Now in our 30th year!
2 PM: As the Word Turns. The 30th season of the somewhat rousing story of John and Mary and their mildly unsettled life of labialization, breathy voice, and illicit embedding in the Old Phones Home.
4 PM: False Friends. New York City, one of the most polyglot cities in the world, is home to Tiffani
— a differently- clued American 20- something who almost speaks 4 or 5 languages — and her group of multilingual friends and acquaintances. Together they work to make their way through life, dealing with the ups and downs of work, friendship, and love, even though at least half the time none of them have any idea what the others are saying.
9 PM: Mouth. Dr. Gregory Mouth is devoid of human emotions and wouldn’t even talk to his informants if he could get away with it. Dealing with his own tinnitus, he uses an ear trumpet that seems to punctuate his acerbic, brutally honest demeanor. While his behavior can border on antisocial, Mouth is a maverick academician whose unconventional thinking and flawless instincts have afforded him a great deal of respect. An auditory and acoustic phonetics specialist, he’s a brilliant linguist who loves the challenges of the transcriptive puzzles he must solve in order to save his advisees’ theses and academic careers.
8 PM: So You Think You Can Articulate. From the IPA, the creators of Phonological Idol and the producers of The American Articulatory Awards, comes So You Think You Can Articulate. In its sophomore season, the show is offering the winner a one-
year contract with the UCLA Linguistics Department, a brand new oscilloscope, and $100 cash. Contestants perform several examples from a particular place or manner of articulation each week. The audience votes on their favorite articulator, leaving the three with the fewest votes up for elimination.
9 PM: Without a Trace. A fast-
paced procedural drama about the Missing Syntactic Structure Squad of the Federal Bureau of Government and Binding. The sole responsibility of the special task force is to find missing syntactic structures by applying advanced psycholinguistic profiling techniques to peel back the layers of the missing constituents’ lives and trace their whereabouts in an effort to discover whether they have been passivized or wh- moved, have committed subjacency, or simply ran away.
10 PM: The O.T. The O.T.
— also known as Optimality Theory — is an idyllic model, a powerful, universal theory where everything and everyone appears to be perfect. But beneath the surface is a world of shifting loyalties and identities, of graduate students living secret lives hidden from their professors and of professors living secret lives hidden from their students. The O.T. tells the story of the Prince, Smolensky, and McCarthy families, and Ryan Halle, a troubled phonologist from the wrong side of the theory who is thrust into this world and who may forever change the lives of the proponents of the O.T.
9 PM: Suprasegmental. Suprasegmental tells the story of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, two brothers who travel the country looking for their missing father and battling evil prosody along the way. Their father had for years been consumed by an obsession to find the evil tone and stress patterns that caused him to mispronounce his beloved wife’s name, resulting in her tragic death. For their whole lives he trained his two sons as hunters of the suprasegmental. The brothers join forces when their father goes missing. >
10 PM: LETTEЯS. “We all use language every day...” Inspired by actual cases and experiences, LETTEЯS depicts the confluence of police work and linguistics in solving crime. An FBI agent recruits his linguistic genius brother to help solve a wide range of challenging crimes in Los Angeles
— all from a very different perspective.
10 PM: Mystery Linguistics Theatre 3000: Stargate SG-
LX.Linguistics grad students are trapped on a satellite by a mad linguist and forced to watch episodes of the various Stargate franchises in order to determine which is the one episode so horrible that broadcasting it to the world will result in planet- wide capitulation to the mad linguist’s rule. Oddly, the grad students just crack jokes and comment on how bad the linguistics is, but how much better it is than anything ever done in the Star Trek universe.
11 PM: Lex and the City. Carrie Webster writes a column about words and definitions while navigating life in New York City with three of her closest friends: Samantha Johnson, who owns her own lexicography firm and is more interested in exciting “one-
liners” than long- winded definitions; Miranda Larousse, a cynical semanticist who prioritizes her academic career over her own erratic attempt to define “meaning”; and Charlotte Dal, a curator at a word museum who is a bit prudish when it comes to lex, but hasn’t yet lost her faith in finding true meaning. Based on the bestselling book, The Joy of Lex, by Gyles Brandreth, “Lex and the City” revolves around the lives of four young professional women in search of the perfect definition!
10 PM: Desperate Semanticists. Nine years ago, at Fairview University, semanticist Mary Alice Quine decided to end it all. Now, as a disembodied trace, she takes viewers into the lives of her friends and colleagues: Bree Montague, the chair of the Semantics Department at Fairview; Lynette Wittgenstein, who struggles with raising troublesome teenaged undergrads who have an affinity for skipping class; Susan Jackendoff, a single linguist on a never-
ending quest for true meaning; the ex- model turned linguist Gabrielle Grice who finds herself using words with drastically different meanings from those the model she once was used. The women have welcomed the now single Katherine Lakoff — who had been in the department when Mary Alice was alive — into their small, tight- knit department. However, their disdain for their prodigal colleague, Edie Hayakawa, remains. From her unique vantage point, Mary Alice sees more now than she ever did alive, and she’s planning to share all the delicious secrets that hide behind every linguist’s closed door in this seemingly perfect American university.