Most Popular Pages—Today

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1. 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 ]

2. Overheard in the Lounge“Occam’s Bolt Cutters”The SpecGram Busybody Elves™ (4 visits)

Overheard in the Lounge “Occam’s Bolt Cutters”. The SpecGram Busybody Elves™. [We join the conversation already in progress.] Linguist Subject #4З7: ... here you wrote “the Principal”pee ay ell“Occam’s Razor”. Didn’t you mean “the Principle”pee ell ee“of Occam’s Razor”? Or am I just daft and don’t get it as usual? Linguist Subject #9Ο2: No, no, it’s “Principal”. There are many levels, actually. “Principal” “secondary” “ancillary” and ... more ]

3. Vol CLXXXIII, No 2 (4 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIII, Number 2 Brought to you by... Occam’s Safety Razor™ ... 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 Tuuli Mustasydän Mary Shapiro, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Suppositio Confusa Tantum for Almost Everyone! December 2018 ... more ]

4. ClassifiedsThe Ockham Post Hoc–Gazette (4 visits)

The Ockham Post Hoc–Gazette CLASSIFIEDS BUSINESS Whether you’ve broken only one window entity, or a multiplicity of window entities, we can fix it (or them) in one quick visit. OCKHAM’S GLAZIERS, Call today!, Ockham’s Glaziers, Ockham Industrial Estate, Ockham Avenue, Ockham, North Ockhamshire, UK OCCAM’S RAZERS, DEMOLITION, We get the job done... simply! CAREERS Learn the simplest way to multiply income streams. Occam’s Fund­raiser Jobs. Jobs! ★ Jobs! ★ Jobs!, Do you know how to simply determine the value of anything? Start a promising career as an Occam’s Appraiser! SERVICES Are your local skeptics too ... more ]

5. Ps. Q.The Effect of Coffee Consumption on Adults’ Average MLU at the Breakfast TableSuzy X. (3 visits)

Dear Sirs: When Mommy fell asleep at the computer during her third straight all-nighter and accidentally erased her doctoral thesis, I wrote this to help her out. She graduated with honors, and so I thought I’d do a paper on it and send it to you, since I’ve heard it’s your kind of thing. Please do not print my full name with this article, because I am not allowed to use Mommy’s computer at all. Thanks, Suzy X. P.S. My little brother Jimmy also contributed to this work, but I only let him touch the computer once. The Effect of Coffee Consumption on Adults’ Average MLU at the Breakfast Table. Jimmy and I have always thought that the way Mommy and Daddy act in the morning has something to do with how ... more ] Podcast!

6. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart INon-Configurational LanguagesPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (3 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part I—Non-Configurational Languages. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. A. Mathematician Friend once told me that, in mathematics, it is sometimes said that if you cannot explain the basic outline of a mathematical idea to a bright and interested 10-year-old, then you don’t really understand it yourself. That got me thinking, and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions: According to my 10-year-old niece, I don’t understand any mathematical ideas. Something similar could be said for linguistic ideas. It is generally accepted that math is hard (Davis & Hersh, Friend, Lakoff & Núñez, Lucas, Mac Lane, ... more ] Book!

7. BabelSociohistorical Linguistic Semiotics and Systemic TheoryLynn Poulton (3 visits)

Sociohistorical Linguistic Semiotics and Systemic Theory. The Indo-Europeans Re-Examined. In the past, it has been claimed that one of the great problems of Systemic-Functional Linguistics (SFL) is that it does not address itself to certain major areas of linguistic concern, such as languages other than English, and historical and typological studies. Such claims are, of course, scurrilous nonsense issued by the foolish, the brain-dead, and those jealous of the pre-eminent position of Systemic theory in more avant-garde semiotic and cultural studies. As an enlightened person, I am always on the lookout for new ideas which may be expanded and elucidated by the judicious application of SFL. Such an idea, I ... more ] Book!

8. LinguimericksBook ५७ (3 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ५७. ’Tis most strange to behold such a thing, That this journal its praises doth sing Of a friar with spunk Who showed to be bunk All the thought that its namesakes did fling —Pumptilian Perniquity, There once was a Franciscan friar Who cried out, “Your theory is dire! It has so many modes That the meaning implodes. Dispatch it at once to the pyre!” —Pete Bleackley, Occam to Entities “So, entitiesdon’t wanna phase you But this thing I’ve built here, Occam’s razor, Puts you all to the test And works out who’s best And the rest, well, I’m gonna erase you.” —Emily Deakinson, You theorists had better behave, Or ... more ]

9. Occam’s TaserAdvertisement (3 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Occam’s Taser. Governments, Do your internal security forces find that truncheons and handcuffs can be non-parsimonious? Studies indicate that a pair of handcuffs is needed for each criminal and that water cannon only drench on average 12% of unruly, rioting crowds. But there is an answer. Equip your security forces with the all-new Occam’s Taser. It’s a cheap and easy method of controlling disorder and suppressing dissent in an effective and efficient way. It’s not philosophy! Buy Occam’s Taser today! (Batteries not supplied) ... more ]

Huh. Seems to be a slow day.
While we wait for today’s list to get a bit more interesting, take a look at what’s been going on for the last 7 days that may be of interest to a discerning reader like you.

