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1. Vol CLIII, No 4 (5 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Volume CLIII, Number 4, March 2008, ... Lies, damned lies, and linguistics, MANAGING EDITOR, Trey Jones, SENIOR EDITOR, Keith Slater, EDITOR EMERITUS, Tim Pulju, CONSULTING EDITORS, Ken Miner, Bill Spruiell, ASSOCIATE EDITORS, Adam Baker, Chris Brew, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Idan Landau, Tel Monks, Peter Racz, David J. Peterson, Major Sharpe, Freya Shipley, Mikael Thompson, Daniele Virgillito, Tom Weller, CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Kean Kaufmann, Joey Whitford, EDITORIAL NOSTALGIA Aya Katz, Rob, Norris, Don, Reindl, ... more ]

2. The Perplexed Linguist’s Guide to English DepartmentsAthanasious Schadenpoodle (4 visits)

The Perplexed Linguist’s Guide to English Departments. Now with Footnotes! Athanasious Schadenpoodle. So, Dear Reader, you have completed your Ph.D. in Linguistics (yay you!), run headlong into the grim realities of the modern job market (poor you!), broadened your ideas about possible teaching contexts (smart you!) and landed a gig in an English department (lucky you?). You’ve potentially got the base of the Maslovian pyramid covered for at least a semester, but you’re in a rather alien environment, surrounded by people who talk funny in a way that Dialectology 501 never prepared you for and who have some markedly odd folkways. Some culture shock is inevitable, but a little knowledge can go a long ... more ]

3. Hazards of Fieldwork Among the HiithrobnsnWilliam Moore-Crusoe (4 visits)

Hazards of Fieldwork Among the Hiithrobnsn. William Moore-Crusoe, Winter Academy of Language. The Hiithrobnsn live in a remote, marshy and inhospitable region of Guyana. A traditional greeting amongst them is “Mind where you walk,” wise advice, as it is vitally important to make sure that you remain on what passes for dry land locally. Stray into the mire and you risk being bitten, stung, infected or electrocuted by the various unpleasant creatures that dwell therein. The Hiithrobnsn have 27 words for “swamp” and all of them are pejorative. They can be used as attitudinals conveying various degrees of displeasure, ranging from mild irritation to a declaration of war. Despite this, they are a ... more ] Podcast!

4. Podcast—Language Made Difficult, Vol. L (4 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 ]

5. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (4 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. The linguists strike back ... more ]

6. LinguimericksBook २५ (4 visits)

Linguimericks, Book २५. It’s a field with une certaine mystique With models so pure and so sleek. In Deutsch, they have class ’Cause it’s Sprachwissenschaft, But in France it’s just la linguistique. —Col. O. Nihilist, An armchair researcher quite eerie Realised that fieldwork’s too dreary. So he sat in his sanctum Taking selfies at random As support for his syntactic theory —Cailín na Luimní After working all night on my thesis, I am feeling a little amnesious. All the insights I had Have begun to sound bad, And my future is looking degreeless —Morris Swadesh III, A linguist told to assimilate, So as to properly integrate, Changed ... more ]

7. Linguimericks, Etc.Book ४४ (4 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book ४४. A young lady who lived in Cape Cod Dropped her lovers like each was a yod. Says she, “How are /u/?” They replied, “Rather /blju/; Your di’lect indeed is quite odd.” —P. Ublekkdeaux Meign, On her way past my office one day, A philosopher popped in to say: “Every thing linguists claim Is epistemically vain: All your bes, ares, and wills should read may.” —Morris Swadesh III, There was once a linguist from Bow Who claimed all earth’s languages to know Until filled with grog, He trawled through Ethnologue And discovered at once Judezmo —Vi va Voce, cfg schmfg syntax’s excess com- plexity sux but ... more ]

8. The I in TeamA Letter from the Managing Editor (3 visits)

The I in Team. A Letter from the Managing Editor. The writers of business books, corporate cheerleaders in HR, and other reprobates like to say that “There is no I in team,” meaning, of course, that every team member should put aside their own ego and pull for the common good. It’s a lovely sentimentif you prefer your sentiments with a healthy dose of treaclebut it is, among many other unpleasant characteristics, ambiguous. Linguists, orthographers, and other miscreants have been quick enough to point out that a more precise formulation would indicate that while there is in fact no 〈i〉 in 〈team〉 there is most clearly an ... more ] Podcast!

