Most Popular Pages—Last 7 Days

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1. About Us (77 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!

2. The Laziest Language on EarthAn Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Perry So-soClaude Searsplainpockets (66 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!

3. The TaalbergenWanejem Tii (43 visits)

The Taalbergen. Wanejem Tii, Department of Anthropology, University of Vienna, West Papua. A few years ago, a geological expedition into the Taalbergen of Western New Guinea (Lyell, Cuvier and Wegener (2001), henceforth LCW), previously thought to be uninhabited, found that the massif is indeed inhabited by a wide variety of primitive tribes. Indeed, this is the only thing they found, as they fled the region in a panic after a still mysterious incident none of the surviving members of the expedition was willing to say more about it. Several years later the funds and arms could be raised to go on another, this time anthropological, expedition into the area (Morgan, Lévi-Strauss and Geertz (2005), ... more ]

4. Vol CXC, No 4 (30 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CXC, Number 4 Post–Brood X Magicicada, Super Duper Issue ... 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: Reed Steiner; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; An Infinitude of Jots and Tittles; Mid-July 2021 ... more ]

5. Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? (28 visits)

Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? This week’s departmental seminar was given by Josh Quipley, who has recently returned from an extensive period conducting “linguistic research” in Europe. Josh spoke about his search for the elusive “South Germans” speakers of the lost fourth branch of the Germanic language family. He said that his research was inspired by a weathervane.1 Josh’s presentation included picture after picture of his stylish journey southward from Germany: Klosters, St. Moritz, Kitzbühel, Zurs, Verbier, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and so on. There were a surprisingly large number of pictures of après-ski for someone who ... more ]

6. Archives (28 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 ]

7. Linguistic LinguisticsBook Announcement from Psammeticus Press (28 visits)

Psammeticus Press,, NEW BOOK Linguistic Linguistics: An Intradisciplinary Introduction, by Constantine Köprülü Psammeticus Textbooks in Linguistics, Published 2007. Hardcover, 97 pages. Price: $249, Psammeticus Press is proud to present a one-of-a-kind new intradisciplinary linguistics textbook—with no more of this trendy, namby-pamby interdisciplinary dilution of linguistics. Köprülü urges a return to hard core fundamentals, discarding all distractions that lead away from what truly matters in the field. Some of the questions Köprülü answers in the introduction include: Can Washoe or Koko ... more ]

8. Toward a New Classification of the European LanguagesMedved Sem (27 visits)

Toward a New Classification of the European Languages. Dr. Medved Sem. πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ κοὐδὲν ὀμπρέλλας δεινότερον πέλει, ‘There are many wonderful things, and nothing is more wonderful, than an umbrella.’ Sophocles, Antigone 332 It is well-known that several unsuccessful attempts have been made to classify the languages of the European continent. One early scheme sorted them according to the words for ‘God’ resulting in deus-, bog- ... more ] Book!

9. Suspended Jail Sentence for World-Renowned Conversation Analyst Phil O’TorqueThe Editors of The Journal of Forbidden Experiments (26 visits)

Suspended Jail Sentence for World-Renowned, Conversation Analyst Phil O’Torque. by The Editors of The Journal of Forbidden Experiments. We’re saddened to report that the world-renowned conversation analyst, Philip Bartholomew ‘Garden in My Wellies’ Geigercounter O’Torque XXVI has been given a suspended jail sentence and struck off from the Association of American, Angolan, Antipodean and Andorran Analysts of Conversation (AAAAAAC) following allegations of impropriety and ethical naughtiness. Phil O’Torque did his PhD at the University of Lower Back, Paine in Chestershire, UK in 1965. Entitled Man, Woman and Plant: The Couple-to/and-Plant Talk ... more ]

10. Vol CLXVII, No 2 (25 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXVII, Number 2 ... Trey Jones, Managing Editor, Keith Slater, Senior Editor, Bill Spruiell, Consulting Editor, Tim Pulju, Editor Emeritus; Associate Editors: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Mikael Thompson, Sheri Wells-Jensen; Editorial Associates: Pete Bleackley, Florian Breit, Jonathan Downie, T.B. Geller, Adam Graham, Daniela Müller, David J. Peterson, Callum Robson; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Data is Optional; May 2013 ... more ]

