Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 2 Contents Linguistics Nerd Camp—Bethany Carlson

University News

Taxing Phonotactics

by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia

The teaching of phonotactics is to be taxed by the government from the academic year 2019, a leaked report reveals. Recent government funded research reveals that the learning of phonotactics in undergraduate and post-graduate degree courses correlates with lower earning potential throughout adult life and in some cases, descent into a life of violent criminality and sociopathic, destructive behaviour. One source told us that individuals who have studied phonotactics as part of their degree may be responsible for up to 17.5% of graffiti in the world’s capitals, some of which is readily identifiable by its reliance on IPA symbols and consistent CV syllable structure.

Our source went on to say between gulps of soda pop coke soft drink some fizzy sugary carbonated substance that understanding what constitutes a complex onset, or worse being able to identify the sonority sequencing principle at work in a data set, has been shown through MRI scans to implicate the same regions of the brain that are thought to underlie dangerous sociopathic behaviour. Further evidence for this, if any were needed, is that over 68% of convicted felons serving a custodial sentence of 5 years or more in Texas show some interest in phonotactics at some point in their sentence. This figure is greater than those who volunteer for mindfulness courses and creative writing combined.

The government proposals are shock news to universities in the US and Europe who have long held up phonotactics as a morally upright and indeed character-building area of study within the typical linguistics programme. Dr Stephen (Steve) S Stefan of Stevenage International Linguistics Institute (SILI) told us that phonotactics helped him cope with the death of his wife and hamster, tragically within 3 weeks of each other, and that doing science on himself had proved a clear causal relationship.

Letters to the Editor
Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson
SpecGram Vol CLXXXII, No 2 Contents