Cartoon Theories of Linguistics—Part ζ—Physics vs. Physics Envy—Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. SpecGram Vol CLIII, No 2 Contents HitoriGuistiku II—Now in an alphabet you don’t already know—Trey Jones
Psammeticus Institute

Psammeticus Institute proudly presents...

Dialect Continuum Language Studies

Psammeticus Institutethe Language Education branch of linguistics publishing powerhouse Psammeticus Pressallows you to harness the amazing transformative power of dialect continua in your own personal language learning. By attending a Dialect Continuum Language Studies course, you can slowly but surely transform the language you speak into the language you want to speak.

In order to transform the language you speak into the language you want to speak, we at Psammeticus Institute set up for you a large number of literally parallel classrooms. In the first classroom, you, your classmates, and your instructor will speak a language that is at least 95% the samein vocabulary, syntax, phonology, morphology, ... everything!as the language you now speak. The five percent difference is a subtle transformation of the source language to make it ever so slightly more similar to the target language.

You will spend your class time discussing politics, philosophy, linguistics, current events, and other such “lite and breezy” topics. When your instructor feels you have mastered your new dialect, he or she will stamp your “passport” and move you to the class next door, where you will learn another dialect that is two to eight percent more like your target language. After between ten and fifty such “promotions” on your language journey, you will find that you are speaking the target language without having exerted any discernible effort. That’s right, the system is effortless!

Whether you want to lose your accent and learn the standard form of your native language, or take on an exotic tongue far removed from your own language family, we have a classor, rather, a continuum of classesfor you. Hundreds of language pairs are available, with popular targets including: Greek, Spanish, French, Romanian, Hungarian, Finnish, Italian, German, English, Dutch, Arabic, Farsi, Cantonese, Mandarin, ASL, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Russian, Ukrainian, Swahili, and Basque. In fact, all of the languages listed above can be learned from popular starting points, such as Yoruba, Twi, Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English, or Ainu. A smaller number of the more common and more popular target languages can even be “travelled to” from each other, such as Italian to Farsi, or German to Basque.

A few specialized pairs have been offered from time to time because of high demand, such as Chaucerian Middle English to Kugu Uwanh, or Bahasa Prokem to Crimean Gothic. Perhaps you will join the thousands of learners who have undertaken these very same linguistic journeys.

We also offer occasional “Grand Master’s World Tour” continua, beginning in a commonly sought source language (like Yoruba), and traveling speedily through several sufficiently similar languages (say, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin), before arriving at a popular target language (like ASL).

Testimonials from our valued customers:

I studied Spanish on my own for 35 years and never really learned to speak it particularly well. After only 14 years of Grand Master-level Dialect Continuum Language Studies classes, I am now fluent in a dialect that is approximately 83% Spanish and 15% my native Rongorongo, with a dash of Serbian and Twi. Now, more than half of my Spanish-speaking acquaintances understand more than half of what I’m saying!

—Berneatha Ramirezwiec, Rapa Nui

Many years ago Ia native speaker of Indian Englishtaught myself Swahili from books and video tapes, becoming passingly fluent in the process. Eight months ago I attended a Dialect Continuum classthe first in the Swahili to English chainto humor a friend who didn’t want to go alone. Within minutes, I knew I was going to take the entire journey. Now that I’ve finished all the classes, my English is better than it ever was before: I have a flawless Midwestern accent, and no Americans who reach the call center where I work hang up on me anymore because they think I’m stealing U.S. jobs! I’m the envy of all my co-workers!

—Goncalo Xeećebdịavþaịng, Khardong La, India

Dialect Continuum Language Studies by Psammeticus Institute
A wholly-owned educational subsidiary of Psammeticus Press


Number of classes: The minimum number of classes in a Psammeticus Institute Dialect Continuum Language Studies dialect chain is ten (Rural Hick English to Standard American Hick English). The maximum number is eighty four thousand seven hundred ninety-four (Grand Master’s World Tour from Whistled Turkish of Kusköy to Worora Kinship Sign Language via (in class order) Djirbal, Finnish, ASL, Pankararú, Hungarian, Spanish, and Osmanlı Türkçesi). The mean number of classes is fifty. The median number of classes is fifty. The mode number of classes is fifty.

Length of classes: The average time per class is 1000 hours, usually broken into daily sessions of 30 minutes to 20 hours, but varying widely. Times per class quoted or implied in testimonials reflect unusual results. Your results may vary.

Costs: Fees are charged hourly, daily, and per class. Typical fees range from AU$2.50 to US$75 per hour, with a visitation fee between ¥18 and €18 per day of classroom activity. “Promotion” fees also apply for each “passport” “promotion” between classes in the continuum, ranging between £8 and 95zł.

Testimonials: Customers providing testimonials were paid for doing so (between 1,151 maloti and 74 Lm), though all testimonials are from actual customers.

Side Effects: Use of any Dialect Continuum Language Studies course may cause adverse side effects; in numerous double-blind studies, side effects affected between 0.001% and 73% of language learners. Side effects that occurred in these clinical trials have included: dry mouth, cognitive dissonance, anteroretrograde amnesia, lacunar amnesia, another kind of amnesia I can’t recall right now, forgetfulness, agitation, mental fogginess, narcissistic sociopathy, seizures, migraines, drowsiness, insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, dementia, bilateral facial numbness, unilateral facial hypersensitivity, aural candidiasis, temporomandibular joint disease, forgetfulness, plosive diarrhea, implosive logorrhea, ejective vomiting, forgetfulness, creaky voice, intractable hiccups, oral flatulence, and, in rare cases, fatal urinary incontinence.

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics—Part ζ—Physics vs. Physics Envy—Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D.
HitoriGuistiku II—Now in an alphabet you don’t already know—Trey Jones
SpecGram Vol CLIII, No 2 Contents