Good Enough for Folk Etymology—Part II—A. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 1 Contents DevanagBerries—Advertisement

Linguistics DepartmentsDo You Need CA$H?!

Linguistics Gaming Machines Can Get You The CA$H You Need!


Why not improve the bottom line by extracting some “donations” from your grad students? They’ll be willing contributors when you endow your department lounge with one of our Linguistics Gaming Machines! We have a wide variety of Gaming Machinesinstall three or four and we guarantee that the grad student “contributions” will pay for a new departmental laser printer in no time!

One-Armed Chomsky: A Generative Slot Machine

The One-Armed Chomsky features three spinning drums: a Parameter, a Language, and a Setting for the Parameter. In order to win, the reels need to settle on a Setting for the Parameter that aligns with the Language.

The machine is operated by Principles, so that you have to state a Universal Principle before the mechanism can be set into motion. (You also have to swipe a credit card.) Multiple Principle input formalisms are availablespecify the one appropriate for your department when ordering.

On winning, the machine returns a book making wild claims about all the Universal Principles that have been fed into the machine since the last win.

The Curriculum Claw

This classic gaming machine looks like a test of skill: a claw dangles above an assortment of textbooks required for next semester’s Linguistics classes.

The player uses the control levers to position the Claw above the textbook s/he needs, presses the button, and hopes!

Machine setup allows your department chair to decide how frequently a book will be grabbed, up to a 13% “success” rate.

Phonolette Table

Grad students adore the whole-body involvement of this gaming device. Choose the IPA symbol you want to bet onor choose all “pulmonary” or “other airstreams” symbols!and roll the ball to see where it lands. The spinning wheel is a mesmerizing relief after days of staring at angular tables of dissertation data!

There’s no up front cost to play: the player’s losses are subsumed in the category of “fees” on his or her bill from the University in the following semester.

Gamblin’ Mechanical Turk

The Ultimate Deluxxe Linguistics Gaming Machine is the Gamblin’ Mechanical Turk. Students learn important lessons about statistics, data science, and artificial intelligence while the Gamblin’ Mechanical Turk learns their tells and statistically significant betting patterns.

The Gamblin’ Mechanical Turk includes dozens of gambling games of skill and chance with cards and dice, and allows bets as low as $1 per hand. Some of the most popular games include:


A perfect score of 21 is attained when your hand displays reduplication. The dealer wins if you only manage to collect mere affixes. Be careful not to allow morphophophophonological processes to cause you to go bustbust!

Texas Cliticize ’em

A poker game in which you try to attach your upturned cards to those of the players on either side of you.

Other games the Gamblin’ Mechanical Turk can play include Backchannel Baccarat; Flaps, Taps, and Craps; Keno Pikeo; Backformationgammon; and many poker varieties, such as Drawl Poker and Oxford Comma Stud.

Good Enough for Folk EtymologyPart IIA. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius
SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 1 Contents