9. Linguimericks, Etc.Book २८ (3 visits)

Linguimericks, Etc. Book २८. When my students discovered phonetics And that speaking involves much kinetics, They cried: “So much hustle Moving tendon and muscle!” So they gladly embraced speech synthetics —Algo V. Terbi, There once was a student of Quechua Whose adviser advised her, “Now get you a Look at expressing Emphatic and guessing,” To which she replied, “Oh, you bet you-a!” —Pumptilian Perniquity, Some say that my tongue’s analytic; Of this view you will find me a critic, For head markings abound And often I’ve found That subjects mark tense with a clitic —Pete Bleackley, Old Tolkien has quite a high standing For conlangs that meet tastes ... more ]

10. Vol CLXXX, No 1 (3 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXX, Number 1 Special Teaching Issue I, Sponsored by Rosetta Stein ... 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, Brenda Boerger Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Beth Martyn Tel Monks Mary Shapiro Bill Spruiell Don Unger Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Trinken Sie Bier, zum gut studier! November 2017 ... more ]

11. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (3 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!

12. “Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics”by Trey JonesReviewed by Sheri Wells-Jensen (3 visits)

“Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics” by Trey Jones. From Speculative Grammarian CL.α November 2005. Reviewed by Sheri Wells-Jensen. Having been asked kindly to write a review for Speculative Grammarian, I assembled the usual suspects and set forth on a lovely summer evening to Choose My Own Career in Linguistics. In this case, the usual suspects are my mother’s favorite, eager-to-please daughter, the scholar my students occasionally seem to believe me to be, my evil twin, and Euphrates the Cat. As we travel together frequently enough, this group seemed the ideal cohort. “Choose Your Own Career” is a choose-your-own-adventure saga which ran ... more ]

13. Turkish Q and OEM and ΓΧ, Oh My!A Letter from the Managing Editor (3 visits)

Turkish Q and OEM and ΓΧ Oh My!. A Letter from the Managing Editor. Faithful readers of SpecGram will be familiar with the exploits, real and imagined, of the Γραμματο-Χαοτικονan underground alliance of linguists, philologists, and polyglots that encourages arbitrary and capricious change both in Language and among languages. Not all of their endeavors have been successful, but we, the Editors of SpecGram, have come to appreciate their efforts. ... The organisers of the conference Distance in Language, Language of Distance, held in Munich, Germany, April 2013. Chiasmus of the Month, November ... more ]

14. Poetry Corner (3 visits)

Poetry Corner. Two Poemes from the Archivium of Homonymus Bosch. There was a young man from St. Paul, Who fell in a spring in the fall. T’would have been a sad thing Had he died in the spring; But he didn’t: he died in the fall. ... A Tutor who tooted the flute Tried to teach two young tooters to toot; “Said the two to the Tutor, “Is it harder to toot, or To tutor two tooters to toot?” Amazing Grice. by Sai and Alex Fink with apologies to Paul Grice and John Newton Amazing Grice, O maxims sound that saved my sophistry! I once just lied, but now I’ve found: best lie pragmatically. ’Twas Grice that taught me not to fear; of facts I can take leave. All baseless; not a claim ... more ]

15. Grey Duck or Goose?Mapping variation in a children’s game in MinnesotaSven Slater and Ollie Bickford (3 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Youth Research Focus is proud to bring you the finest language-related research by the world’s school-aged youth. Grey Duck or Goose?, Mapping variation in a children’s game in Minnesota. Fifth Grade Science Fair Project, by Sven Slater and Ollie Bickford, J. O. Nelson Public School, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA. Research Question. Last year, a new kid named Tyler P. joined our fourth grade class. Tyler was from Illinois or some other southern state, and she told us that down there kids play “duck, duck, goose,” instead of “duck, duck, grey duck” like we do here in Minnesota. We thought this was strange, even for the South, but then we ... more ] Podcast! Book!

