Most Popular Pages—Today

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1. Vol CXCI, No 2 (4 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. Archives (4 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 ]

3. A Love/Hate Relationship: Pesky AntonymsJessie Sams (3 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 ]

4. LingDokuLike SuDoku, But For LinguistsTrey Jones (3 visits)

LingDoku—Like SuDoku, But For Linguists. Trey Jones, l’École de SpecGram, Washington D.C.. The Japanese number/logic game SuDoku ... has become all the rage around the globe of late, and in a shameless attempt to cash in on that popularity, Speculative Grammarian is pleased to concoct a SuDoku-like activity for Linguists. Traditional SuDoku requires a certain amount of logical reasoning and subtle consideration of the evidence which many linguists probably find time-consuming, labor-intensive, and boring. LingDoku simplifies the logical components of SuDoku, and introduces a thin veneer of linguistics which confuses outsiders while making linguists feel superior. The rules of ... more ]

If that’s not enough to keep you busy...
You wouldn’t want to get any real work done, so let’s see what’s been happening over the last 7 days that might amuse you for a while.

Germanic Day & The Celebration of Romance (113 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 ]

On the Scourge of Anti-Passive Stylistic AdviceHidden Agents for Passives (33 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 ]

Pivotal Moments in the History of LinguisticsWilliam C. Spruiell and Kean Kaufmann (28 visits)

Pivotal Moments in the History of Linguistics. By William C. Spruiell, Illustrated by Kean Kaufmann. Nim Chimpsky Makes an Important Realization. ... more ]

Vol CLII, No 4 (27 visits)

SPECULATIVE GRAMMARIAN, Text Tricks Issue Volume CLII, Number 4; July 2007, Speculative Grammarian, Vol CLII, No 4, We Theorize, You Fall for It, MANAGING EDITOR, Trey Jones, SENIOR EDITOR, Keith Slater, EDITOR EMERITUS, Tim Pulju, ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Adam Baker, Martin Hilpert, Kean Kaufmann, Ken Miner, David J. Peterson, Harris Risman, Freya Shipley, Bill Spruiell, Jakob Steixner, Mikael Thompson, Rita Watson, Sheri Wells-Jensen, Joey Whitford, Christopher Wood, ... more ]

Rasmus Rask Mini Puzzle XIILila Rosa Grau (25 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 ]

LinguimericksBook ८८ (25 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 ]

About Us (24 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!

A New Mechanism For Contact-Induced Change: Evidence From Maritime LanguagesH.D. Onesimus (22 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!

Evidence in Defense of the Strong Whorf HypothesisReed Steiner (22 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 ]

Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics (18 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!

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Last updated Oct. 15, 2021.