Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (58 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!

2. A 21st Century Proposal for English Spelling ReformH. Sanderson Chambers III (54 visits)

A 21st Century Proposal for English Spelling Reform. by H. Sanderson Chambers III, Associate Professor of English at an elite northeastern university that costs more in tuition and fees for one semester than most people earn in a lifetime, (I can't tell you the university's name, but it rhymes with Little Gary). As is well-known to all educated people--and if it's not well-known to you, then you're not one of us--the early part of the 20th century was the heyday of the Simplified Spelling movement, which sought to reform English spelling on the grounds that it was "mard by absurdities and inconsistencies". So what, you might say? Well, among other things, the simplifiers claimed that the spelling system ... more ] Podcast!

3. The Journal of Lockdown Linguistics (International Edition)Announcement from Panini Press (53 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT — New from Panini Press: The Journal of Lockdown Linguistics (International Edition) Following the recent rise in Linguists having to do research from home, Panini Press has decided to create a Specialist Outlet for this new Domesticated Research. We are very pleased to announce The Journal of Lockdown Linguistics (International Edition)! Due to a surprising-yet-delightful nimiety of Interestdriven entirely by Word-of-Mouth; what gossips linguists are!we have already received enough Submissions to fill our projected Quarterly Publication for an entire year. Below are the planned Tables of Contents for ... more ]

4. A Primer in SF XenolinguisticsJustin B. Rye (51 visits)

A Primer in, SF Xenolinguistics. - eep opp ork ah-ah -, Justin B. Rye. - ash nazg durbatulûk -, Table of Contents. Fantasy Exotic TonguesAn Introduction, Let’s Speak AlienIn Ten Easy Lessons, The UnspeakableAnd The Unthinkable, Universal TranslatorsA Buyer’s Guide, CETI for BeginnersLittle Green Manuals — - borag thungg -, FANTASY EXOTIC TONGUESAn Introduction. If you’ve reached the online version of this article chasing the search-string “ +fantasy +exotic +tongues ” then I’m afraid you’ve probably come to ... more ]

5. Vol CLXXXVII, No 3 (42 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXVII, Number 3 Trey Jones, Editor-in-Chief; Keith Slater, Executive Editor; Mikael Thompson, Senior Editor; Jonathan Downie, Senior Editor, Pete Bleackley, Contributing Editor; Associate Editors: Mark Mandel, Deak Kirkham; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Vincent Fish, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Abby Crisp, Joe McAvoy, Josh Nash, Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; More “Rah!” for Your Mora; May 2020 ... more ]

6. What is SpecGram Doing in Response to COVID-19?The SpecGram Pandemic Interns (37 visits)

What is SpecGram Doing in Response to COVID-19?. The SpecGram Pandemic Response Team Interns. As the scourge of COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in linguistics departments, universities, and elsewhere around the world, the average linguist may feel overwhelmed and helpless. To comfort our readers, we present what are possibly the nine most reassuring words in the English language: “We’re from Speculative Grammarian, and we’re here to help.” Below we outline the steps we are taking internally to slow the spread of COVID-19, followed by recommendations for linguists everywhere. What SpecGram is Doing For Everyone As part of our commitment to ... more ]

7. What is SpecGram Doing in Response to COVID-19?The SpecGram Pandemic Interns (26 visits)

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8. About Us (26 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!

9. A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky AntonymsJessie Sams (26 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 ]

10. A Public Service AnnouncementThe Ministry of Silly Sounds (25 visits)

From the Ministry of Silly Sounds. A Public Service Announcement. The Ministry of Silly Sounds wishes to inform the public that the following sounds have been collaboratively developed in EU laboratories or successfully replicated from aberrant non-major languages. All of them will soon be released to the public and thus become available for borrowing or wholesale phonological restructuring projects. As some sounds may have detrimental effects on either speakers or speaking targets, a modicum of caution is suggested. Select sounds are tentatively scheduled for official promulgation and may be required in future dialects of English. Ambi-Articulated Syllables: Segments characterized by distribution across ... more ] Podcast!

11. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (25 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!

12. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (22 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 ]

13. Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome (21 visits)

Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome . Are you looking for a book about ancient Roman history that’s interesting, informative, and amusing? No? Oh. Well, all the same, as long as you’re on this webpage already, we’d like to recommend that you buy Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome. Easy to read, full of genuine historical facts, and adorned with amateurish hand-drawn pictures, The History of Rome is so good that even Girolamo Savonarola might hesitate to cast it into the flames. And best of all, it’s only $6.99! Buy one now! Interested, but wary of being burned by a slick advertising campaign for a product that fails to live up to the hype? Then download the free preview and read ... more ]

14. Archives (21 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. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (19 visits)

The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective. Are you in a world of linguistic hurt? The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (SLAC) will offer you empirical, empathic, emphatic advice you can use!* Remember, if you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, then you don’t need advice! So, if you need advice, trust usand cut yourself some SLAC! ... Dear SLAC, Thanks ever so for the recent advice column on focus. All this while I’ve been pluralising it as feces (pron: [fekes]) on analogy with man~men and ox~oxen. Anyway, as a health conscious diner with an obsession for half-rhymes, the column got me thinking: what’s the ... more ]

16. Collateral Descendant of Lingua PrancaLogical Fallacies for Winning Arguments and Influencing DecisionsF. “Al” Lacie, Ph.D. (17 visits)

Logical Fallacies for Winning Arguments and Influencing Decisions. by F. “Al” Lacie, Ph.D. Grand Old Party Linguist. Keeping to the approximately quindecennial pattern established by G.R.A.M.M.A.R. 1979 and Seely, 1993, I am pleased to provide a list of common logical fallacies and cognitive biases used in argumentation in the field of Linguistics (and elsewhere). However, it is not my intention to present these logical fallacies (with examples!) so that you, the dear reader, may learn to avoid them, but rather so that you may learn to use themif they didn’t work at least some of the time, no one would still be making these “errors”. You may also be able to recognize these ... more ]

17. Linguistic Folk WisdomKnuttink Gnu & Underda Sun (16 visits)

Linguistic Folk Wisdom. Collected by Knuttink Gnu & Underda Sun, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. In a continued effort to improve the lot of researchers and students in linguistics, we sent a team of interns out to gather proverbs of folk wisdom from linguistics departments around the globe. Aside from malaria, black eyes and a profound sense of hygge, this is what they brought us. Never trust the grammaticality judgment of someone whose theory depends on it. Made up linguistics examples are like imaginary friends: they are a shadow of the real thing and you really should grow out of them eventually. The usefulness of a theory or textbook is inversely proportional to the length of time it takes to ... more ]

18. Against HermogenesAnders Horn (16 visits)

Against Hermogenes. Anders Horn. The traditional account of the relationship between phonetics and meaning holds that there is a “duality of patterning” (Bloomfield 1933). Phonemes are individually meaningless and are separated by an iron wall from morphemesthe smallest unit of meaning. However already by the 50s cracks were beginning to show in the account (Bolinger 1949). Phenomena like “sound symbolism” could not be placed on either side of the divide. Even old-fashion sound changes, once the key proof of the arbitrariness of the relation, were found to be conditioned by meaning. For example in many English dialects [ŋ] has changed to [n] in the morpheme ing but ... more ]

19. Reviewerish Field NotesCy Tayshon and M. Paktphaq-Torr (16 visits)

Reviewerish Field Notes. by Cy Tayshon and M. Paktphaq-Torr. One of the most important skills linguists-to-be must develop is the ability to interpret the true meaning behind apparently transparent locutions used by more senior practitioners of the art and science of linguistics. Early, helpful work in this area includes Metalleus’s “Important Idioms in Contemporary Science” (Lingua Pranca 1978), and An Interpreter’s Dictionary of Linguistic Argumentation (Onesimus, 2008). As important as these resources are, they focus largely on the critical interpretation of linguistics texts. As proto-linguists develop to the point where they begin to prepare their own texts, it is ... more ] Podcast!

20. AutoGrammatikon™ (15 visits)

The Speculative Grammarian Auto­Gram­matikon™ Quasi-Universal Translator℠. On several occasions, mention has been made of the AutoGrammatikon™ Quasi-Universal Translator℠ in the pages of SpecGram; in the current epoch, these references date back as early as at least 2004.1 In the following years there have been denials,2 mentions,3 more4 mentions,5 leaked internal documents,6 and even some early oral history7 (accompanied as it was by additional denials). Throughout this time the consistent official stance of the Editorial board of SpecGram has been to deny that the AutoGrammatikon™ exists, ... more ]

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Last updated May 30, 2020.