lim ∑ <sup>1</sup>/<sub>n</sub> → ∞—A Letter from the Managing Editor SpecGram Vol CLII, No 2 Contents Moundsbar Connections—Metalleus

Letters to the Editor

mitt er fullt av ål
— Norwegian


Dear Eds,

Finally got around to reading Keith Slater’s article, “Evidential Complexity and Language Loss in Pinnacle Sherpa”. I am a bit surprised at the simplicity of the system there in PS and that you don’t mention the validationals. While we here in Shangri-la apparently don’t have as many evidential markers as PS has, we do have more validationals. And these vary from area to area. In our area, the marker CCTV [originally dian4shi4, but now reduced to just di4s] expresses a stronger degree of certainty than in some of the higher areas, while news programs received from some of the renegade provinces (e.g., Taiwan) have become markers indicating strong doubt, or hedges of some sort.

But the interesting thing here is the rise of several songs from The Carpenters and John Denver to become the strongest possible validational markers. Thus ‘he is the true lama -LA’ means the speaker absolutely positively believes the statement to be true. The cline of grammaticization in this case is from ‘every sha-la-la’ > sha-la-la > la-la > -LA. Also a statement like ‘she can lift 30 times her weight with her little pinky -LO’ means the speaker is really sure that this is true. In this case, the cline of grammaticization is ‘take-me-home-country-loads’ > country-loads > loads > -LO. The r → l substitution is obviously a case of phonological interference.

The interesting thing is that my niece in Seattle is now using -LO as an exclamation of wonder and admiration (‘lo! great outfit-lo!). In fact, I have heard that for Seattle kids in their early 20s, most ‘r’s are dropping out in favor of laterals...a clear example of substratum influence and the globalization of language contact. I mean, my niece has never even been to Shangri-la -LO!

Jangmu Lakhshindu


Dear Jangmu,

Lo! and behold!



Корабът ми на въздушна
възглавница е пълен със
— Bulgarian


To the SpecGram Editorial Board,

I was shocked to read that the growth of SpecGram is to be curtailed in 2007. As a heavy investorin 2006 I invested my life savingsI expect you to keep the promise of ever-greater returns, following the growth curve laid out that year. Now what will pay for my children’s education in the West???

Archibald Nakamura-Gundersen
Baku, Azarbaycan Respublikasi


Dear Archi,

We follow standard accounting practices for publicly traded academic journals. In particular, growth in total volume of articles published per year should be the square root of the monthly growth rate in income, for even-numbered years not divisible by 4. So, growing SpecGram’s volume to 150% of last year’s volume reflects our recent 225% month-over-month income growth. (We just love those “Gilded Platinum” Library subscriptions with maintenance agreements.)

You must have missed that part in our statement in the last issue. Several of the financial clipping services excluded it. That’s what you get for not reading SpecGram directly. We close with our standard disclaimer.

Forward-looking assessments are predicated on the Editorial Board’s present estimates and are subject to risks and unpredictable events including the possibility that SpecGram may not succeed in its undertakings related to growing its readership or publication volume, increasing its leadership in the field of satirical linguistics, or completing previously documented plans for world domination, or that the journal may not make a killing from from its strategic alliances or tactical partnerships as anticipated. In addition, any number of operational or other circumstances, from new delivery method introductions, the mix of satire and parody published, the costs we may accrue for acquisitions, dispositions, or stock-based compensation, the competition we face in developing markets throughout the solar system, to the greater macro-economic and micro-gravitational environment to name more than enough, may cause our income, outgo, grotesque margins, and operating results to spazticulate significantly from period to period, comma to comma, or semicolon to semicolon.



मेरी नाव मछलीयॉ से भरी है
— Hindi
Ta my haagh crowal
lane dy astan
— Manx


To the Publishers of Speculative Grammarian,

We, the undersigned, express our dismay and concern that our academic work, produced and submitted with the good faith understanding that it would disappear into the stacks of innumerable university libraries, represented to the outside world only as lines on our CVs and increases in the IRA contributions of our respective employers, has in actual fact been promoted in such a brazen way that its existence has been discovered by the masses. We hereby retract all the specific words which we wrote, together with their connotations, denotations, implicatures and implications. Henceforth, we shall deny ever having thought any of the thoughts which this publication has attributed to us. Any further promotion of our work, including the failure to remove it from your website immediately, will be construed as an act of libel, for which our respective legal representatives shall hold this publication fully responsible.

· Ælfgar λ. Garcia
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· Waxaklahun Ubah K’awil
· Wolf Kitty
· X. Shr
· Xerxes Yuniqqi Zikiwik
· Yreka Bakery


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Until then, we make labio-lingual fricatives in your general direction.

—Eds. & Pubs.


Svifnökkvinn minn
er fullur af álum
— Icelandic


Speculative Grammarian accepts well-written letters commenting on specific articles that appear in this journal or discussing the field of linguistics in general. We also accept poorly-written articles that ramble pointlessly. We reserve the right to ridicule the poorly-written ones and publish the well-written ones... or vice versa, at our discretion.

lim ∑ 1/n → ∞—A Letter from the Managing Editor
Moundsbar Connections—Metalleus
SpecGram Vol CLII, No 2 Contents