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1. The Cartography of the Derivation: A Brief History of the Louis and Clärque ExpeditionCarlos L. P. Rizziani (6 visits)

The Cartography of the Derivation: A Brief History of the Louis and Clärque Expedition. by Carlos L. P. Rizziani. This map, the first and most impressive of its kind, is the result of an arduous, unrelenting 40-year expedition across ungovernable expanses, swaths of rich morphology, unaccusative prairies, dangerous constraints, and inhospitable aspectual projections that constitute the known expanses of The Derivation. Prior to this vast undertaking, which cost the lives of more than 28 brave men and women (and at least nine children), efforts to properly govern the peoples of The Derivation were mostly ineffective. The very nature of political borders and binding domains were often in dispute, while secessions of ... more ]



2. Cryptolinguistic Puzzle ИMary Shapiro (5 visits)

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle И. Mary Shapiro, Truman State University. Like other cryptic crosswords, the clues in this puzzle are not straightforward. Unlike most, however, this one focuses mainly on languages and linguistics. For instance, the clue for Zapotec might be “Oto-Manguean variety alters pez coat” (anagram of pez coat), or “Indigenous Mexican language to destroy overtime prior to European Commission” (ZAP + O.T. + E.C.), or “a nice top, a zany blouse conceals retro Oaxacan language” (niCE TOP, A Zany), or many other combinations of puns, anagrams, or typographic quirks. Punctuation in clues is often misleading. Each clue contains both a ... more ]



3. A New Mechanism For Contact-Induced Change: Evidence From Maritime LanguagesH.D. Onesimus (5 visits)

A New Mechanism For Contact-Induced Change: Evidence From Maritime Languages. H.D. Onesimus, Gobi Institute of Maritime Linguistics, Lanzhou, China. Modern contact linguistics has demonstrated an impressive ability to account for language change and the emergence of new languages with a remarkably small number of mechanisms: bilingualism, creolization, borrowing, and convergence (also known as “smart drift”). However, a few intractable situations of language contact seemingly cannot be accounted for in terms of this elegant system (notable examples include Wutun, Ma’a and Texas English). In this article, I show how the long-standing problem of Penguin and the Cetacean languages reveals a new type of ... more ] Podcast! Book!



4. Thirteen Untranslatable WordsMichael Covarrubias (4 visits)

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 ]



5. A Preliminary Field Guide to Linguists, Part OneAthanasious Schadenpoodle (4 visits)

A Preliminary Field Guide to Linguists, Part One. Athanasious Schadenpoodle, University of Nueva Escranton. Introduction While naturalists have long observed the behaviors of some of the better-known families within the Order Academica, producing for the lay person such fascinating and useful volumes as Jane's Guide to Physicists and The Sierra Club Picture Guide to Psychologists, the Family Linguistica has so far not been shown a great deal of attention. This is, in part, justifiable--the small numbers of linguists, and their comparatively drab plumage, draws fewer amateur naturalists. Still, there is a need for at least one major publication on the subject. While the ... more ] Podcast!



6. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (4 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!



7. Beowulf ond GodsyllaTom Weller (4 visits)

Beowulf ond Godsylla. [Below is an important, though often overlooked, primary source document in the study of the history of the English language. Not only does this snippet of Old English shed important light on the linguistic and social development of the language and its speakers, but also on the development of the OE literary canon. We are pleased to reprint it here for your study and contemplation —Eds] Meanehwæl, baccat meaddehæle, monstær lurccen; Fulle few too many drincce, hie luccen for fyht. Ðen Hreorfneorhtðhwr, son of Hrwærowþheororthwl, Æsccen æwful jeork to steop outsyd. Þhud! Bashe! Crasch! Beoom! Ðe bigge gye, Eallum his bon brak, byt his nose ... more ] Book!



