Most Popular Pages—Today

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1. A Corpus-Linguistic Approach to DemographyMorten H. Albert (6 visits)

A Corpus-Linguistic Approach to Demography. Morten H. Albert, Rose College. This paper develops a corpus-linguistic approach to the demography of North American cities. In a groundbreaking study, Chomsky (1957:17) convincingly showed that it can be proven on linguistic grounds alone that more people live in New York than in Dayton, Ohio. Unfortunately, Chomsky did not go on to develop his corpus methods any further. In the present study, all occurrences of the search string "I live in" were extracted from the American National Corpus. The word forms immediately to the right of the search string were extracted from the concordance and ranked according to frequency. Table 1 shows the ten items with the highest token ... more ] Book!

2. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart INon-Configurational LanguagesPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (6 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!

3. Vol CLXXIX, No 4 (4 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXIX, Number 4 ... 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, Florian Breit Bethany Carlson Madalena Cruz-Ferreira Vincent Fish Anita G. Gorman Tel Monks Bill Spruiell Don Unger Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Comptroller General Evidence? We Don’t Need No Steenking Evidence! October 2017 ... more ]

4. Ps. Q.The Effect of Coffee Consumption on Adults’ Average MLU at the Breakfast TableSuzy X. (4 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!

5. LinguimericksBook २१ (3 visits)

Linguimericks, Book २१. Forayn accents should never be banned On de grounds of bad language command. I sink dey are grand, For vat’s vorse dan demand Dat you spick someone else’s lang brand? —Cailín na Luimní Of languages I know a ton: In Rushin’ and Slow-vak I pun, In Italian I score, In Berber still Moor, And in Klingon, set phasers on stun! —Dr. Whom, I often get trapped in the bath, Which causes my family to laugh. However, I’ll not Get caught in a cot On my phonological path —Pete Bleackley, The Coordinate Structure Constraint Will issue syntactic complaints When one Conj A-bar moves While one stays in situ As Ross (67) explains —Andrew ... more ]

6. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart זSynchronic vs. DiachronicPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (3 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ז—Synchronic vs. Diachronic. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. If you have fallen behind, try to catch up. For those who are caught up, a simple explanation of the difference between synchronic contrast and diachronic contrast, illustrated with examples from a couple of the beautiful Romance languagesSpanish and its ancestor, Latin: Synchronic ... Diachronic ... Up next: The Trouble with NLP. References, Barðdal, Jóhanna H. (2001). Case in Icelandic: A Synchronic, Diachronic and Comparative Approach. Blevins, Juliette. (2004). Evolutionary Phonology: The Emergence of Sound ... more ]

7. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (3 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. 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!

9. Vol CLI, No 2 (3 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Computer Language Appreciation Issue Volume CLI, Number 2, April 2006, ... Bold New Tagline, (Same Great Content), MANAGING EDITOR, Trey Jones, EDITOR EMERITUS, Tim Pulju, SENIOR EDITOR, Keith Slater, ASSOCIATE EDITORS, Bryan Allen, Adam Baker, Candace Cardinal, Teal Doggett, Daniel Currie Hall, Martin Hilpert, Damon Lord, Steven Lulich, Kean Kaufmann, Sheila McCann, Ken Miner, Michael Niv, Jamin Pelkey, Mikael Thompson, Nathan, Sanders, Bill Spruiell, Adam, Ussishkin, Rita Watson, Joey Whitford, ... more ]

It’s been kind of a slow day so far.
We can’t have you getting bored, so let’s see what’s been happening over the last 7 days that should be more fun than a sharp stick in the eye.

Germanic Day & The Celebration of Romance (153 visits)

Germanic Day & The Celebration of Romance . We are making something known to you: Germanic Day!. Speculative Grammarian is happy to tell the world about our new yearly holidayGermanic Day! What is Germanic Day? It is a day set aside to think about the Germanic roots that can still be found in English. It gives thanks for the lasting strength of Germanic words. Germanic Day happens on October 13. That was the last day before King Harold was struck down by the Norman gang led by William, and Germanic words at the heart of English began to wane. Before that, English was all Germanic; afterwards, French loanwords took over. What will we do on Germanic Day? ... more ]

The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (78 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 ]

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIIIThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (57 visits)

