Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. Gavagai with PeppersRob van der Sandt (48 visits)

Gavagai with Peppers (serves 4) Many tasty gavagai recipes were brought from the jungle by linguists and missionaries in the first half of the 20th century. After the publication of Quine’s Word and Object they gained popularity among philosophers, though the book’s underlying idea was soon attacked from linguistic circles. As an unfortunate consequence, gavagai recipes emanating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tend to be inedible. In most gavagai recipes quantities are vague, as is the exact nature of the meat to be used. Many recipes prescribe sundry undetached rabbit parts as a basic ingredient. The following is an exception. Ingredients 800g of properly detached rabbit parts ... more ] Podcast!

2. Ps. Q.The Effect of Coffee Consumption on Adults’ Average MLU at the Breakfast TableSuzy X. (37 visits)

Dear Sirs: When Mommy fell asleep at the computer during her third straight all-nighter and accidentally erased her doctoral thesis, I wrote this to help her out. She graduated with honors, and so I thought I’d do a paper on it and send it to you, since I’ve heard it’s your kind of thing. Please do not print my full name with this article, because I am not allowed to use Mommy’s computer at all. Thanks, Suzy X. P.S. My little brother Jimmy also contributed to this work, but I only let him touch the computer once. The Effect of Coffee Consumption on Adults’ Average MLU at the Breakfast Table. Jimmy and I have always thought that the way Mommy and Daddy act in the morning has something to do with how ... more ] Podcast!

3. A Psychosis of the “Framework Psychosis” FrameworkJonathan van der Meer (35 visits)

A Psychosis of the “Framework Psychosis” Framework. by Jonathan van der Meer, Center for Computational Bioinformatics and Linguistics, and Speculative Grammarian Editor-at-Large. The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum —Havelock Ellis, Framework Psychosis, as expertly reified by Dr. Pill (Speculative Grammarian, CLV.2), is a very useful window on the world. It provides an explanatory model of the success of the most successful frameworks, of tribalism in linguistics, and of Chomsky’s successful decades-long trivialization of performance in favor of competence. We even use a Framework Psychosis Model as a way to filter submissions at SpecGram. However, I ... more ] Podcast!

4. Comestible Morphosyntax: The Effects of Food Intake On Grammatical PerformanceH.D. Onesimus (35 visits)

Comestible Morphosyntax: the effects of food intake on grammatical performance 1. H.D. Onesimus, Unified Commission for the Study of Behavior. Abstract, Food intake is shown to correlate with morphosyntactic behavior. 1 Introduction, It has long been observed2 that ingestion of food and other nontoxic comestibles changes linguistic behavior. In order to satisfy the publication criterion for my continued employment, I decided to conduct a systematic investigation of this relationship. 2 Method, The ethnographic method commonly labeled participant observation was employed. Nightly analysis of preliminary field data (my notebooks are available on request) suggested that ... more ] Book!

5. Moundsbar ConnectionsMetalleus (33 visits)

Moundsbar Connections. On the isle of Dolop, off the coast of Gwap, lies the tiny community of Pif. However, we know nothing about it. Turning to Moundsbar, there are at least three languages related to it, Aro, Sorno and Koro. Aro is spoken by a few hundred souls in an enclave in the “Fan” district of Richmond, Virginia; Sorno has been extinct since the third century but was spoken on Guam and Saipan in the last years of the Roman Empire, though you would never know it from Roman history; no speakers of Koro have been located but a Koro language must be hypothesized to account for certain telegrams received through the years by the Moundsbarians which they were unable to read. Moundsbar /kp/ corresponds to /p/ in Aro, ... more ]

6. The Splendid WordsJames S. Pasto (29 visits)

The Splendid Words. James S. Pasto. I got them! It took me seven years, three jobs, two marriages, and season tickets to the Red Sox, but I got them. He knew it as soon as he looked up and saw me; knew who I was even though he had never seen me. “You found us,” he said. “How nice.” I noted the ‘us’ and I noted him. He was lean with jet-black hair, hawkish dark eyes, and perfectly straight teeth that smiled shyly. The smile irritated me. I pulled out the gun, an old .45-caliber Webley-Fosbery with a hammer. The smile faded. “Now, now, is there really need for that?” “I’ll decide,” I said. “I’m calling the shots.” The smile ... more ]

7. What is SpecGram Doing in Response to COVID-19?The SpecGram Pandemic Interns (28 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 ]

