Most Popular Pages—Today

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1. Survey (20 visits)

Redirecting to the Survey. ... more ]

2. Pivotal Moments in the History of LinguisticsJohn Miaou and Kean Kaufmann (18 visits)

Pivotal Moments in the History of Linguistics. By John Miaou, Illustrated by Kean Kaufmann. ... Daniel Jones discovers a cardinal vowel. ... more ] Book!

3. Language Evolution and the Acacia TreeSean Geraint (8 visits)

Language Evolution and the Acacia Tree. by Sean Geraint. Last year, renowned treethnographer Garik Roblerks noticed that two books on the evolution of language had strikingly similar covers. Both Christiansen & Kirby’s Language Evolution and Fitch’s The Evolution of Language boasted an acacia tree in the sunset. On closer inspection, these turned out to be different pictures of the same tree. ... A comparison of the books, by Christiansen & Kirby (left) and Fitch (right) Having spent a year tracking trees in Kenya, I can confirm that the tree is from Maasai Mara National Reserve. The tree has attracted a lot of attention since its entrance into the glamorous world of book cover design, and I ... more ] Book!

4. An Introduction to Linguistics in Haiku FormAnonymous (6 visits)

An Introduction to, Linguistics in Haiku Form. Anonymous. linguistic theory, hidden representations, to surface structures phonology is, sound patterns of languages, phonemes, allophones phonetics is sounds, articulation of them, acoustics, hearing comp. linguistics is, theory into efficient, implementation morphology is, if same structure, same meaning, then it’s a morpheme syntactic theory, blah blah chomsky chomsky blah, blah chomsky blah blah ... more ] Podcast! Book!

5. Shhhhhhh! Don’t Tell AnyoneAn Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Hallucinogenic Language of the NoydClaude Searsplainpockets (5 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. Shhhhhhh! Don’t Tell Anyone. An Anthropological Linguistic Study of the Hallucinogenic Language of the Noyd. Bizarre Grammars of the World, Vol. 62, Introduction. Located somewhere in the world, in a large city whose name I really shouldn’t reveal, is a small band of urban nomads who call themselves the Noyd. The Noyd have an interesting ritualistic language which they only use when they partake of certain hallucinogenic substances that they consider to be sacred. They are also very generous ... more ]

6. The Derivation Of Moses From MiddletownMetalleus (5 visits)

The Derivation Of Moses From Middletown. I have just been informed that during this last month one Silas O’Toole, a dedicated abstractionist known apparently to his linguistic colleagues as “Rules” O’Toole, in a paper delivered to the Linguistic Circle of Wyoming, proposed deriving Middletown from Moses with “only eighteen ordered processes.” I will not dignify these “rules” by repeating them here; O’Toole obviously takes us for a bunch of low-watt bulbs. Who, blown by what ghastly winds of theory, is going to believe, outside of Wyoming at any rate, that from five segments you can get eight? Forms do not attract matter to them like black holes in the course of their ... more ]

7. Letters to the Editor (CLIII.4) (5 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear Eds, I was elated to see the excerpt from the upcoming memoir of Eglantine Lady Fantod. I doubt the full memoir will include my own unforgettable encounter with her at the 1923 LSA meeting. I was only a grad student, but, after a brief introduction, she invited me to sit and drink with a group of her friends. After several glasses of quite fine wine, Eglantine insisted we all try to find meaningful anagrams of each others’ names. I’d only had one glass of wineit was all I could afford at the time, and on top of that I was terrified of losing control or making a fool of myself in such august companybut I was unable to come up with anything interesting. Most of ... more ]

8. Lingua PrancaThe Derivation of ‘Moses’ from ‘Middletown’Metalleus (5 visits)

The Derivation of ‘Moses’ from ‘Middletown’. Metalleus. I. The Naive Solution, Given: /, mídltawn/, (1), ídltawn-deletion, m, (2), ówzis-insertion, mówzis, II. A Sophisticated Solution, Given: /, mídltawn/, (1), Lateral Deletion, mídtawn, (2), Stop Assimilation, míttawn, (3), Degemination, mítawn, (4), Spirantization, mísawn, (5), Rounding, mísown, (6), Vowel Harmony, mówsown, (7), Syncope, mówswn, (8), Glide Deletion, mówsn, (9), Dental Assimilation, mówss, (10), Schwa-Epenthesis, mówsis, (11), Intervocalic Voicing, mówzis, * * * * * * * * ... more ]

9. Οrthоgrаphiс Реrрlехеr (4 visits)

Оrthоgraрhіc Perрlехer. Welcome to the Speculative Grammarian Оrthοɡrаphіс Ρerplехеr! This not-quite-pointless little tool will munge your text, randomly replacing some characters with homoglyphs that are nearly identical1or at least quite reasonably similar to the untrained eye. Why? To make text both very hard and very easy to find via normal search (try to find “οrthoɡrарhіс реrрleхer” on this page, for example); to confuse and amaze your friends and enemies alike;6 to pass the time in a ... more ]

10. “Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill”by J–––– J––––––Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer (4 visits)

“Double-Dot Wide O / Nasal-Ingressive Voiceless Velar Trill” by J–––– J––––––. From Speculative Grammarian CLI.3; July 2006. Reviewed by Jonathan van der Meer. ... Double-Dot Wide O, Spoiler Alert !. It’s been more than eight years, so I’m going to go ahead and let you in on a little secret: the nasal-ingressive voiceless velar trill is a pig snort, and the double-dot wide O looks like a pig snout. (Some phoneticians will argue that they themselves produce a uvular trill. They probably doespecially when reading journals less interesting than SpecGrambut ... more ]

11. Vol CXCI, No 3 (4 visits)

Speculative Grammarian Volume CXCI, Number 3 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, Palatalizing the Glottal Stop Since 1205; December 2021 ... more ]

12. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (3 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!

13. A Grad Student’s Guide to PublicationBill Spruiell (3 visits)

A Grad Student’s Guide to Publication. by Bill Spruiell. If you’re a graduate student, you’re probably unsure about where to submit that brilliant piece of writing you’ve just completed for publication. And you’re also probably tired of those darn confusing flow charts everyone seems to be using now, with their baffling “yes” and “no” paths! Well now you can simplify your decision-making without a single flow chart. Just rely on our simple, limpidly clear network diagram, using the latest in Amorphous Blob Unstratal Architecture. ... more ]

14. Archives (3 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 ]

15. G. Ricean Maxims for the Earnest ResearcherPaul G. Rice (3 visits)

G. Ricean Maxims for the Earnest Researcher. by Paul G. Rice. 1. The Maxim of Brevity Use no more and no fewer words than are necessary to ensure that, by the end of your paper or talk, your reader or hearer has forgotten what you said at the start. 2. The Maxim of Manner Ensure that it is entirely clear to your readers or hearers that you know exactly what you are doing and they have no idea what you did. 3. The Maxim of Quantity All data that problematises your initial assumptions can and should be accidentally lost. The same applies to data that would a) make your funders look bad b) make your supervisor or boss look bad and c) make an established theory that you actually like look bad. 4. The Maxim of Relation No theory ... more ]

16. About Us (3 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!

17. A New Mechanism For Contact-Induced Change: Evidence From Maritime LanguagesH.D. Onesimus (3 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!

18. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart זSynchronic vs. DiachronicPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (3 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 ]

19. Quotes: What People are Saying (3 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 ]

20. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart жThe Trouble with NLPPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (3 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!

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Last updated Jan. 19, 2022.