Monoglot Derivatives—Polly and Paul E. Glōttidēs SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 3 Contents Mix & Match §§—Max & Mitch Ninelette

Calquing Greatness
How Other Fields Find Success Borrowing From Linguistics

P. Ạȧṛȯṇī Mh
& Nıöll ʘ’Dȷ̊ı̥e

Interdimensional Panlinguistic Alliance (IPA), Earth-8311

In a world where Linguistics is regarded as the Cæsarissa of the Social Sciences, it is only natural that the Lesser Disciplines seek to emulate the matter and form of her successes. After much discussion, debate, and dialogueincluding careful consideration of the ability of non-linguists to emulate (or merely ape?) the ideas & ideals, processes & procedures, and techniques & technology of Linguisticsthe Father of Modem Linguistics himself, cherished Professor Noarn Chornsky of IVIIT,* solemnly allowed The Calquening™ to commence. The exciting and surprising results of the first hemi-demi-semi-year of this program are presented below.

Paleontologists were excited to announce that they had cracked dinosaur development using techniques from historical linguistics. After compiling a Swadesh list of the most important dinosaur names and comparing features, they discovered that the proto-dinosaur was Eor-rapt-o-cera-sawrust. It lived in what is not the South Atlantic, fed on ferns made of other dinosaurs, had at least one tooth, an arm, and 3 legs, ±1. Although no such dinosaur has been discovered, there are now seven different reconstructions available. Experts are trying to figure out whether its 2½ horns are morphologically distinct from vertebrae.

Scholars of Religion have elucidated the difference in eucharistic celebrations between high church Episcopalianism and Roman Catholicism using mass comparison.

Cosmologists and practitioners of NLP (natural language processing) have bonded over their mutual love of p-hacking, hand waving, and bizarre error bars.

Mathematicians are celebrating the long-awaited proof of the Pólya conjecture. The new theorem says that for any number n > 1, there are at least as many positive integers less than or equal to n that have an odd number of prime factors as there are positive integers less than or equal to n with an even number of prime factors. In his Liouville Slugger Award acceptance speech, number theorist Joe Blueberg explained, “I followed the rigorous method used for linguistic universals: I looked at the first 7000 or so natural numbers, picked a handful of them to see if I could find a counterexample, and generalized from that.”

Meanwhile, Software Developers around the world celebrated the newest result from Imma Etymon, who has finally proven that the GOTO command in the BASIC family of languages should be read as an imperative plus a preposition. This finally settles the debate, at least until scholars in the GOT O, GOT TOO, and GOAT TOOTH camps can write their rebuttals.

Postmodernist Cultural Studies researchers used the deep learning language model GPT-3 to write a paper. Nobody noticed the difference.

Astronomers believe that the initial mass function of star formation, which gives the relative star-formation rate in terms of the stellar mass, may have been different for the very first stars. Theoretical simulations have suggested that there may have been more massive stars in the metal-poor early universe, but observational evidence has been elusive. Following the advice of a corpus linguist, they have managed to obtain definitive evidence in mere minutes by typing different values of N into Google’s Ngram Viewer.

String Theorists were chuffed to announce that, after a vigorous session of hand waving, guesswork and gesturing vaguely at data that are currently impossible to gather, they have been proven correct. Universal Grammarians and literary linguists received a nice bunch of flowers for reassuring the string theorists that that’s how you do science.

Economists have finally resolved the long-standing tension in their field between the theoretical construct of Homo economicusthe perfectly rational economic agentand the actual observed economic behavior of real humans, by embracing the competence/performance distinction. Irrational economic behavior can now be safely ignored by economic theorists as mere economic performance error. This revelation has resulted in a meaningful refurbishment of a well-known agèd economic apothegm: “past performance does not guarantee future competence.”

Sportsball Fans of all stripes⁑⁑ have embraced the notions of observational, descriptive, and explanatory adequacy for their understanding of some or all of the complex rules of their favorite sport.*⁂* Many fans report that they have experienced feelings of radical self-acceptance now that they have meaningful labels for their own lived experience with the offside rule in soccer, the infield fly rule in baseball, NFL catch rules, Australian rules football, dressage, rhythmic gymnastics, cricket, and hornussen. Theoreticians of Meta-Sportsball note that the observational-descriptive-explanatory trichotomy itself seems to lack explanatory adequacy.