8. Syntax: Above and BeyondShane van Vansen & Nathan du West (27 visits)

Syntax: Above and Beyond. By Shane van Vansen & Nathan du West. Syntacticians are set to take a step into the unknown next month with the scheduled launch of two satellites which, it is hoped, will attain the hitherto murky Edge of the Sentence (EotS), if not beyond. Modelled on the two Voyager craft of the 1970s, the twin hi-tech devices, named Supra-Sentence Satellite A and B, will take slightly different trajectories: SSSA is designed for low supra-sentence work; SSSB, by contrast, is intended to reach far beyond the sentence into uncharted territory. According to Dr D. Scourse of the Supra-Sentence Satellite project, syntacticians have suspected for decades that there may be some matter or material above ... more ]

9. Polyglot DerivativesPart IPaul E. and Polly Glōttidēs (23 visits)

Polyglot Derivatives Part I. Paul E. and Polly Glōttidēs, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. The world is a multilingual place. Increasingly, it is filled with multilingual people. And dang it, they just keep becoming more multilingual all the time. Plenty of Europeans speak more than two languages, and a couple of North Americans do, too. But this florescent multilingualism isn’t your grandfather’s old “two languages and a spare”. No, as the richness of humans’ relationships to one another (and to the entire created order) continues to entwickeln, new varieties of multilingualism are constantly arising. No longer can the simple term ... more ]

10. Vol CXC, No 1 (22 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CXC, Number 1 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, Luca Dinu, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Egan Chernoff, Joe McAvoy, Tom Patterson, Daniel Swanson; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; From Alpha Subscripts to Alpha Male Mega-Scripts; April 2021 ... more ]

11. Rasmus Rask Diamond Puzzle XILila Rosa Grau (21 visits)

Rasmus Rask Diamond Puzzle XI. by Lila Rosa Grau. This is the eleventh Rasmus Rask puzzle, devoted to the original Mr. Charming Scandinavian Linguist. The puzzle is similar to a crossword puzzle, in that there is a grid for filling in words and phrases, and clues for the ACROSS and DOWN directions. However, all the squares in a Rasmus Rask puzzle are filled with letters, and the answers to the clues may (but are not required to) overlap. Clues for a particular row or column are given together, in the order they appear in the grid. No indication of the amount of overlap between clues is given. Letters spelling out RASMUS RASK in a diamond shape are given to provide a framework for filling in the answers. ... more ]

12. A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky AntonymsJessie Sams (19 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 ]

13. Archives (17 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 ]

14. /nuz baɪts/ (11 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Prescriptive Superciliousness Reaches Dangerous New Highs. The cause of prescriptivists has received a recent boost due to a rather intriguing incident in Sludgebutt, Pennsylvania. Billy Bob and Sylvania Fudgenugget felt that their relationship could do with a quick spruce-up. Imagine their surprise when, due to a data entry error, they were confronted with a five-time state champion martial arts coach and not the marital arts expert they thought they had booked. The local dojo was, however, very pleased to receive a very detailed and effective session of relationship maintenance and dealing with internalized anger. The ... more ]

15. The Original Language of Winnie-the-PoohAureliano Buendía (10 visits)

The Original Language of Winnie-the-Pooh. Aureliano Buendía, Universidad de Macondo. The text known in English as Winnie-the-Pooh occurs in dozens of different languages. Scholars have long debated the question of what was the original language of composition. One of the most popular hypotheses has been that the original text was written in English. The present paper will use textual evidence to demonstrate the impossibility of that hypothesis and to suggest a more likely candidate. Consider the following lines from the beginning of Chapter I in the English-language version. (1) he is...ready to be introduced to you. Winnie-the-Pooh. When I first heard his name, I said, just as you are going to ... more ] Podcast!

16. SpecGram Is No Mad Hatter’s Tea PartyFergal F. McFerguson-Ffyff (10 visits)

SpecGram Is No Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. By Guest Editor and SPFFaFF Director, Professor Fergal F. McFerguson-Ffyff. The SpecGram Post-Graduate Fiscal, Financial and Funding Fund (SPFFaFF) was surprised to the point of discombobulation (and I utter that last word 20% slower than the average 73-year-old says, ‘Pardon?’ on a morpheme-per-unit-time basis) recently to receive an application for funding for a proposed PhD entitled ‘Poking fun in the letters of 17th century England: the Linguistics of Restoration Satire’. Intriguing, perhaps; appropriate, no! Read on! It’s a slack time at SpecGram HQ, so we thought we’d replace an otherwise ... more ]

17. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (10 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!

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Last updated Apr. 21, 2021.