need now is zoölinguistics and teleolinguistics, and we can stop worrying about ... more ]

4. Vol CLIX, No 1 (5 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Special, Fieldwork, Issue, II, Volume CLIX, Number 1, May 2010, MANAGING EDITOR, SENIOR EDITOR, EDITOR EMERITUS, Trey Jones, Keith Slater, Tim Pulju, ... CONSULTING EDITORS, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Jouni Maho, Daniela Müller, David J. Peterson, Bill Spruiell, ASSOCIATE EDITORS, Jonathan Downie, Mikael Thompson, EDITORIAL ASSOCIATES, Bryan Allen, Mathew Block, James Coomer, Justin Rye, Jessie Sams, Mary Shapiro, Sheri Wells-Jensen, COMPTROLLER GENERAL, Joey Whitford, Sponsored by the !Kanga Field Resort, ... more ]

5. Merchandise (5 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 edition 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 in 2013 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. In 2014, Editor Mikael Thompson entered a deep fugue ... more ]

6. BabelThe Priority of Written LanguageAndreas Paplopogous (5 visits)

The Priority of Written Language. One of the principle tenets of modern American linguistics is the priority of spoken as opposed to written language. This priority is understood both as importance as an object of study and as temporal precedence. Temporal precedence is further taken to include both ontogenetic and historical precedence; that is, as students in introductory linguistics classes are repeatedly told, children learn to understand speech and to speak themselves before they learn to read and to write, while historically (more properly prehistorically), the story goes, humanity had already been speaking for tens of thousands of years by the time writing was invented. It is this last conclusion, that speech ... more ]

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

8. Yet Another Collection of Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t KnowMadalena Cruz-Ferreira (4 visits)

Yet Another Collection of Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know, (because they aren’t actually true), gathered at great personal risk of, psycholinguistic harm from actual student tests, by Madalena Cruz-Ferreira This fourth collection of students’ pearls of wisdom, laboriously digitised from hand-written test answers, demonstrates once again how students new to the study of language speculate about grammar after having imperfectly absorbed what their teachers think they have taught them. The English languageGlobal English. First, I shall like to look at the factors behind the colonial expansion of the British whose English is their native language. Native English speakers ... more ] Book!

9. The History of the Indo-EuropeansAn Agony in Six FitsTim Pulju (4 visits)

The History of the Indo-Europeans, An Agony in Six Fits. Tim Pulju. ... Once upon a time, on a warm spring day about 5500 years ago, a young Indo-European named Bright-Fame drove an ox-cart into the family compound. “Greetings, father,” the young man said, using the vocative case. “Greetings, shmeetings,” the dwelling-lord answered, knowing, through a sort of inverse racial memory, that there would one day be an Indo-European language called Yiddish. “What are you up to now? What’s that contraption you’re dragging around with those dual oxen?” “It’s a wheeled vehicle,” Bright-Fame replied. “Wheeled vehicle?” his father ... more ] Podcast!

10. Vol CLXXX, No σ (4 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXX, Number σ ... Speculative Grammarian, in association with Psammeticus Press, is proud to present a special supplemental monograph: Q Continuum Reaches Solomon Islands, by Brenda H. Boerger, Trey Jones, Managing Editor Keith Slater, Executive Editor Brenda Boerger, Monograph Editor, Q Continuum Reaches Solomon Islands Mid-December 2017 ... more ]

11. Lingua PrancaLinguistic Contributions To The Formal Theory Of Big-Game HuntingR. Mathiesen (4 visits)

Linguistic Contributions To The Formal Theory Of Big-Game Hunting. R. Mathiesen, Brown University. The Mathematical Theory of Big-Game Hunting must surely be ranked among the major scientific achievements of the twentieth century. That this is so is largely the work of one man, H. Pétard, in whose fundamental paper (1938) certain recent advances in mathematics and physics were employed with great skill to create a theory of unmatchednot to say unmatchable!power and elegance. One must not, of course, dismiss Pétard’s predecessors totally out of hand: the field had a long and distinguished history as a technology, was raised to the rank of a science by the Mysore and ... more ] Podcast!

12. Vol CLVIII, No 4 (4 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Special, Fieldwork, Issue, I, Volume CLVIII, Number 4, April 2010, MANAGING EDITOR, SENIOR EDITOR, EDITOR EMERITUS, Trey Jones, Keith Slater, Tim Pulju, ... CONSULTING EDITORS, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Jouni Maho, Daniela Müller, David J. Peterson, Bill Spruiell, ASSOCIATE EDITORS, Jonathan Downie, Mikael Thompson, EDITORIAL ASSOCIATES, Bryan Allen, Mary Shapiro, Sheri Wells-Jensen, COMPTROLLER GENERAL, Joey Whitford, Sponsored by John Deere, ... more ]

