Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLIII, No 2 Contents Linguistic Koans—Z. En ‘Bud’ Dhist

The Phonology Class

Prof. Higgins and his sauntering band of disciples filed out of Mudd Hall in a merry mood. To say the class was feeling chipper would be a considerable understatement.

For today’s phonology class was to be held on the lawn, in celebration of the first sunny day of Spring.

Higgins took up a standing position midway under the shade of the redbud tree while the dozen or so students circled round and assumed sidesaddle or squatting positions on the fresh green grass, notebooks at the ready. Beaming, he started his lecture.

“Today I’d like to say a little more about duplication in phonological description.” So saying the professor turned around, faced the north side of the administration building a few hundred yards in the distance, blinked and frowned. “But there’s no blackboard.”

“No chalk, either,” volunteered Mavis, supportively glancing around the lawn.

“Yes, well.” Higgins was silent for a few moments.

*      *      *

How brief a time is often sufficient to apprehend long and serious things! Higgins stared at his students, the surrounding expanse of grass, the redbud tree. Now he saw where he had made his error, his great error. But as we all know, the truth cannot be taught.

“Consider the following forms,” he began. The students, I suppose we are entitled to believe, did their best to comply.

Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked.

Analysis: A hunt on a krayd iz oys fonolog.


Letters to the Editor
Linguistic Koans—Z. En ‘Bud’ Dhist
SpecGram Vol CLIII, No 2 Contents