A lingua-decision: I plan to
Learn a new language—like Bantu,
Evenki or Quechua.
Then I thought: Those’ll stretch ya.
So I settled for, jes, Esperanto.
In a contest, a few years ago,
About how much linguistics I know
I described the whole discipline;
My competitor, listening,
Cried, “You’re big PRO, I’m little pro.”
—Binary Blanche Ng
Whatever you happen to chat in,
In Tokyo, Minsk or Prestatyn,
Unencumbered by shame,
It should follow the model of Latin.
We all know that it’s quite debatable
To talk about words untranslatable.
Just find a translator
And a few minutes later
You’ll find all equivalents relatable.
—Col. O. Nihilist
Human languages present
Surpassing linguists’ ability
To categorize more precisely than
“Pesky little particle”.
—Morris Swadesh IV
By ‘pronounce’ we tend to mean ‘articulate’;
That’s a physical process, not a vague mental state.
Speech sounds: we enact ’em
’Cross the whole vocal tract ’n’
It’s [brackets] not /slashes/ that so indicate.
—Zsoundz von Ettix