From the Archives!SpecGram Propaganda XIII. The SpecGram Archive Elves™. A recent expedition into the SpecGram archives turned up 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. This thirteenth batch of posters from that collection has been digitized and presented here for you, dear reader, to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. The full collection, which will continue to grow, is available from the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda in an easily browsable and sharable ... more ]

Titles in Fantasy LinguisticsAnnouncement from Scholartastic Books (56 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT, Titles in Fantasy Linguistics, from Scholartastic Books, ––– Now Available! –––. Here are a number of titles from Scholartastic Books’ FantLing division that you might enjoy reading: Something Wernicke This Way Comes, by Ray Barred-I A Clockwork Cranberry Morpheme, by Anthony Brackets The Phantom Trill-Breath, by Norton Gesture The Metamorpheme, by Franz Kirkumflexa The Orthography Series by Urula K. Le N’gwaje A Wizard of Orthography The Tombs of Adposition The Farthest Short Vowel Elric of Monosyllabé (series), by Michael Morphosyntactic Elric of Monosyllabé The Sailor ... more ]

O, Apostrophe!Anita G. Gorman (54 visits)

O, Apostrophe!. By Anita G. Gorman. Today, my dears, we shall discuss the apostrophe, with all its works and pomps. Or to write that another way, today, my dear’s, we shall discuss the apostrophe, with all it’s works’ and pomp’s. Anyone who is observant has observed that in recent years the apostrophe has become problematic. Our schools seem to have given up teaching its uses, while at the same time our schools have not eliminated our personal desire to be “correct” or to be somewhere above bottom on the social scale. Therefore, amid our social uncertainty and our ignorance of the apostrophe, we try to compensate or overcorrect and end up with “Fresh vegetable’s ... more ]

About Us (45 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!

Post ScriptChip Carver (41 visits)

Post Script. Chip Carver. In anticipation of the imminent opening of SpecGram’s 85th field officethe Sequoyah Memorial Satellite Office in Tahlequahthe Editor-in-Chief sent an intern down with text to be inscribed on the gigantic obelisk that towers over the building and can be seen from most of northeastern Oklahoma.* Unfortunately, the Editor-in-Chief is away on vacation and the intern has gone missing, leaving behind only a scrap of paper with some weird symbols on it. We suspect there’s some sound reasoning behind the symbols, but we don’t know what to do. Can you help us figure out what we’re supposed to have chiseled into the ... more ]

SpecGram Suzie!Psammeticus Entertainment (40 visits)

Psammeticus Entertainment proudly presents.... SpecGram Suzie!. Hey there, Happy Party People! My name is Suzie. A long time ago I thought that maybe I wanted to be a linguist, but then I realized that linguistics actually isn’t very much fun! Linguists try to study human language scientifically in part because they can’t think of anything better to do with their time, and in part because they just can’t manage to get a date for Saturday night. Girls, you don’t really want to be a linguist, because sometimes it can be really, really hard, and it’s always really, really boring! If you study linguistics, you’d have to learn about weird ideas with strange names, like center ... more ] Podcast! Merch!

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics Part 3Morphological TypologyPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (35 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part 3—Morphological Typology. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. No need for an introduction, it was covered in previous installments (on non-configurational languages and ergativity). Instead, let us proceed to the next chapter of our Cartoon Theories of Linguistics. I have provided the following cartoonish exegesis of morphological typology for your edification: ... Up next: Statistical Machine Translation. References, Baker, Mark. (1988). Incorporation: A theory of grammatical function changing. Baker, Mark. (1996). The polysynthesis parameter. Comrie, Bernard. (1989). Language universals and linguistic typology (2nd ... more ] Merch! Book!

From the Archives!The Sikɹɪt Kɹʌʃ Linguist’s LocketThe SpecGram Archive Elves™ (32 visits)

From the Archives!— The Sikɹɪt Kɹʌʃ Linguist’s Locket. The SpecGram Archive Elves™. As previously reported, our very own Butch McBastard unearthed a satchel of papers and other miscellanea labeled, “ Top Secret SpecGram Time Capsule, 1964Do Not Open for 50 Years! ” ... The intermittent wrangling with the SpecGram legal team over potential incriminating evidence proprietary information continues, but we are again able to share with our readers some of the treasures found within the satchel. Here is a photo of the eighth archival item, a Sikɹɪt Kɹʌʃ Linguist’s Locket, a fashion accessory favored ... more ]

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Last updated Oct. 17, 2017.