16. Letters to the Editor (CLI.3) (3 visits)

Letters to the Editor, ... To the most respected Editors, In the fall I’ll be a first-year grad student in linguistics at R––– University. A couple of the current fourth-years told me that the International Phonetic Association was adding several new symbols for sounds that have previously been considered to have questionable status as phonemes. They said that the most contentious new addition was double-dot wide-O, a nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill. I’ve leafed through several back issues of SpecGram, Language, and a few other journals. I’ve searched the Linguist List archives, and scoured the web. I can’t find anything about it (though right ... more ] Podcast! Merch!

17. The Origin of Tonal Consonants in Native American LanguagesIain Paul Anderson (3 visits)

The Origin of Tonal Consonants in Native American Languages. Iain Paul Anderson, Junior Data Scientist (FTC), Munich University Deep Diachronic Linguistics Experiment. While preparing data from a sample of Native American languages for mass lexical comparison, I noticed a curious feature of the phonology of these languages. We normally expect tone to occur on vowels, but a large number of the languages in the sample contained consonants marked for tone. It was always the same four consonants on which tonal marking occurredthe palatal stop and approximant, and the alveolar fricatives, and they always contrasted rising tone against unmarkedno other tone was marked on these consonants, nor were ... more ]

18. Shigudo, ReluctantlySir Edmund C. Gladstone-Chamberlain (3 visits)

Shigudo, Reluctantly. Sir Edmund C. Gladstone-Chamberlain, Professor Emeritus of Linguistic Science, Department of Lexicology and Glottometrics, Devonshire-upon-Glencullen University, Southampton. In 1963, at the tender age of 24, I found myself on an expedition deep in the Amazon Basin, up a smallish tributary of the Río Ucayali. There we encountered a well-established tribe of indigenous people, numbering close to 400 and living in relative isolation, who called themselves the Shigudo. Several members of the tribe spoke nearly fluent Spanish, and we were able to communicate quite effectively with them. As our expedition was chiefly anthropological in nature, and the Shigudo were, anthropologically speaking, ... more ] Book!

19. Strangecraft, Part VIMuch Ado About ShoggothsMikael Thompson (3 visits)

Strangecraft. by Mikael Thompson. ... - VI -, Much Ado About Shoggoths. Our fourth semester started much as our second had; after our respective returns to campus after winter break, we quickly settled into our old routine and spent the time that remained before the start of classes to read and work ahead. Trevor was scheduled to take courses on quantum field theory and classical category theory and a seminar on frontiers of research in non-equilibrium thermodynamics besides his fourth semester of Russian, while Finley had been inspired by Matthews’ course on New England folklore not only to apply for his research project and to sign up for courses in Algonquian folktales and Iroquoian traditional ... more ]

20. Ten Years of Linguistic MischiefKeith Slater and Trey Jones (3 visits)

Ten Years of Linguistic Mischief. by Keith Slater and Trey Jones. The dialectic which is reified as Speculative Grammarian has marked more momentous milestones in its illustrious history than you can shake a stick at, and in this issue we mark the fruitionization of yet another one: the tenth1 anniversary2 of SpecGram’s online publication.3 Prior to January 2004, linguistic satire languished in predigitalismthe scholarly Scylla and Charybdis that ironically deforested Siberia even though distribution was limited to only the self-appointed Inner Circle. Boldly, a mighty group of giants among the feeble-minded backed by a shadowy and powerful ... more ]

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Last updated Aug. 17, 2018.