11. Collateral Descendant of Lingua PrancaWhen I Heard the Learn’d LinguistSophrosyne Enchiridion (21 visits)

When I Heard the Learn’d Linguist. Sophrosyne Enchiridion. After Kruck, “When I Heard the Learn’d Syntactician/Phonologist” When I Heard the Learn’d Computational Linguist. When I heard the learn’d computational linguist; When the stats, the rules, were ranged in tables before me; When I was shown the chart-parsers and the dynamic programs to crunch them; When Isitting, heard the computational linguist, where she lectured with many algorithms in the lecture-room, How many times—uncountably!—I became dazed and confused; Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off into a crowd, In the many-voiced night-air, and from time to time, Comput’d in ... more ]

12. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (21 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!

13. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (21 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. Sprachgeist Guides for the Linguist on the Go!Book Announcement from Panini Press (18 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT — New from Panini Press: Sprachgeist Guides for the Linguist on the Go! Is that dative in the example set you’re looking at really a dative? Is a Karimojong participle the same thing you’d call a participle? As any linguist knows, it’s usefuland sometimes vitalto get an accurate picture of a language you’re not a specialist in, and to do it quickly. Unfortunately, up to now, doing so has involved trying to plow through reference grammars, and we all know the problems with those! Many authors create idiosyncratic terminology sets, use ... more ]

15. Son of Lingua Pranca (18 visits)

Son of Lingua Pranca. T. Ernst & E. Smith, Editors. Indiana University. IULC. November 1979. ... edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging, ... Son of, ^ Lingua, ... Pranca, ... fleur ... T. Ernst & E. Smith, eds. ... indiana university, ... i u linguistics club, ... more ]

16. Lingua Pranca (17 visits)

I U Linguistics Club. Lingua Pranca. T. Ernst & E. Smith, Editors. Indiana University. June 1978. ... i u linguistics club, edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging edging, ... Lingua, ... Pranca, ... fleur ... T. Ernst & E. Smith, eds. ... indiana university, ... more ]

17. Recision and PrecallAccuracy Measures for the 21st CenturyJonathan van der Meer (17 visits)

Recision and Precall, Accuracy Measures for the 21st Century. Jonathan van der Meer, Center for Computational Bioinformatics and Linguistics, NYC, NY. Thanks to a decades-long case of physics envy and the advent of cheap computational power, linguistics has devolved from a cultured gentlemen’s pseudo-science into a debased money-grubbing quasi-science. A pair of unfortunate side effects of this ensciencification and the ever-growing popularity of so-called “computational” linguistics are, first, the “need” to create formalizable and computationally tractable algorithms for doing linguistics, and, second, the “need” to create metrics to evaluate those ... more ] Podcast! Book!

18. Quotes: What People are Saying (17 visits)

Quotes: What People are Saying. Here are a few of our favorite things people have said about Speculative Grammarian over the years, collected wild on the internet, or domesticated in email — Q1118. C’est sans doute un humour un peu ésotérique mais bon —Sémioticien du bisou — Q1117. Support the addition of the double-dot wide O to the IPA chart by buying some Speculative Grammarian merchandise! No, I’m not being sponsored or getting a commission from them. I just appreciate good geeky humour —Grace Teng — Q1116. Speculative Grammarian ist die erste Zeitschrift für satirische Linguistik. Kostenlos zugänglich, ein ... more ]

19. Tim Pulju’s The History of Rome (17 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 ]

20. Ministry of Propaganda (16 visits)

The SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. Welcome to the SpecGram Ministry of Propaganda. The SpecGram Archive Elves™ have undertaken a project to digitize and share a sheaf of early 20th century SpecGram propaganda posters, which were used during the Great Linguistic War and the Second Linguistic War to encourage linguists everywhere to keep a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor during those trying times. We provide the digitized posters here for you to enjoy, retrospect on, and share. Select a poster to see a higher quality image, and for links to share on social media, to email friends, and to view or download the highest quality version of the image. If you have ideas for other messages that need ... more ]

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Last updated Jul. 27, 2021.