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Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. Unable to find a “real” job in phonetics, Marty turned to the hard, lonely life of a wandering street phonetician ... [ more ]
Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part IV — Statistical Machine Translation. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. We will dispense with the preliminaries, and get to the meat of the matter. For the next installment in our Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, we will turn our attention to statistical machine translation, using semi- automatically aligned texts: ... Next time: Phonetics vs. Phonology with guest cartoonist Hilário Parenchyma. References, Booth, A. D. L. Brandwood, and J. P. Cleave (1958). Mechanical resolution of linguistic problems. Butterworths Scientific Publications. Brown, P. S. Della Pietra, V. Della Pietra, and R. Mercer (1991). “The ... [ more ]
Speculative Grammarian and SpecGram.com. 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 ]
Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXI, Number 1 ... 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 Brenda Boerger Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Beth Martyn Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Steve Straight Daniel Swanson Don Unger, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Forgotten But Not Gone March 2018 ... [ more ]
An Introduction to, Linguistics in Haiku Form. Anonymous. linguistic theory, hidden representations, to surface structures phonology is, sound patterns of languages, phonemes, allophones phonetics is sounds, articulation of them, acoustics, hearing comp. linguistics is, theory into efficient, implementation morphology is, if same structure, same meaning, then it’s a morpheme syntactic theory, blah blah chomsky chomsky blah, blah chomsky blah blah ... [ more ]
Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ж—The Trouble with NLP. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Please review previously discussed materials as needed. Now that that is taken care of, let us consider why Natural Language Processing (or, its alter-ego, Computational Linguistics) has not been the resounding success regularly predicted by the NLP faithful: ... Up next: Lexicostatistics vs Glottochronology. References, Baeza-Yates, Ricardo and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto (1999). Modern Information Retrieval. Manning, Christopher, and Hinrich Schütze. (1999). Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing. Russell, Stuart J. and Peter Norvig. ... [ more ]
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 ]
It’s been kind of a slow day so far.
To keep you out of trouble, here are some popular items from the last 7 days that might amuse you for a while.
A Minim of Wine and a Minim of Confusion for Maximal Contusion. by Artemus Zebulon Pratt, Speculative Grammarian Editor-on-the-Lam. Just the other night, after treating myself to the new Anti-Kosher Burger at our local eatery (shrimp, bacon, fried egg, and cheese atop locally produced rabbit patties), I had the need to treat myself for the new Anti-Kosher Burger and so was relaxing with an unfortunate bottle of experimental wine my wife had been prevailed upon somehow to buy some time ago: “A gift just for you!” she said. I smiled, but knowing her wont it was strictly wait-and-see. She held it out further. “Asparagus wine,” I replied. She held it out even ... [ more ]
ANNOUNCEMENT 2018 Conferences in Nerdolinguistics. In response to the rise of articles on the translation of names in Harry Potter and the newly jiggly emerging field of Pokémonastics, Speculative Grammarian and Panini Press are proud to announce a whole new series of conferences on Nerdolinguistics. They are as follows: Memes for the Old: How and Why the Young Find Humor in Meaningless Internet Drivel Guest speakers: Pew D. Πι Virtual Login, Mobile Devices Only; Recording Available in 2018, Beyond The Hysterical Cackle: Perspectives on the Morphosyntax of 70’s TV Laugh Tracks Guest speakers: Laverne, Shirley, Kotter, Gilligan, Sanford, & Fonzie The Back Lot, Hollywood; January 2018, ... [ more ]
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 ]
Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. In the ongoing struggle for dominance, the linguists developed a ritual in which they asserted their linguistic superiority by insulting each other’s Guatemalan language abilities. ... [ more ]
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 mongering—first 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 ]
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 ]
Thirteen Untranslatable Words. by Michael Covarrubias. I’m a language lover. I have been since I was a kid. Just about eleven months after being born, I started saying words and I’ve been using them ever since. I probably use words every day and I’ve gotten pretty good at it. After a while, we language lovers have a hard time learning more about our native language. That’s why we branch out to memorize other languages. It can be hard though, because a lot of foreign languages have words in them that we just can’t translate into English. Maybe it’s because we don’t have the concept in English, and that makes it impossible to make up a label for the concept. Or, more interestingly, ... [ more ]
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 ]
/ nuz baɪts /— / mɔʁso də nuvɛl / Edition. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Québécois maintain anglais may pertain to one domain, but disdain remains germane. Our older readers may recall back in 19901 when the Académie française instituted a series of controversial spelling reforms. Many French speakers abhorred rectifiée spellings such as ognon and cèleri, which ruined a perfectly good mirepoix. The conservatives running SpecGram at the time penned the disapproving editorial “From soupe to nuts!” 2 and the Municipal ... [ more ]
Linguimericks, Book ४८. The decoded transmission from heaven Our thought, math, and science did leaven For it proved not base ten Neither hex to be in But rather base 6.47 —Hester Fester-Münsterfenster, As for topics, they’re what we all know, And the focus is, like, new info. If you mark them real well, Then your stories sound swell, And your information will just flow —Morris Swadesh III, Though the system of kin terms was bothersome Enlightenment struck once I’d pondered some Composition semantic, Then turning pedantic, I cried, “Bob is your grandfather’s other son!” —Pumptilian Perniquity, Some literary linguists once said You should never take sources to bed ... [ more ]
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Last updated Mar. 23, 2018.