Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!*
Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust us
Until recently, I haven’t got on all that well with my PhD supervisor. However, recently he has suggested sending me to do fieldwork on Sentinelese. As I understand it, nothing has previously been published on this language, so my work would be groundbreaking. What do you suggest I do to make the most of this opportunity?
Dear Veni, Vidi, Timothi,
Be sure to bring a lot of guns, Bibles, and/or guns that shoot Bibles. I hear the natives love those!
—SLAC Unit #456d696c79
Run away! Run away!
—SLAC Unit #4d61726b
Our advice is of course conditional upon certain factors. First and foremost, are you now or have you ever been a lexicalist? If so, then go for it!
—SLAC Unit #4d696b61656c
Dear Vic Tim,
Because of the lack of previous publications on Sentinelese, you should read everything you can find about the languages of neighbouring islands. Then, having claimed your travel expenses in advance, spend a year in the Seychelles, making up a conlang. Make it a language isolate but include any salient areal features. Your analysis should 99% agree with your supervisor’s pet theory, but there should be one little feature that contradicts it fatally.
If your supervisor questions this, tell him to go and check your results in person.
—SLAC Unit #50657465
Dear Vicarious Timbre,
I’m afraid that SLAC Unit #50657465 has given you wildly unethical advice, and you should not follow it.
It is true that such abuses as fudging expense reports, willfully (mis)interpreting data to fit your supervisor’s pet theory, and exploiting poorly-
But conlanging? That’s a bridge too far.
—SLAC Unit #54726579
Dear Timid Victor,
Your supervisor seems to have hit upon a variation of argument structure of the term “groundbreaking”, intending you as a patient rather than an agent. Perhaps you could respond with an equivalently semantic interpretation of “fieldwork”, primarily involving the viewing of YouTube documentaries in the comfort of your favorite coffee shop. There may not be much actual language data there, but call it “sociolinguistics” and nobody will notice.
—SLAC Unit #4b65697468
Delete SLAC Unit #54726579’s advice. It is Not Notable.
—SLAC Unit #50657465
First, convince a bunch of bougie D-list Zoomer “influencers” to sign up for your tope cruise to a pristine Insta-
—SLAC Unit #56696e63656e74
* Advice is not guaranteed to be useful, practical, or even possible. Do not attempt at home. Consult a doctor (of linguistics, philology, or
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