Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CXCI, No 2 (235 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CXCI, Number 2 Editor-in-Chief, Trey Jones, Executive Editor, Keith Slater, Senior Editors, Mikael Thompson, Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor;s, Pete Bleackley, Deak Kirkham; Associate Editors: Vincent Fish, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Luca Dinu, Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associate, Daniela Müller, Stephen Politzer-Ahles, Reed Steiner, Comptroller General, Joey Whitford, Is This a Tag Question, That I See Before Me, Innit?; October 2021 ... more ]



2. Germanic Day & The Celebration of Romance (116 visits)

Germanic Day & The Celebration of Romance . We are making something known to you: Germanic Day!. Speculative Grammarian is happy to tell the world about our new yearly holidayGermanic Day! What is Germanic Day? It is a day set aside to think about the Germanic roots that can still be found in English. It gives thanks for the lasting strength of Germanic words. Germanic Day happens on October 13. That was the last day before King Harold was struck down by the Norman gang led by William, and Germanic words at the heart of English began to wane. Before that, English was all Germanic; afterwards, French loanwords took over. What will we do on Germanic Day? ... more ]



3. About Us (111 visits)

Speculative Grammarian and SpecGram.com. 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!



4. Archives (93 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 ]



5. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (89 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!



6. On the Scourge of Anti-Passive Stylistic AdviceHidden Agents for Passives (88 visits)

On the Scourge of Anti-Passive Stylistic Advice. Hidden Agents for Passives. [Note: This editorial has been accepted for publication as it was deemed of interest to our audience. No guarantees are offered on quality or relevance —Eds. ] Press Release Editorial Begins It has come to our attention that the passive voice has been deemed extraneous to good style. Advice has been given by leaders in grammar and style that the passive is seen as slow or awkward. This important linguistic structure has been denigrated by cartoonists and authors alike too! Let there be no more of this! The passive is supported by us and monies are being raised to support the campaign led by our organisation. It will be shown ... more ]



7. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (80 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!



8. The Symptoms and Warning Signs of Framework PsychosisDr. Pill, M.D. (80 visits)

The Symptoms and Warning Signs of Framework Psychosis. By Dr. Pill, M.D.. Framework Psychosis, a new and dangerous affliction sweeping through academia like wildfire, is the unhealthy (and unfounded) belief that one’s framework, whatever it may be, is the one true framework. As a public service, I have written up a set of guidelines that will allow concerned individuals to identify those suffering from Framework Psychosis. If you are an academic, I encourage you to post this list in your lounges, labs, lecture halls, and latrines. With your help, we may yet be able to eradicate FP in our lifetime. There is no such thing as a framework free of complications. If you believe you subscribe to one, you may be a ... more ] Podcast!



9. A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky AntonymsJessie Sams (70 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. Vol CXCI, No 1 (69 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CXCI, Number 1 Editor-in-Chief, Trey Jones, Executive Editor, Keith Slater, Senior Editors, Mikael Thompson, Jonathan Downie, Contributing Editor;s, Pete Bleackley, Deak Kirkham; Associate Editors: Vincent Fish, Mark Mandel; Assistant Editors: Emily Davis, Luca Dinu, Yuval Wigderson, Editorial Associate, Reed Steiner, Comptroller General, Joey Whitford, More for Phonology Than Morphophonology; September 2021 ... more ]



11. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart זSynchronic vs. DiachronicPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (69 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part ז—Synchronic vs. Diachronic. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. If you have fallen behind, try to catch up. For those who are caught up, a simple explanation of the difference between synchronic contrast and diachronic contrast, illustrated with examples from a couple of the beautiful Romance languagesSpanish and its ancestor, Latin: Synchronic ... Diachronic ... Up next: The Trouble with NLP. References, Barðdal, Jóhanna H. (2001). Case in Icelandic: A Synchronic, Diachronic and Comparative Approach. Blevins, Juliette. (2004). Evolutionary Phonology: The Emergence of Sound ... more ]



