/nuz baɪts/ SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 4 Contents Linguimericks—Book ९०


Bʀoᴋɛɴ Nɛws Nɛᴛwoʀᴋ

Breaking news as it breaks! Broken news after it broke!

Suprasegmental Supercollider Cancellation
Sets Falling Tone in Syllabic Research Community

Linguists are stressed now that Congress has announced that funding for the Suprasegmental Supercollider has been cancelled. “This blows chunks,” said P. Ross O’Dee, his voice creaky with dismay. The supercollider would have flung syllables together at high speed in search of features beyond the segment. “Every Ling 101 student knows that pitch goes up and down in tonal languages,” explained O’Dee. “Up and down are two of the basic suprasegmental particles known as quirks. There are lots of other possible quirks, some strange, some charming.” According to the standard model of language, other quirks exist to be discovered. “We still can’t explain tone in Cantonese,” added O’Dee. “That language is quirkier than an Icelandic subject.”

With the cancellation of the Suprasegmental Supercollider, linguists are left coming up with new ways to use the lower-powered accelerator at CERNS (Conseil européen pour la recherche nucléaire-syllabique). Originally developed to study nuclear physics, periodic upgrades have allowed CERNS to study onset physics and coda physics, the latter of which is an important subject area for postdocs trying to pad their CV. A planned upgrade to the Pro-form–Anti-pro-form Collider experiment may even find evidence for Wh and Z, a questionable particle and another that may be invisible. In an official statement, the francophone CERNS liaison said that he was disappointed by the loss of the Suprasegmental Supercollider, or possibly deceived. (Some Americans have accused him of being a false friend to the international community.)

Experts blame the loss of the Suprasegmental Supercollider on bad marketing strategy. Wishing to be seen as the Continental-US version of CERNS, linguists came up with the slogan “We’ve got ConCERNS!” This spooked the less scientifically minded members of Congress, who took to heart their own slogan (“If ‘con’ is the opposite of ‘pro’...”) when faced with vocal opposition by the Mora Majority. In the words of Mora Majority founder Jerry Standbadly, “We believe that a syllable consists of one consonant and one vowel, no more no less.” Ironically, Mr. Standbadly’s favorite syllable is mmmm, while his wife’s is strengths.

/nuz baɪts/
LinguimericksBook ९०
SpecGram Vol CXCI, No 4 Contents