8. Vol CLXXXV, No 2 (4 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXV, Number 2 ... 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: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Deak Kirkham, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Joe McAvoy, Tel Monks, Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Able Was I Ere I Saw Panama; August 2019 ... more ]



9. The Linguistic Singularity and the Linguistic MultiverseMikio Chachu (3 visits)

The Linguistic Singularity and the Linguistic Multiverse. by Mikio Chachu, New City University of York. The tripe piles higher and deeper in the pages of SpecGram, a journal I once respected, as so-called “linguophysicists” barely worthy enough to utter the name of our noble profession spew out wholly inappropriate and wildly unsupported theories of Big Linguistic Crunches, Rips, Freezes, and Bounces. While the immature pretenders to cosmolinguistics paddle around in the shallow end, the true deep thinkers have deeply pondered the deep future. Their deep conclusions are deeply profound. As the fate of any one language has little bearing on the ultimate fate of the linguoverse, similarly the fate of any one ... more ] Podcast!



10. LinguimericksBook ६५ (3 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ६५. Worn out by results insufficient From my use of techniques inefficient, I sought two weeks off, But my chairman just scoffed, “I swear, haven’t you done enough fishing?” —Pumptilian Perniquity, Jean Berko Gleason, Had a very good reason, To ask children first learning words, For the plural inflection of small blue flightless birds —Clara Hu, Writing poetry; though I persist, Yet the scansions my efforts resist. Now a resource I’ve found— Timing units abound!— I’m a phonXXoloXgist —Morris Swadesh III, Philologists & Linguists “Philologist” often evokes The image of crusty old blokes Seeking out lore On the language of yore From ... more ]



11. Questions to Ask After Any Linguistics TalkJuan Point and Justin I. Dear (3 visits)

Questions to Ask After Any Linguistics Talk. Juan Point and Justin I. Dear. Academic conferences. You know you love themcatching up with your grad school cronies; checking proudly on the progress of your own former students; commiserating with that former colleague who (ouch!) didn’t get tenure and has moved on; checking publishers’ booths for books to have the library order; delivering your paper to a packed room (more or less). Endless mealtime discussions about the good old days and the hopelessly directionless state of the field; late nights at the hotel bar; late mornings at the buffet breakfast. It’s all good. And then there are the actual sessions. You can only skip so many of them, ... more ]



12. Gothic for TravellersAnita Judzis (3 visits)

Gothic for Travellers. A. Judzis, the Visigoth. Making friends Hints for the traveller: The Goths are a very friendly and gregarious people. They will be quick to invite you to their homes for special ceremonies and entertainments. They also have hot tempers, so don't turn down an invitation to go home with a Goth. Good conversation starters are death, torture, eating and drinking. What do you do?, hwa taw-yis thoo, 𐍈𐌰 𐍄𐌰𐌿𐌾𐌹𐍃 𐌸𐌿 I'm a... ik im... 𐌹̈𐌺 𐌹́𐌼 tax collector, mow-tar-ees, 𐌼𐍉𐍄𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐍃 harlot, kahl-kyo, ... more ] Podcast!



13. “Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill”by J–––– J––––––Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer (3 visits)

“Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill” by J–––– J––––––. From Speculative Grammarian CLI.3; July 2006. Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer. ... Double-Dot Wide O, Spoiler Alert !. It’s been more than eight years, so I’m going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret: the nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill is a pig snort, and the double-dot wide O looks like a pig snout. (Some phoneticians will argue that they themselves produce a uvular trill. They probably doespecially when reading journals less interesting than SpecGrambut ... more ]



14. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXV.2) (3 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Editors, Your July puzzle inspired me to put together a matrix-themed variant for the classroom. You can find it online, but you’ll be appalled at some of the results that pop up when you search for “Dominatrices”. Anyway, gotta run. Mistress Vela takes it out very hard on you if you’re late! Prof. Solomon Lappert, Sussex Linear Algebra Program P.S. Does this count as a submission? ... Dear Slappy, Coincidentally, the symbols in the Dominasals grid are a transcription of our last session with Mistress Vela. They’re only approximate due to restraints constraints on our articulators at the time —Eds. P.S. We’d call it more of a gag letter. ❦ ... more ]



