Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CLXXXIX, No 2 (250 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 ]

2. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (86 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!

3. Vol CLXXXIX, No 1 (82 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXIX, 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, Yuval Wigderson; Editorial Associates: Egan Chernoff, Luca Dinu, Andrew Lamont, Tel Monks, Daniela Müller, Josh Nash, Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro, Daniel Swanson, Fabian Tomaschek, Benjamin Tucker; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Stupid in Its Brilliance, Brilliant in Its Stupidity; December 2020 ... more ]

4. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (82 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!

5. University News (81 visits)

University News. Clitics Discovered to Be Remnant of Homo neanderthalis Proto-Language. by Ruthlessly Roving Reporter Miss Deakina Andrea Kirkhamia Researchers at the University of Moore Fullergee recently announced an exciting discovery which is likely to reshape the study of grammar. According to the Centre for Language Informatics, Theoretical Informaticologicistics and Cognitive Syntac­tico­log­istical­isa­tion­alis­ation (CLITICS), cliticsthose pesky sub-lexical units that mess around in second position, refuse to adopt a full phonological profile and, in a more overt and blatant dependency than dependency grammar, cling ... more ]

6. Happy New Year01.01.21 Editors Yan F. Urst and Dan U. Errie (74 visits)

Happy—and we genuinely hope it will be!—New—and it most certainly is denotatively; hopefully also connotatively!—Year—this lexeme’s pretty objective so we can’t really add a comment (other than this comment which is in effect a non-comment)*. by 01.01.21 Editors Yan F. Urst and Dan U. Errie, with the assistance of January D’Munph, aged 21, additional material by Herbie ’n’ Yu Yi-Ah. So 2020’s part of history; gone, flown, disappeared, taking with it a rough-and-tumble, rollercoaster of an OTT water chute theme park ride of a year and leaving in its place but the haze of lazy memories of past crazy days. Odd that disaster should strike ... more ]

7. P.R.E.S.C.R.I.P.T.I.V.E.An Improved Approach to Grammaticality AssessmentsJudd Zh’mntəls-Peeqrs (73 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 ]

8. The Laziest Language on EarthAn Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Perry So-soClaude Searsplainpockets (72 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!

9. Archives (70 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 ]

10. Ask Grammaticality Brown (68 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. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics (68 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 ]

12. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (67 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!

13. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (66 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 Pack, I’ve been having a hard time explaining to my family and non-linguistics-grad friends (both of them) just what it is I do all day. (Well, in practice what I do all day is lie in bed and browse Twitter, but I digress...) Which brings me to my main question: what is linguistics really? Is ... more ]

14. Letters to the Editor (CLXXXIX.2) (65 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Editors, I see that you’re still blatantly s for biased interest groups as your recent article completely failed to acknowledge the contributions of currency-named Americans such as the great Vin¢ Price, ℳ Twain, ₭ Thorne, William J. Lan֏ ₾ Metcalf, ₣ Lloyd Wright, R Paul, ₥dred Pierce, and ƒce Nightingale. I’ve got a ¥ to cancel my subscription and read a ﷼ news source instead. To be ₣ you’ve got ฿ in the belfry. Sincerely, Mike d. PS: Don’t forget that we ₩ this election, by a lot! ... Dear J. C. Penney, Complaints like yours are a dime a dozen! You can go £ sand ... more ]

15. Bilabial Angel of MwahThe Phreeee-Phinkin’ Philosophers of Philologogia and The SpecGram Encyclopedia of Linguistic Deities (64 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 ]

16. Diacritical Linguimericks, Part IBook ८० (64 visits)

Diacritical Linguimericks, Part I, Book ८०. The double acute, as a rule Is a rare diacritical tool; But it’s used, with the rest: Fly to fair Budapest And you’ll see it, there, in Magyarul —Rick Limmer, I’m in love with a twinny diaeresis, Each dot an identical little miss. ‘I adore you,’ I shout To this lovely umlaut; But all I get back is a kïssy-kïss —William Deaksworth, The circumflex points to the sky. If you follow it up with your eye You can see as you peer Through the whole atmosphere. It’s easy, just give it a try —Fi F. Lyons, The double grave, double acute Are both diacritically beaut. So what I wanna see Is not two strikes but three, Which would bear diacritical ... more ]

17. Scriptominoes ITrey Jones & Keith Slater (62 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 ]

18. Inter-Lingual Personal ScriptDaniel Swanson (61 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 ]

19. Helpful Comparisons for the ConfusedSimon Ile and Mattie Phore (61 visits)

Helpful Comparisons for the Confused. Simon (Sim) Ile and Mattie Phore, Association for Comparative Associations. New concepts and fields can seem daunting at first, so we at the Association for Comparative Associations have assembled a crack team of comparators to create and compile this guide to a variety of linguistic and non-linguistic concepts and core ideas. We may add to it later as funding and scope allow. Note that some comparisons may seem at odds with others; we welcome a diversity of perspectives and points of view, even if some of them are clearly wrong. Linguistics: It’s like mathematics, only nobody agrees about any of the units or operations. or, Linguistics: It’s like ... more ]

20. Linguistic Sub-Fields Explained for the Research NoviceSun Field & Lynn Gwee (59 visits)

Linguistic Sub-Fields Explained for the Research Novice. Sun Field & Lynn Gwee, X. Quizzit Korps Center for Advanced Collaborative Studies. PhoneticsWe’re just really into mouths. PhonologyWe argue abstractly about representations of systems that might have some relationship to the sounds you make. (No, we don’t care what you think.) Optimality TheoryWhatever doesn’t kill you might make you more faithful. MorphologyWhy, when and how words and words; words are bits of words; words are two or more words; or words are a whole sentence. Or any combination of these. MorphophonologySound tweaks when morphs meet. ... more ]

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Last updated Jan. 18, 2021.