Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLX, No 4 Contents Linguistics Nerd Camp—Bethany Carlson

Meet the SpecGram Editors

In response to a decades-long demand to lift the veil of near-anonymity behind which the editors of Speculative Grammarian live, lurk, and work, we have begrudgingly agreed to provide publicly for the very first time a series of brief biographical sketches of select editors. Those editors with multiple outstanding federal warrants for their arrest on charges of extraphonetical intervocalisation, engaging in homophony and derivation of minor constituents, derivation without phonetic motivation, and building tableaux sans markup have been excluded, upon advice from our attorneys. Two more biographical sketches are below.

Name: Daniela Müller
Title: Consulting Editor
First attested: 1880, Hidden University of Central Santorini
Areas of interest: microtoponomy, microönomastics, microvariationist grammar, microtoponomastics, microcartographical approaches to places and their names; onomatoheuristics, onomancy

Daniela Müller holds a PhD each in Metaphysical Metaänalysis and in Marketing, and is currently the Shadow Editor of the Journal of Unexpected Findings.

She went down in the annals of academic achievement by holding the record for the most travel grants ever accorded to a single researcher. While comfortably funded, she travelled the world with her self-invented, -constructed, –taken-apart, -reconstructed, –forgotten-the-missing-piece, –taken-apart-again and -rebuilt Apparent Gramophone™ (called thusly because this piece of ingenieurial ingeniosity was far ahead of anyone’s times back then) and her foldable armchair. The device is in fact a Phono-Morpho-Gesture-graph controlled by the informant himself through hand movements (on/offnothing more should a linguist ever leave to the control of the native speaker) and is capable of segmenting a string of sounds accurately into phonemes, morphemes, and intermediate layers of theoretical finesse, according to several pre-installed goûts such as Structuralism, Early Structuralism, and Cautiously Optimistic Theory. It only looks like a gramophone to distract and becalm the informant. The latest version of this revolutionary device is also able to cook couscous for the busy fieldworker on the road.

It was during one of her many sojourns on one of the nicer islands off the Mediterranean shore, documenting the legendary apico-velar-narinosal laterals of a remote mountain village, that she met several of the SpecGram editors who were there on purported fieldwork themselves. Misinterpreting a seemingly scholarly discussion of ‘spiritus asper’ and ‘spiritus lenis’ in the evolution of the local dialect, she ended up signing a contract with SpecGram’s Editorial Board. This move has never been entirely understood, nor is it clear whether her joining the illustrious list of editors did any favour to anything or anyone, especially not to said Editorial Board.

In the privacy of the SpecGram office towers, between two travel grant applications, she is currently working on a device which will randomly insert Oxford commas into any text brought to her attention.

Selected publications:

Name: Tim Pulju
Title: Editor Emeritus
Born: Yes
Died: Not yet

Tim Pulju claims to have studied linguistics at one or more well-known universities, but no one around here has seen any proof. His multi-volume magnum opus, A Maximalist Program for Linguistic Theory, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Data, was written on clay tablets in Hittite cuneiform, and survives only in a few scattered fragments. Scholars who have examined these fragments agree that the original work was “the kind of book that gives you a headache.”

Pulju served as managing editor of Speculative Grammarian for several decades, during which time the journal published several groundbreaking articles, plus a lot of dreck. When he finally reached the mandatory retirement age, he got the board to agree to let him keep his corner office, which means that we still see him wandering around the corridors occasionally, muttering incomprehensibly and poking people with his cane. When we were putting together this bio, we wanted to ask Prof. Pulju to tell us some stories about the old days at SpecGram, but he was taking a nap.

According to public records, Tim Pulju has never been arrested for cattle rustling in any state east of the Mississippi.

Selected publications:

Letters to the Editor
Linguistics Nerd Camp—Bethany Carlson
SpecGram Vol CLX, No 4 Contents