Most Popular Pages—Last 30 Days

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1. Vol CLXXXVII, No 3 (418 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 ]



2. What is SpecGram Doing in Response to COVID-19?The SpecGram Pandemic Interns (329 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 ]



3. Vol CLXXXVII, No 4 (207 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CLXXXVII, Number 4 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, Luca Dinu, Andrew Lamont, Matthew Lee, Joe McAvoy, Josh Nash, Steve Politzer-Ahles, Mary Shapiro; Joey Whitford, Comptroller General; Emic, Etic; Put Up in the Attic; June 2020 ... more ]



4. Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (197 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. How Will COVID-19 Affect the World Toponymically and Onomastically?Joshua Nash (173 visits)

How Will COVID-19 Affect the World, Toponymically and Onomastically?. Joshua “Jozza” Nash. We have watched the world change linguistically these last months. Concepts like COVID clusters, COVID hot spots, tracking the virus, now is not the time (to take a holiday), stay at home, stay safe, and save lives, we’re flattening the curve, keeping to essential services, stopping the spread, social distancing, self-isolation, acquiring or contracting versus transmitting or infecting, when we get through this, on the other side of this, the new normal, and many others now occur in common parlance and have all taken on their own new and possibly improved meaning. There are the names of the cruise ships like ... more ]



6. LinguimericksBook ७३O Morphology! (142 visits)

Linguimericks, Book ७३O Morphology!. My father was quite analytic, While my mother was polysynthetic. So my childhood was wrecked, And I tried to inflect, But at last I found love with a clitic —William Deakspeare, Morpheme-land was invaded one day And the bound morphemes all locked away: -ic, -al, -ism and -tion Found themselves in prison, ’Til the roots came and set them all free —William Deaksworth, Now, how to define a morpheme Is trickier that it may seem. “A unit of meaning” Can be rather misleading. Let’s say it’s just “half a lexeme” —Alfred, Lord Deakyson, Cranberry Panic “There’s a cranberry morph and ... more ]



7. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (129 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. SemioticaDeedles D’Dee (127 visits)

Semiotica. Deedles D’Dee, SpecGram Poet-in-Residence. There’s a corner of linguistics that is known as semiotics: “The science of the sign”and it’s turned lofty profs psychotic! There are several semioticiansEco, Lotman, Barthes— But two of them, it’s claimed, stand two feet taller and apart: A Swiss and an American. Although they never met They’re considered the key players of the semiotics set. Saussure, first, was so sure that the sign was dyadic— Signifier and signifiedhe got quite ecstatic. It fit well with his view that reality was dichotomous (Saussurean precociousness or just so sure and serious?). ... more ]



9. The Moby-Dick of Linguistics ResearchJonathan Downie (126 visits)

The Moby-Dick of Linguistics Research. Jonathan Downie. Much like other “classics” Moby-Dick is a book that many allude to but few actually read. As a non-reader, I am eminently qualified to point out how the author, Jane Eyre, used the sweet story of a man’s love for his whale to illuminate the process of linguistics research. First, it is clear that the the main character, Captain Ahab, whose likeness was later used to sell fish fingers, is drawn from a long line of biblical allusions. Just as Charles Dickens would invent the orphan Oliver Left-wing to connote the quest for more data, and the Brontë sisters would transmute their love for reptilian communication ... more ]



10. Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? (120 visits)

Quipley’s Don’t Believe It! ... Or Do? Frank Quipley returned from a long stay at a lavish villa in Tuscany. We thought that the villain1 was over there for one of his many extended vacations, but it turns out he was also digging into the past of one of the region’s most famous former languages. We were planning to skip the talk until we saw Josh wheel in a case of Castello di Quipley wine. The consensus is that it is overpriced (price: free and all-you-can-drink if you attend a Quipley talk), but we were determined to get as much value as possible. The origins of the Etruscan language are shrouded in mystery. Some hypothesize that it may be related to undeciphered languages in ... more ]



11. About Us (120 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!



12. The Journal of Lockdown Linguistics (International Edition)Announcement from Panini Press (115 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT — http://SpecGram.com/PaniniPress 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 ]



13. Archives (112 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. Linguistic Folk WisdomKnuttink Gnu & Underda Sun (112 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 ]



15. A Time of Unprecedentedly “Unprecedented Times”A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (109 visits)

A Time of Unprecedentedly “Unprecedented Times”. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. In these unprecedented times, it is important to not lose our heads; we must remain calm and steadfast in the face of adversity in these unprecedented times, joining togetherwhile maintaining the appropriate social distance in these unprecedented timesfor the common good. However, unless the times become even more unprecedented and some virus mutates one of your loved ones into a flesh-eating zombie, or the virus itself grows to the size of a beachball and begins chasing you through your garden,1 there is no excuse for wildly inaccurate speech,2 even in ... more ]



16. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (105 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. Don’t forget to write the silent k, and especially don’t forget to NOT write the invisible silent k. ... more ]



17. The SpecGram Linguistic Advice Collective (104 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: ... more ]



18. What Does the Fax Say?Ada Cross and Tad Fox (103 visits)

What Does the Fax Say?. Ada Cross and Tad Fox. Normally, our crossword-grid constructor in Chicago faxes a completed grid to the SpecGram puzzle office in Denver, where our ever-changing stable of indistinguishable (and undistinguished) interns fight for the right to be the one who writes the clues. Unfortunately for this month’s lucky winner Ada, the fax machine was broken in the melee, and we haven’t been able to open up a time portal to 1989 to contact the repair guy. Instead, we had to rely on an even older piece of technology, landline phones. We’re sure none of this matters for solving the puzzle, but our test solver noted that eight of the clues seemed weird and suggested that three ... more ]



19. Where Is/Are the Where(s) of Linguistics?Candace Castaway (97 visits)

Where Is/Are the Where(s) of Linguistics?. by Candace Castaway, Professor of Bilbliomancy in Linguistics, The Δίς Λεγόμενον Centre for Endeepened Ideation. The bibliothèque with its sturdy columns, classical busts and Mount Rushmore-esque portraiture of the esteemed of yesteryear archetypifies the locale of intellect not merely on a socio-architectural level but, also (and pragma-ideationally more so) on a psycho-geographic level insofar as it constitutes a cognitively beneficent anti-Pandora’s Box. To reiterate, the psycho-geography of the bibliothèque both symbolises the aspirational ... more ]



20. /nuz baɪts/ (95 visits)

/ nuz baɪts /. Not a wire news service but still more reliable than most newspapers. Global Capitalism in Crisis. In recent weeks, in yet another crisis for global capitalism, our / nuz dɛsk / has received reports of discontent, unrest and even whining across several industries in the US and beyond. From what our Correspondent Corps has been able to gather, back in January, an email went out from the head of finance of a Michigan tire factory addressed, “Dear All, ...” This sparked immediate angry protests from the production line floor, with the Union representative, Dave McDave, calling for industry-wide action. In his words: “Blue collar workers should no longer have to tolerate ... more ]



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Last updated Jun. 4, 2020.