Xerus & Ratufa
Xerus & Ratufa, mongers and purveyors of master works of scholarship both classic and contemporary, once again invite the better sort of reader to share in the treasures of our amassed wealth of back titles.
From the Advances in Linguistic Semantics Series
Zeke Conger-Eel, A New Theory of Case: Semantic Primaries and Morphological Realizations (1985). Many theories of case have been advanced; all of them are shown to fail the requirement of cohering with the idiomatic structures of modern languages. After a detailed discussion of the need for such a criterion, Conger-Eel erects a new theory based on the features of idiomatic case usage in modern English that must be taken into account by any future linguist. In particular, the semantic primaries [±BASKET], [±TRIVIAL], [±SPECIAL], [±HOPELESS], [±HEAD], and [±BOOK] are shown to underlie all major idiomatic uses of case in English. Originally $449.95, now only $6.95 + P&H.
“You might want to read this, just in case.” —Vern Verne, Montauk Semantic Review
“The first test any linguist should perform on a theory is to apply the theory to itself. Conger-Eel rates [+BASKET], [+TRIVIAL], [+HEAD], and [+HOPELESS].” —Humphrey Fistula, The Casual Casuist
Linseed Carbonara-Bolognese, Transitivity: The Great Illusion (1994). Transitivity is a topic that grammarians and linguists have puzzled over for millennia. However, they’ve all been remarkably stupid about it. The major problem for any theory of transitivity is that transitive verbs do not by any stretch of the imagination display the property of transitivity: ‘John gutted the cat’ and ‘The cat gutted John’ have different meanings, which would not be the case if the verb gut were truly transitive. In much the same way, ‘John is the cat-gutter’ and ‘The cat-gutter is John’ show that the only genuinely transitive verb in English is traditionally classified as intransitive! Originally $99.95, now only $4.99 + P&H.
“I think the author meant ‘commutative.’ Either that or the book’s a major breakthrough inherently beyond the understanding of 99.999% of humanity.” —Felix Wister, The Shaggy Marmot Review of Books
From the Social Resources for Scholars Series
Wallace V. Bandicoot, A Linguist’s Effective Daily Affirmations (2011). It is easy after a day of fruitless phonological analysis or a lifetime of syntax to despair and find no value in one’s work or life. In such dark moods, hundreds (including a few syntacticians) have taken solace and drawn strength from this noted collection of spiritual wisdom for the practicing linguist. From “Each one of us, however peripheral we feel to the system, is a conditioned alternant of a greater abstract unity, but it is the task of each of us to find that special environment in which to distinguish ourselves” to “Even if in the Great Ordered Rule System in the sky you are fated always to apply vacuously, apply yourself to your task all the same, for however obscure it might seem, there must be some reason to posit your existence,” there is something of value to any linguist. Originally $179.99, now only $6.95 + P&H.
“The author writes that he was filled with a sudden flush of positive energy, and so he wrote this book. Upon reading it, I was similarly imbued with positive energy, but then I went to the bathroom for a sudden flush and got rid of it. The end result was the same in both cases: Inter alia, a feeling of great lightness and relief.” —Karl Gustav Hinterschmertz von und zu Gipfeldorff, Bulletin of the Southern Indiana Association of Germanicists
From the Political Issues of Contemporary Linguistics Series
Mai Ticegest Tarn-Fetheringham and Otto B. Dronin-Courtherd, Beyond Prescriptivism: Proscriptivism, Linguistic Pharmacology, and the Proper Role of the State in Language Pedagogy (2011). While descriptivism is the default position of modern linguistics, it is important to consider other approaches to language. While prescriptivism is often set up as the antithesis of descriptivism, in fact it is only a half-hearted alternative that fails to make its case on philosophical grounds. This book provides that basis. The “language system” is a silly reification of regularities in human behavior, and like all behaviors language must be properly regulated by the state. It is not enough to say that what is not expressly prohibited is licit, for that way lies anarchy and linguistic infelicity: There is an ultimate right and wrong in all human behavior, and it is the role of the state to judge and punish (severely, the authors hope) excessive deviation from the norms. After establishing a rock-solid philosophical basis for proscriptivism, the authors turn to linguistic pharmacology, the proper set of tools to root out the cancers, bronchitises, lumbagos, gouts, and other illnesses wracking our society, in order to support the detailed and really well thought out program of legal reforms set out in the last half of the book: Classification of linguistic misdemeanors and felonies, appropriate penalties, guidelines for when to apply capital punishment, and proper treatment of recidivism; the structure and funding of the proposed Academy of Linguistic Usage; the proper means of nationalizing all schools, publishers, and media outlets to ensure full compliance with the letter of the law; and the training, recruitment, testing, and arming of the new Corps of Linguistic Purity. Originally $1,279.99, now only $8.95 + P&H.
“Wow, this book was really fun.” —Cindy Clackinstraw, “Book Notes,” Alexander Curdleflint Elementary School Newsletter
“Forget wishy-washy oafs like John Simon and tepid milquetoasts like William Safire—proper English finally has the defenders it needs. If anything, this book doesn’t go far enough.” —Phyllis Amaryllis Bleecker, Blue Serge Suit with a Belt in the Back: A Review of and for True Culture in a Deluded and Denuded Age
Assorted Flotsam and Jetsam
To clear space on our older shelves at the behest of the fire safety inspectors, the following volumes are now very specially priced at $1 apiece or 5 for $3 plus flat book rate.
- New England Analytical Birding Philosophers Club, Philosophy for the Birds (2006).
- Courgette Aubergine, Chicken Soup for the Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim (2003).
- Haricot Laitue, The Wolves Who Hate Women and the Women Who Run with Them (2004).
- Épinard Poivron, An Etymological Dictionary of the First 16 Hate Languages (1999).
- Girofle Raifort, A Reference Grammar of Hate Language No. 167 (2006).
- Civette Ravis-Nadet, Dead Dogs and Congressmen Stink in the Light of the Sun: A Survey of Contemporary Political Transparency Law (2006).
- Oseille Fennail-Roux, The Collected Marginalia of Leonard Bloomfield: A Facsimile Edition (1978).
- M.A. Thompson, Methodological Foundations of Comparative Inner Asian Sciuridology (1968).