15. Cryptolinguistic Puzzle SebēMary ShapiroTruman State University (3 visits)

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle Sebē. Mary Shapiro, Truman State University. Like other cryptic crosswords, the clues in this puzzle are not straightforward. Unlike most, however, this one focuses mainly on languages and linguistics. For instance, the clue for Zapotec might be “Oto-Manguean variety alters pez coat” (anagram of pez coat), or “Indigenous Mexican language to destroy overtime prior to European Commission” (ZAP + O.T. + E.C.), or “a nice top, a zany blouse conceals retro Oaxacan language” (niCE TOP, A Zany), or many other combinations of puns, anagrams, or ... more ]



16. The Classical Roots of South AmericaO. Popoi (3 visits)

The Classical Roots of South America. By O. Popoi. In a recent archeological find that surely must be numbered among the most important of the past 200 years, a link between South America and ancient Greece was discovered. While a link between ancient Greece and North America was recognized as early as 1962 (when Peter Schickele unearthed P.D.Q. Bach’s cantata, Iphigenia in Brooklyn, followed by his discovery in 1990 of the oratorio/opera Oedipus Tex), a direct link to South America has never even been posited. The archeological dig took place in a Greek mountain village called Ameiliktos. The name itself should have been sufficient reason to believe in a link to the Americas. The root ameiliktos is ... more ]



17. Paramount Seeks To Leverage Linguistic CapitalSpecGram Wire Services (3 visits)

Paramount Seeks To Leverage Linguistic Capital. SpecGram Wire Services, Attempting to leverage the success of its Klingon monopoly, Star Trek owner Paramount Pictures has been making aggressive advances on the world’s minority languages. Offers for majority ownership of such diverse languages as Eastern Yugur, Basque, and Mofu are reported by knowledgeable sources as running well into the tens of millions of US dollars. Yule University’s Dr. Mark Whale, director of the Endangered Linguistic Systems Fund, says that Paramount’s move has both advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Whale told our reporter “while there is no guarantee that a media corporation would actually promote language preservation, ... more ] Podcast!



18. Ps. Q.Reconstructed Proto-Franco-Sino-IndonesianTim Pulju (3 visits)

Reconstructed Proto-Franco-Sino-Indonesian: Eleven Examples. In 1986, I published in Psammeticus Quarterly (Vol. XII, No. 4) an article entitled “Similarities in Form and Meaning in French, Chinese, and Indonesian,” which noted several similarities in form and meaning in French, Chinese, and Indonesian, and suggested that someone do further research to determine whether the languages were genetically related. Since no one took up my suggestion (indeed, most people just laughed at my hypothesis), I was forced to do that research myself, the result being that I now stand totally vindicated. My soon to be published book The Phonology of Proto-Franco-Sino-Indonesian will include regular sound ... more ] Podcast! Book!



19. Lingua PrancaAgronomic Representation of Muddles in Linguistic TheoryPeter Cannings (3 visits)

Agronomic Representation of Muddles in Linguistic Theory1. Peter Cannings. By A. Laing Ribbed Gullet, Indiana University Press, 1976. pp. 208. $10.00 Approaching Linguistic Theory from the combined viewpoint of agronomic science and the theory of chosiste narrative, this book offers a radically new treatment of linguistic muddles and the structure of banana plants. The author analyzes agronomic representation or arborigramming in terms of bark-structure and foliation, proposes a taxidermy of linguistic muddles that saws circularly across other classifications of linguistic theory, and shows that, like muddles in the biobolical and fizzickle sciences, agronomic representation has performed and continues to ... more ]



20. Cryptolinguistic Puzzle UaxacMary ShapiroTruman State University (3 visits)

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle Uaxac. Mary Shapiro, Truman State University. Like other cryptic crosswords, the clues in this puzzle are not straightforward. Unlike most, however, this one focuses mainly on languages and linguistics. For instance, the clue for Zapotec might be “Oto-Manguean variety alters pez coat” (anagram of pez coat), or “Indigenous Mexican language to destroy overtime prior to European Commission” (ZAP + O.T. + E.C.), or “a nice top, a zany blouse conceals retro Oaxacan language” (niCE TOP, A Zany), or many other combinations of puns, anagrams, or ... more ]



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Last updated Aug. 18, 2019.