12. Evidence in Defense of the Strong Whorf HypothesisReed Steiner (69 visits)

Evidence in Defense of the Strong Whorf Hypothesis. Reed Steiner. Abstract. Many critics of the strong Whorf hypothesis argue that the evidence is not strong enough. However, a study conducted using four students and a copy of Deniss Villeneue’s Arrival suggests otherwise. Literature review. While most good scholars accepted the strong Whorf hypothesis as an unquestionable fact,1, 2 there is a little bit of light criticism.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 The predominant argument (it’s not a strawman because I cite a woman) is that Whorf wasn’t a linguist.23 However, this argument does not stand up to scrutiny. After ... more ]



13. LinguimericksBook ८८ (68 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ८८. This paper you’ve given to me Is as far from the truth as can be. It has artful syntax, But meaning it lacks: Was it written by GPT-3? —Pete Bleackley, My brother’s fave dialogue’s Phædo And his fave Star Wars character’s Greedo. Now that’s pretty bad, But there’s worse to be said: He only speaks Klingon and Ido —Dikolibro, There once was a thinker contrarian Who claimed that what we call Sumerian Was a programming language For old flood control tankage With a manual writ’n in Bulgarian —Pumptilian Perniquity, I wish I had known Ludoviko And considered him mia amiko. Though he went with Germanic For knabo, no ... more ]



14. The Quotta and the Quottiod: Punctuation Designed for Linguists, by LinguistsVére Çélen (63 visits)

The Quotta and the Quottiod. Punctuation Designed for Linguists, by Linguists. Vére Çélen, l’École de SpecGram, Cheboksary, Chuvashia. It is not news to linguists that particular forms of punctuation can be problematic. One frequent source of considerable friction in certain circles is the unending debate over whether and when (and, increasingly, why) commas and periods go inside or outside quotation marksespecially when they are not actually part of the material to be quoted. Typically careful linguists usually prefer not to include punctuation in a quoted citation form or gloss, while many punctilious punctuationally prescriptivist publishers demand they be ... more ] Podcast!



15. Rasmus Rask Mini Puzzle XIILila Rosa Grau (63 visits)

Rasmus Rask Mini Puzzle XII. by Lila Rosa Grau. This is the twelfth 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 along the diagonal are given to provide a framework for filling in the answers. Grey ... more ]



16. Quotes: What People are Saying (62 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 ]



17. University News (62 visits)

University News. Explosion in Interest in Id-Idos. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia After a relatively quiet 20th century, the constructed language Ido is back on the conlang linguistic scene. The Institute for Conlangs (Auxiliary and Neo-Auxiliary) in Texas (ICANT) is set to publish a series of neo-reforms to the Ido language, itself a reform of Zamenhof’s own 1894 reforms of Esperanto.1 I caught up with Professor of Metathesis, Mythical Beasts and Conlanging, Karken von Unicron de la Dargon at ICANT to ask about Ido. ‘Well,’ began the Prof, having dashed in from a local bakery with a nicely presented tray of ham ... more ]



18. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (57 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!



19. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (56 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 ]



20. A New Mechanism For Contact-Induced Change: Evidence From Maritime LanguagesH.D. Onesimus (55 visits)

A New Mechanism For Contact-Induced Change: Evidence From Maritime Languages. H.D. Onesimus, Gobi Institute of Maritime Linguistics, Lanzhou, China. Modern contact linguistics has demonstrated an impressive ability to account for language change and the emergence of new languages with a remarkably small number of mechanisms: bilingualism, creolization, borrowing, and convergence (also known as “smart drift”). However, a few intractable situations of language contact seemingly cannot be accounted for in terms of this elegant system (notable examples include Wutun, Ma’a and Texas English). In this article, I show how the long-standing problem of Penguin and the Cetacean languages reveals a new type of ... more ] Podcast! Book!



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Last updated Oct. 15, 2021.