Good Ol’ Quantization: An Ode to Manfred Krifka—Deedles D’Dee SpecGram Vol CXCII, No 4 Contents A Literary Linguistic Analysis of The Very Hungry Caterpillar—Papili O’Noidea

Overheard* in the Linguistics Student Lounge

Chesterton “The Jesterton” Wilburfors Gilchrist, IV
Grad Student Union Steward, United Linguistics Workers**
Second-Year Grad Student, Dept. of Lexicology and Glottometrics
Devonshire-upon-Glencullen University, Southampton

All names have been changed to protect the guilty innocent.

Jargonisation: What if gavagai just means “we can tell this crazy white man anything and he’ll put it in a book?”
MilkCaramel: Then it would replicate any number of jokes I’d heard.
Preterite: That sounds like a complete and utter collection of undetached rabbit parts.
MilkCaramel: Which points out that if gavagai actually means ”we can tell this crazy white man anything and he’ll put it in a book?”, then one might argue that gavagai actually just means an undetached extended middle finger.
Jargonisation: If your finger is unattached, see a doctor.
MilkCaramel: Or perhaps a coroner.
Preterite: I have to disclose at this point that my predictive text knows some weird phrases.
Jargonisation: If it starts talking about neural networks, computational linguistics, and why machines are superior to people, seek help. Also, I am now pretty sure gavagai means “data made up to get tenure.”
MilkCaramel: No, it means “tall tale to generate decades of tenure fodder.”
Jargonisation: I thought the phrase for that was “ideal speaker”, with its synonym, “competence”.
MilkCaramel: Those are variant realizations of the same archimorpheme, or perhaps archimorphome.
Preterite: But rabbits don’t have tall tails at all.
MilkCaramel: These are special Australian rabbits that evolved under evolutionary pressures to have long tails that stick up like ears, causing predators to go for the tail instead of the head. It serves to keep all the parts attached.

More to come...

* My GrandpapáChesterton Wilburfors Gilchrist, Jr., of “Reanalysis of Spanish by Naïve Linguists” fameimpressed upon me from an early age the potentially career-making value of eavesdropping serendipitous fieldwork. As I am notyet!the eavesdropper serendipitous fieldworker my Grandpapá is, and I don’tyet!have his ear for finding meaningfully meaningful meaning in overheard conversations, I will keep publishing the data of my informants until I, too, make an important contribution to linguistics!

** This Research is gratefully sponsored by the ULŋW Local #1729.

Good Ol’ Quantization: An Ode to Manfred KrifkaDeedles D’Dee
A Literary Linguistic Analysis of The Very Hungry CaterpillarPapili O’Noidea
SpecGram Vol CXCII, No 4 Contents