Letters to the Editor SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 1 Contents Linguimericks—Book ७१

Linguists on the Loose

B. Zerk and D. Mented
SpecGram Wire Services
Last Updated: 4 minutes ago.

The entire city is at a tense standstill as reports are validated that over a thousand linguists have escaped from a downtown conference. Police are on the scene in a bewildered state, debating whether English really has one /k/ sound or several and pondering the safety impact on the general population from either scenario.

It all started when Professor Kevina Kinsley gave a keynote address at the annual Linguistics Society of Great Britain and the Scandinavian Isles, arguing that Enklish as spoken by the Ankles did not borrow from the Nordik invaders, but instead was replaced entirely by the Vikink Tonkues.

Tensions were already high, as a group of syntacticians from upstate New York had gotten into an argument concerning a center-embedded example sentence. What started as a genial dispute escalated into outright mutual bullying, and later became what one witness described as a “frickin’ stampede, like a bunch of, what do you call ’em, those big bovines that live on the Plains.”

Disorder spread as one of the syntacticians was pushed bodily into a group of pragmatists, who responded with maximum quantity and maximum quality with perfectly aimed fists, but who in violation of maximum relation assailed not only the intruder but his entire coterie, causing a general violation of the maxim of manner.

Phoneticians broke through their restraining area and were found trying to insert microphones in the mouth of local parents, enjoying a day at the park. In a more direct challenge to Dr. Kinsley’s kurious klaims, phonetician Prof. Tscherlisch Laut said, “I would remind you that English has several velars depending on environmentneed I remind you of the diagnostic of the velar pinch? Or should I show you?” After holding up a pair of pliers and a dentist’s mirror, he was wrestled to the ground as several American phoneticians critiqued his choice of analog instrumentation.

Meanwhile, historical linguists quizzed survivors as to what the swings sounded like yesterday. Computational linguists attempted to model a sample of utterances from each side of the debate, reporting a higher than usual incidence of velar-initial monosyllables. Passersby had to dodge several cuneiform tablets that were thrown through a tenth-story window. The fight soon spilled into local drinking establishments as sociolinguists sought “data”. Apparently, data comes in tall glasses and is frothy.

There are unconfirmed reports that masked Antilexa and militant alt-rhyme agitators have joined the fray, flinging ejectives and virgules at one another and anyone else they come in contact with. Citizens are encouraged to remain in their home theoretical frameworks and shelter in place until phonetic authorities give the “L-clear” signal.

Letters to the Editor
LinguimericksBook ७१
SpecGram Vol CLXXXVII, No 1 Contents