Fab Neogram Studies
by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia
Faculty in the tiny Central Asian country of Fabkhazia are celebrating tonight after a new linguistics graduate programme broke all enrollment records. The one-year Taught Masters in Neogrammarian Studies offered by Fabkhazia Central University boasts a cohort of 450,675 for next academic year with a number of these made up of individuals who have left their programmes in other universities to attend. ‘That we’re pleasantly surprised would be an understatement,’ gibbered Dr Teznan Kim, Convener of the Neogrammarian Studies programme, as he pirouetted his way around the neatly tended Faculty Garden in top left-hand corner of the campus if you’re looking at the map with south south east at the top. ‘We were hoping for around eight applications so nearly half a million is pretty impressive. We’ve had to hire 650 secretaries and build a new 76-floor teaching block with a cherry on top. Who knew that Neogrammarian Studies would be so popular?’
We spoke later to Doctor Penelope ‘Pippin’ McPip, post doc researcher at Skipton University in the UK, who has left her three-year research contract in computational linguistics and voice recognition after only eight months to move to Fabkhazia and undertake the Neogrammarian Studies programme. ‘I think it’s not pushing it to say that, whatever field you’re in, for most young linguists, the work of the Neogrammarians remains central to your thinking about language and, to be honest, is the framework in which we’re most likely to move things forward. I mean, when you think about it, it’s obvious: formulating ever more delimited sound shift laws in order to reconstruct long-dead languages is the most promising approach we have for, for example, central questions of neurolinguistics. I’m pleasantly surprised, and I can’t wait to go.’
The success of the programme has taken many by surprise. Fred Fredson CBE, Emeritus Professor of Brugmannology at Sandy Cove Technology Institute, has been asked by the British Royal Family to come out of retirement and set up an analogous Neogrammarian studies initiative in the UK. ‘I’m pleasantly surprised,’ he told us over Marmite sandwiches at his newly built nuclear-powered office-lab research facility three miles beneath London. ‘I thought I’d be eking out the few slow days remaining to me writing books fewer than four people would read about Verner’s Law and the primacy of the historicist principle in thinking about language, but instead, here I am, beavering away creating the UK’s first Neogrammarian Studies department. They’ve even given me a free walk-in shower in my office.’
The new UK programme is expected to garner several hundred thousand applications, and there are reports the leading linguists at Ivy League Universities in the US have resigned their tenure to enroll. It’s innovative, exciting and pleasantly surprising.