13. Get Your Handbaskets HereA Letter from the Managing Editor (4 visits)

Get Your Handbaskets Here. A Letter from the Managing Editor. In this issue, we have allowed Skip Tacular, an up-and-coming Junior Editorial Associate, unprecedented freedom to take unprecedented advantage of the unprecedented access he has had in the SpecGram offices over the last couple of years, in order to write and publish an unprecedented article, revealing unprecedented detail concerning the unprecedented editorial process within SpecGram. This is, in a word, unprecedented. It is so unprecedented that, in fact, the senior editorial staff have had to agree to let Skip’s article be published without their review. The only limitation has been that editors’ real names not be ... more ]

14. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (4 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 ]

15. The Lost Lexicographer: Ambrose Bierce, Beelzebub, and Documentary LinguisticsBook Announcement from Psammeticus Press (4 visits)

The Lost Lexicographer: Ambrose Bierce, Beelzebub, and Documentary Linguistics , Dee Villes and Dick Shunry, Published 2012. Bitter Bierce, as the author of The Devil’s Dictionary was known to many, was not actually a satirist and horror fiction writer. Rather, he was a genuine lexicographer. Detailed literary analysis of The Devil’s Dictionary, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” and The Necronomicon reveals that Bierce was, much like later author H.P. Lovecraft, actively engaging in linguistic documentation of certain Beelzebubbian dialects (or, perhaps the larger genus of Chthonic languages), including gathering folk tales for a linguistic anthropological anthology. ... more ]

16. Latin to 与工以口-尺口爪凡以 Converter (4 visits)

Anybody and everybody uses Roman script. 山巨 刀巨与巨尺立巨 仍巨十十巨尺。 What we need is something more distinctive. 与工以口-尺口爪凡以 亡口爪仍工以巨与 十廿巨 仍巨与十 口斤 巨凡与十 凡以刀 山巨与十。 Elegant, refined, and beautiful! 凹与巨 与工以口-尺口爪凡以! ... more ]

17. Grammatical Speculation: The Black Market in Ill-Gotten MorphemesAlan (Sum) Greenspanner (4 visits)

Grammatical Speculation. The Black Market in Ill-Gotten Morphemes, Alan (Sum) Greenspanner. (As told to A. Katz) It all started in the days of my reckless youth, when Idriven by existential angst and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge, made the acquaintance of a Russian emigrée smoking a silver tipped cheroot. "Relax, Alan, darling," she told me, "you really do exist." I audibly exhaled. "Shoot, that's a relief," I said. Then we began to discuss market theory. I was a Keynsian through and through, but she had some good points. "A is A," she intoned ominously. "I'll buy that," I replied. "But what about B?" After we had gone through the entire alphabet, she convinced me that free trade was a good thing. And yet, she ... more ]

18. The Most Amazing Linguistic Concert Event of the 21st CenturyThe SpecGram Promotional Board (4 visits)

The Most Amazing Linguistic Concert Event of the 21st Century. brought to you by the SpecGram Promotional Board. One Night Only! At the Coliseum! The greatest gathering of linguistic-oriented musicians the world has ever seen! Never before has so much talent occupied a single stage! A once in a lifetime opportunity! You’ll tell your grandchildren! And they won’t believe you were there! Get your tickets now!, The Best Lx Bands Evar!!, ATR³, The Rolling Tones, Def Native Informant, /ju2/, Take That Phoneme, Front Vowel Assembly, ZZ Topic, East 17 Morphomes, Meter, Pause and Mora, ... more ] Merch! Book!

19. Doing Fieldwork on Constructed LanguagesCurtis U. Lehder (4 visits)

Doing Fieldwork on Constructed Languages. By Curtis U. Lehder. As all linguists know, there are only about 6,000 languages left in the world today, and that number is shrinking rapidly. Constructed (or created or invented or planned) languages, on the other hand, number more than 128 trillion, according to conservative estimates, and more and more flower into existence each and every day.1 Though up to now, formal linguists (or, at least, respectable formal linguists2) have largely ignored the works of language creators, it seems inevitable that at some point in time during the late 21st or early 22nd century, there will remain only one natural language (Lithuanian), while constructed languages ... more ] Podcast!

20. Against HermogenesAnders Horn (4 visits)

Against Hermogenes. Anders Horn. The traditional account of the relationship between phonetics and meaning holds that there is a “duality of patterning” (Bloomfield 1933). Phonemes are individually meaningless and are separated by an iron wall from morphemesthe smallest unit of meaning. However already by the 50s cracks were beginning to show in the account (Bolinger 1949). Phenomena like “sound symbolism” could not be placed on either side of the divide. Even old-fashion sound changes, once the key proof of the arbitrariness of the relation, were found to be conditioned by meaning. For example in many English dialects [ŋ] has changed to [n] in the morpheme ing but ... more ]

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Last updated Nov. 17, 2018.