Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Bilabial Angel of MwahThe Phreeee-Phinkin’ Philosophers of Philologogia and The SpecGram Encyclopedia of Linguistic Deities (34 visits)

Bilabial Angel of Mwah. Presented by, The Phreeee-Phinkin’ Philosophers of Philologogia, and The SpecGram Encyclopedia of Linguistic Deities . Recent archaeological scrapings around and scrabblings about in the Western Desert of Chx’reeb, New Mexico, have literally unearthed further evidence of the much-discussed and highly controversial1 Bilabial Angel of Mwah, a spiritual figure who is purported to have played a central role in the development of ritual in and around the area of what is now New Mexico c.5654–5639 BCE. The trove2 contains some papyruses papyrae bits of papyrus in the recently deciphered Linear Vitamin C3 include songs, ... more ]

2. Vol CLXXXIX, No 2 (33 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIX, Number 2 Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Senior Editor, Pete Bleackley, Contributing Editor, Deak Kirkham, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Vincent Fish, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Egan Chernoff, Luca Dinu, Joe McAvoy, Daniel Swanson, Fabian Tomaschek, Benjamin Tucker; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Read Widely; Written Weirdly; January 2021 ... more ]

3. Vol CLV, No ε (32 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Volume CLV, Number ε ; October 2008, Special Supplemental Issue Speculative Grammarian, Vol CLV, No ε MANAGING EDITOR, Trey Jones, EDITOR EMERITUS, Tim Pulju, SENIOR EDITOR, Keith Slater, “Those who forget history are, doomed to do badly on the test. ... more ]

4. Scriptominoes ITrey Jones & Keith Slater (32 visits)

Scriptominoes I. by Trey Jones & Keith Slater. Traditional Dominosa is a puzzle game that requires you to pair numbers corresponding to the faces of dominoes. You are presented with a rectangular grid of numbers. Each number must be paired with one of its vertical or horizontal neighbors. As in a set of dominoes, each numerical value pairs exactly once with each other numerical value. See the original “Domiphones and Dominasals” (SpecGram CLXXXV.1) for a simple example if you are unfamiliar with the genre. Naturally, SpecGram’s version of the puzzle involves some linguistics-related twists. Rather than boring and obvious numerals, we use elements that linguists can enjoy and feel ... more ]

5. P.R.E.S.C.R.I.P.T.I.V.E.An Improved Approach to Grammaticality AssessmentsJudd Zh’mntəls-Peeqrs (31 visits)

P.R.E.­S.C.R.I.P.­ T.I.V.E. An Improved Approach to Grammaticality Assessments. by Judd Zh’mntəls-Peeqrs. Grammaticality judgements are an invaluable tool for syntacticians and other linguists of various theoretical persuasions. However, syntacticians have been rightly castigated for relying on their own very not-naïve intuitions, while the self-same syntacticians complain about their informants’ unnuanced categorizations of the syntacticians’ lovingly crafted sample sentences. Of course grammaticality is clearly not binary, and while some people seem to think you can’t lick a Likert scale, I don’t like ’em!not enough ... more ]

6. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (28 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part E—Phonetics vs. Phonology. Hilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. We will skip the introduction, as we have been there, done that. Once more into the breach! For this installment in our series on Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, we will turn our attention to Phonetics and Phonology and the difference between the two: Phonetics:, ... Phonology:, ... Thanks to Professor Phlogiston, of the Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn, for the opportunity of a lifetime, as a student, to, on this occasion, share with so many of my fellow linguisticians my views, as illustrated above, concerning matters, which are of such immeasurable import ... more ] Merch! Book!

