Reader’s Forum—Letters to the Editors Ps. Q. Vol XVI, No 2 Contents Language Acquisition: A Government-Subsidized Model—Carol A. Miller

Pisces’ Playpen

[Editor’s Note: We regret that space was previously wanting for inclusion of the final part of Dr. Porcus Pisces’ commentary on the Latin translation of a Greek rendering of the anonymous inscriptions alleged to be an account of Phoenician experiments in animal communication; we present herein then the final portion of this work, continued from Vol I, No. 1 of this journal. The learned community, as always, is invited to respond.]

and is said to have “talked with the animals.”

Given, however, the extreme prejudice prevailing at the time in Phoenicia against inhumane experimentation with aquatic species, it soon became justifiable to dissect the finny tribes for linguistic purposes only on the condition that the mammals serve a more practical end, in a word, dinner; this, according to Tablet 37.a, found in level IV of the dig, was eagerly followed by cocktails and vigorous linguistic discussion of the most intense sort.

From this free exchange of ideas grew the first real understanding of the dolphin concept of the phoneme and morpheme; if this in itself is not astounding enough, it appears that a rather elegant counterpart to generative syntax had been at least proposed in the more prestigious schools, and that there may have even been the rudimentary beginnings of government and binding, though at this point there can be no real proof of any free elections or the more unlikely enslavement of porpoises.

An anonymous Phoenician scholar is reported to have been working at the time on a compendious history of this most singular and promising area of research; from fragments we know only that having sustained himself solely on a diet of dolphin tongues and boiled water from a now unknown region called Yksmohc, he could converse fluently in Dolphin, and even sing in a few whale dialects. Unfortunately, he could not complete his history; he was served as an appetizer at a weekly linguistic colloquium.

A Chomsky Junction
Reprints are available in Dolphin for minority species.


An Invitation to the Dance

Shall we condescend to verse
Forsaking science for a season,
Letting Genius have a word
Without an interdicting line or node
Or trace or transformation?
Permit a moment for the thought
That all is not by science wrought.

—Porcus Pisces

Reader’s Forum—Letters to the Editors
Language Acquisition: A Government-Subsidized Model—Carol A. Miller
Ps. Q. Vol XVI, No 2 Contents