Not all cross-discipline calques are unequivocally “successful” from a societal point of view. Insurance Executivesa particularly unpleasant specialization of the Leastmost Discipline of Businesshave embraced the descriptivist/prescriptivist distinction, though with the reverse of the typical positive/negative polarity advocated for by Linguistics. Coupled with their embrace of the primacy of “intuition”, denials for insurance claims are at an all time high. Executive Vice President of Juvenile Trauma, S. Lee Z’Bagg, explains, “While we at Veridicality Dynamics have some sympathy for the descriptivist point of viewfor example, we accept the social and interpersonal validity of non-standard forms of medicinewe must recognize the sociomedical primacy of the Standard American Medicine (SAM) variety. Non-SAM activities are not covered by our insurance policies. Unfortunately, we can’t completely delineate SAM, but we know it when we see itand particularly when we don’t.”

Of course, the Lesser Disciplines should also be extremely cautious about second-degree calquing from the Somewhat Lesser Social Sciences rather from the Cæsarissa herself. Hellen I. Kurn, a Homeric Greek scholar, has had her Scholaretical Calquization License revoked after her participation in two unfortunate events.

Aspiring Alchemist Quim-Michael E. Kwasian described his lamentable interaction with Kurn:

Subsequent to the final reaction, I asked a Homeric Greek scholar to test the pH of the resulting solution using litmus paper. She described it as wine-dark. Judging by the color of the wine I had two glasses bottles of the night before, I concluded that the solution was acidic.

The Journal of Lesser Disciplines embarrassed themselves when they published the results of Kurn’s work with an unnamed marine scientist:

Oceanologists were pleased to announce that the sea that the Ancient Greeks travelled on was 12% alcohol, since Homer described it as wine-dark.

Mayhap Ms. Kurn should lay off the wine.

Finally, in a meta-stunning meta-turn of meta-events, the exchange below was recorded in the archives of an obscure mailing list for linguistic-themed humor, known as “Persiflage of the Modistae”. A query with the subject line, “Are figure skates and clogs both allocalceī of the same underlying Indo-European calceuseme?Fetishistic Imagery at Eurovision,” had received 12,808 repliesthe last third of which were primarily comprised of deeply nested and heavily quoted complaints about the level of nesting and quoting in the middle third of replies. Linguistic Fieldworker Meadow L’Abor snipped 97.3% of the previous replies, leaving approximately 4MB of quoted signatures and other mailing list detritus, to which she top commented:

ML: Was this degree of thread-quoting really necessary?

Onomastics researcher Praenomen Gentilicium Cognomen, Esq.,*⁂*⁂* replied succinctly and enlighteningly:

PGC: I believe the answer to that question would have to be yes. It’s simply an example of extrapolating the practice of footnotes-within-footnotes used in speculative grammar to email communication. That is, it is an example of Linguistics borrowing ideas from itself.

And thus the Linguistic Ouroboros is complete.

* IVIIT, a.k.a. I.V.I.I.T., is, of course, the famed Iowa-Veracruz-Iqaluit Institute of Technology, and is not to be confused with that place in Cambridge.

Showing thatdespite how much they have learnedother fields still have a few tricks to learn from Linguistics, a theoretical syntactician replied to the news, saying that Blueberg should have used the simpler method of “inferring that a conjecture that was true for one value of n was universally true because Chornsky says so.”

This clear academic triumph for economics is not without its detractors. Behavioral economists are still a bit peeved that their entire subfield has been rendered moot.⁑⁑⁑

⁑⁑ Ironically, but not unexpectedly, referees⁂* have more stringent expectations of consistency when interpreting rules.⁑⁑⁑⁑

*⁂* Some Sportsball Theoreticians have argued, quite compellingly, that full acquisition of the more complex rules can only occur during a critical period during youth. Attaining a complete understanding during adulthood is, for the vast majority of Sportsball Fans, not possible.

⁑⁑⁑ Alas, the War for Truth cannot be waged without casualties.

⁂* With or without stripes.

⁑⁑⁑⁑ Though Sportsball Fans are well aware that referees often fail to actually live up to those expectation.

*⁂*⁂* Also known for his kʌn.trɪ.n.wɛs.tʌrn music reviews.

Monoglot DerivativesPolly and Paul E. Glōttidēs
Mix & Match §§Max & Mitch Ninelette
SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 3 Contents