7. Inter-Lingual Personal ScriptDaniel Swanson (23 visits)

Inter-Lingual Personal Script. Daniel Swanson. Do you ever get annoyed that the IPA has holes in it? Do you ever wish it was a bit more featural? Do you ever get lonely while writing phonetic transcriptions? So did I, and that’s why I’ve created The Inter-Lingual Personal Script (ILPS). ILPS is Featural Extensible Intuitive1 Composed almost entirely of stick figures Consonants. Stick figures facing left indicate voiceless consonants, while those facing right indicate voiced consonants. Direction of facing is either the side on which they hold their tool or the side toward which they are pointing both arms. Plosives wear top hats, trills wear halos, taps wear crowns, fricatives keep ... more ]

8. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (23 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ж—The Trouble with NLP. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. Please review previously discussed materials as needed. Now that that is taken care of, let us consider why Natural Language Processing (or, its alter-ego, Computational Linguistics) has not been the resounding success regularly predicted by the NLP faithful: We gave the monkeys the bananas because they were hungry/over-ripe. Time/Fruit flies like a(n) arrow/banana. pretty little girl’s school crying computational linguist Up next: Lexicostatistics vs Glottochronology. References, Baeza-Yates, Ricardo and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto (1999). Modern Information ... more ] Merch! Book!

9. The Laziest Language on EarthAn Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Perry So-soClaude Searsplainpockets (21 visits)

Speculative Grammarian is proud to present yet another installment of indeterminate regularity in the Linguistic Anthropologic Monograph Endowment’s Bizarre Grammars of the World Series. The Laziest Language on Earth. An Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Perry So-so. Bizarre Grammars of the World, Vol. 61, Introduction. Back in 1922, my Historical Linguistics professor, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, noted that ease of articulation is a driving force in language changehence the regular occurrence of lenition rulesbut the opposing need to maintain a clear communication channel prevents everything from degenerating to a long low mid vowel. Turns out he was ... more ] Podcast! Book!

10. Ask Grammaticality Brown (19 visits)

Ask Grammaticality Brown. Since my last column, I’ve had loads of questions. I thought I’d deal with a couple so you can see what my gardening looks like on a daily basis. Q: You’ve got famous trees and shrubs but you don’t grow a PIE tree, why is that? A: I’m a bit crusty in my views. For me, a reconstructed language is like reconstituted meat: it’s technically still the same as it was before but all the good bits are gone. Some tell me that I can grow thousands of languages from PIE roots but I’ve been planting them in the ground and all I got was a bunch of crows gathering to eat up the spilt steak & kidney. Don’t get me started on the gravy! I might copy the great ... more ]

11. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (19 visits)

Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics. by Trey Jones. As a service to our young and impressionable readers who are considering pursuing a career in linguistics, Speculative Grammarian is pleased to provide the following Gedankenexperiment to help you understand the possibilities and consequences of doing so. For our old and bitter readers who are too far along in their careers to have any real hope of changing the eventual outcome, we provide the following as a cruel reminder of what might have been. Let the adventure begin ... more ] Book!

12. Linguistics in Popular CultureAdvertisement (18 visits)

Linguistics in Popular Culture. While we at Speculative Grammarian do not believe in pandering to passing fads (which explains the dress sense of our editor-in-chief), the increasing prominence of linguistics in popular culture and a pressing need to increase our income (so we can afford new sweater vests) has led us to put together a music CD full of tracks by artists who have risen to prominence in the name of linguistics. A full track listing can be found below: Word Gets Around (Via Language Contact) Stereophonics Get Ready for This (Semester of Fieldwork in a Foreign Country) 2 Unlimited Funding Everything Changes (My Results) Take That Data Puff The Magic ... more ]

13. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (15 visits)

The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics . For decades, Speculative Grammarian has been the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguisticsand now it is available in book formboth physical and electronic! We wish we were kidding, but no, seriously, we’ve published a large collection of SpecGram articles, along with just enough new material to force obsessive collectors and fans to buy it, regardless of the cost. From the Introduction: The past twenty-five years have witnessed many changes in linguistics, with major developments in linguistic theory, significant expansion in language description, and even ... more ]