University News (59 visits)

University News. ASSASS Assembles Significant Razor Collection. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia As part of their long-running “Artifacts of Scholastic Significance and their Application in Scientific Study” (ASSASS), the Federal University of South Derwentshire, UK, has put together the world’s largest collection of Occam’s Razors since the Great Razor Symposium of 1972 in Montana. Museums and universities from around the world have donated some of the most scientifically significant razors in history. Of particular interest to linguists may be the Cavendish Occam’s Red Razor which Lord Burghley of Cheam used in 1756 to shave ... more ]

Announcing SGIii SGIII SGI2.0A Shadowy Cabal of Trans-Hemispheric SpecGram Editors (48 visits)

Announcing SGIii SGIII SGI2.0. A Shadowy Cabal of Trans-Hemispheric SpecGram Editors. The far-flung editorial offices of Speculative Grammarian encircle the globe; there is no continent of significance on Planet Earth where the tendrils of our journalistic net fail to put down roots. Therefore, the upcoming Solstice is simultaneously the Winter one and the Summer one for our hard-working editors. That’s a double celebration, and in our books it calls for something as uniquely outstanding as the amazing issue you are now reading. Some of our readers, though, must not be celebrating either Solstice, as they apparently do not live in either the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere. ... more ]

Just SpecGrammy Things (40 visits)

Just SpecGrammy Things, From The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics . As the end of the year and its concomitant [+holiday] season approach, we at SpecGram want to encourage you to settle back and enjoy a little 1ST.SG.ACC time! Revel in all the one.. two.. many! little things that make being a fan of SpecGram so awesome! Some of our favorite SpecGrammy things include: Almost two thousand hilarious, thought-provoking, magically linguistical articles available at your fingertips or for you to take a random walk through. A surfeit of limericksmore limericks than you can shake a plethora of sticks at. So many puzzles and gamesmost ... more ]

The C-Rhyme and Pun-ish-ment of St. AlvinJerry Fyodor & Josef Dobrovskýevsky (38 visits)

The C-Rhyme and Pun-ish-ment of St. Alvin. by Jerry Fyodor & Josef Dobrovskýevsky. It is now commonly accepted that St. Alvin was always accompanied by an assistant called Theodorus. Theodorus was a budding philosopher, with interests in Kant, Hegel and innateness in generative grammar. He was however, very rotund and was therefore known as the Deep Fat Friar. As a young monk, St Alvin left his first monastery, where he had taken a vow of silence, to found an order that believed that people were best served by creating attractive paper to put around Christmas gifts. It is for this reason that his autobiography was entitled “From Trappist to Wrappist.” The members of that order were noted for their ... more ]

Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (38 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!

Tenure CaseAssistant Professor Marvin Allen Studebaker (36 visits)

Tenure Case. Assistant Professor Marvin Allen Studebaker, Department of Linguistics, University of New South-Central Hampwiltfordshire, NSW. Hire Date: October 2011 Date of Tenure Review Application: December 2018, Scholarship. Publications Book Words at the Crossroads: an interdisciplinary and cross-linguistic comparison of lexicalizations of the concept ‘crossroad’ in 427 languages, with literary and lexicographic annotations. 2014. Gulf Shores, Alabama: DIY Press. (This is a substantially revised version of my 2001 PhD Dissertation Alone at the Crossroads: why English ‘crossroads’ has no lexicalized translation equivalent in any known human language’.) Refereed ... more ]

The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (35 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 ]

Ockham’s “Nay, Sir!”Advertisement (34 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Ockham’s “Nay, Sir!”. Do you get tired of responding to ridiculous and tangential questions from friends and colleagues which your busy scheduleand frankly the sheer inanity of the questionerprevents you from engaging with? The all new Ockham’s “Nay, sir!” device allows the busy professional to address all manner of off-topic, irrelevant and badly-phrased questions at a single push of a parsimonious button. Simply depress the Ockham button on your Ockham’s “Nay, sir!” device and it will offer up a firm “Nay, sir” to your would-be interlocutor. Choose from a range of voice settings including Kant, Hegel ... more ]

Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart 13Langue vs. ParolePhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (33 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part 13—Langue vs. Parole. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Please familiarize yourself with earlier installments of Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, available in previous issues of this journal. Now, to the meat of the matteran illustration of the most crucial distinction between Langue and Parole: ... Coming up: Gricean Implicature. References, Culler, Jonathan. 1976. Saussure. de Saussure, Ferdinand. 1916. Cours de linguistique générale. Edited by C. Bally and A. Sechehaye, with the collaboration of A. Riedlinger. Godel, R. 1957. Les sources manuscrites du Cours de linguistique ... more ]

About Us (32 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!

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Last updated Dec. 11, 2018.