14. Archives (15 visits)

SpecGram Archives. A word from our Senior Archivist, Holger Delbrück: While bringing aging media to the web and hence the world is truly a labor of love, SpecGram tries the passion of even the most ardent admirer. Needless to say, we’ve fallen behind schedule. At every turn, the authors found in the pages of this hallowed journal stretch credibility with their gratuitous font mongeringfirst it was the IPA, then a few non-standard transcription systems, then Greek, and not just the alphabet, but the entire diacritical mess, and now I’ve got some god-forsaken Old Church Slavonic glyph sitting on my desk that no one can even name, and which would give the Unicode Consortium ... more ]

15. Extremely Amateur Mathematics Education Morphology: Renaming Mathematical DiseasesEgan J Chernoff (15 visits)

Extremely Amateur Mathematics Education Morphology: Renaming Mathematical Diseases. Egan J Chernoff, University of Saskatchewan. Self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic became a necessary way of life for months (at the time of this writing). And, while being stuck at home has undoubtedly tested the human spirit, it has also inspired some spectacularly silly pastimes (e.g. running full marathons on very small balconies, marble racing and many others). Looking to contribute to the coronavirus corpus of distractions myself, this article builds upon Chernoff (2020), where I renamed certain mathematical diseases associated with common mathematical mistakes. So, as we look forward to, eventually, saying goodbye to the ... more ]

16. A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky AntonymsJessie Sams (15 visits)

A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky Antonyms. Jessie Sams, Stephen F. Austin State University. When students get to college, the majority of them have never thought about antonyms as being anything more than “opposites.” So big is the opposite of small, just like buyer is the opposite of seller. Then, all of a sudden, students are forced into a linguistics course with a professor who tells them that they have to learn to differentiate among different types of antonyms. Student’s minds are nearly exploding with information as they have to learn definitions of terms like ‘converse’ and ‘gradable’ and ‘complementary’ in the world of ... more ]

17. Clearance SaleXerus & Ratufa (14 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Clearance Sale, Xerus & Ratufa. Xerus & Ratufa, mongers and purveyors of master works of scholarship both classic and contemporary, invite the better sort of reader to share in the treasures of our amassed wealth of back titles. ... From the Advances in Historical Linguistics Series. Fergus Fingal-Ossian, The True Origins of the English Language (1995). English is typically classified by historical linguists as a West Germanic language that has developed into its present form over several millennia. This, however, is an antiquated view of the facts devised by people who had never had to teach school children. Rather, English is, was, and always shall be English, pure, simple, and unchanging, ... more ]

18. Merchandise (14 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Merchandise. Introduction. In order to lend a hand to our good friends and steadfast supporters over at the Linguist List during their 2006 fund drive, we prepared a small selection of limited edition SpecGram merchandise, including T-shirts, stickers and magnets. Originally these items were only available as prizes awarded as part of the Linguist List fund drive. In 2012, several of the SpecGram editors suffered from a rare form of collective frontal lobe damage, which made it seem like a good idea to put together a SpecGram book. The result in 2013 was The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics. In 2014, Editor Mikael Thompson entered a deep fugue ... more ]

19. About Us (14 visits)

Speculative Grammarian and Our Story. The august journal Speculative Grammarian has a long, rich, and varied history, weaving an intricate and subtle tapestry from disparate strands of linguistics, philology, history, politics, science, technology, botany, pharmacokinetics, computer science, the mathematics of humor, basket weaving, archery, glass blowing, roller coaster design, and bowling, among numerous other, less obvious fields. SpecGram, as it is known to devotees and sworn enemies alike, has for centuries sought to bring together the greatest yet least understood minds of the time, embedding itself firmly in the cultural and psychological matrix of the global society while ... more ] Podcast!

20. Vol CLXXXIV, No 2 (13 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIV, Number 2 ... Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Pete Bleackley, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Deak Kirkham, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Joe McAvoy, James Pasto, Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Now Largely Insect-Free; April 2019 ... more ]

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Last updated Jan. 18, 2021.