Most Popular Pages—Today

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1. Linguistics Nerd CampBethany Carlson (9 visits)

Linguistics Nerd Camp. Bethany Carlson. Marty’s long nights doing syntax homework finally catch up with him. ... more ] Book!

2. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart EPhonetics vs. PhonologyHilário Parenchyma, C.Phil. (7 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. Archives (6 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 ]

4. Words of Dubious Roman OriginNumerius Negidius et Aulus Agerius (5 visits)

Words of Dubious Roman Origin. ab, Numerius Negidius, Optimus Magister, et, Aulus Agerius, Bonus Liber, Spurius Carvilius School of Rhetoric, Rome. These puzzles are worth 1/2 point each. Despite their odd numbering, these puzzles aren’t too hard. Fill in the blanks based on the clues provided. 101, sick, _____, 157, polite, _____, 207, a kind of duty, _____, 501, not ego, _____, 512, bright, _____, 551, container top, _____, 557, angry, _____, 601, pickle type, _____, 1001, past action, _____, 1001, do, re, etc. _____, 1006, good with vigor, _____, 1011, stir, _____, 1101, grind, _____, 1501, not bright, _____, 1501, not open, not close, _____, 1551, not spicy, _____, 2102, imitate, _____, ... more ]

5. Here We Go Againor, This Too Shall PassA Letter from the Editor-in-Chief (4 visits)

Here We Go Again ... or, This Too Shall Pass. A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief. Longtime1 readers of SpecGram will recall this journal’s most recent phœnexian rebirth in 2004, which was followed a few months and two issues later by the Brood X Magicicada Super Issue, a “celebratory” observance of the invasion of our D.C. offices by uncontrolled throngs of Brood X Magicicada septendecim. As any competent entomologist (and, really, any half-competent etymologist) could tell you, the offspring of that summer’s nominal locusts are to be expected to come calling seventeen years later.2 And thusa generation later, ... more ]

6. Lingua PrancaAutodescriptivesLeonard Talmy (4 visits)

Autodescriptives. Leonard Talmy, Neuropsychiatric Institute UCLA. haplogy, metasethis, apocop, sync’pe, epenethesis, rhotarism, assimination, asphiration, gemmination, affrichation, glotʔtalization/gloʔʔals, reduduplication, frönting, voized, fownɛDɪk, morph-eme-s, suffixed, genitive’s, noun, noun phrase, adjectival, adverbially, NP[ADJ[labeled]ADJ N[bracketing]N]NP, conjunction and/or disjunction, This is a complex sentence because it has a subordinate clause. ... more ]

7. Letters to the Editor (CL.3) (4 visits)

Letters to the Editor. Dear SpecGram Publishers, I must admit to being rather disappointed by the regularity of your publishing schedule for the last year or so. Back in the day, sending in your subscription payment was an exciting gambleperhaps you’d get 6 issues in 4 months, maybe you’d get nothing for the year. It used to be like battling an intermittent fire hose. Now I get regular emails alerting me to new online issues. I don’t even have to pay to read them. Where is the adventure in that? Willard B. Winkleham, Cuttycon, Connecticut — Wee Willy, I’ve spoken to our webmaster, and your email address has been purged from our database, so there will be no more pesky reminder ... more ]

8. Series Announcement from Xerus & Ratufa PressStudies in Contemporary Vietnamese Influences on English (4 visits)

ADVERTISEMENT Series Announcement from Xerus & Ratufa Press. Studies in Contemporary Vietnamese Influences on English. Xerus & Ratufa are inordinately pleased to announce our latest offerings for the better, more discerning sort of linguist: Studies in Contemporary Vietnamese Influences on English. With the spread of Vietnamese cuisine around the world, the language of its creators has spread with it, altering phonological systems everywhere. Xerus & Ratufa Editor-in-Chief Bill Coyne-Buckslightener states, “Historical linguists have often reconstructed instances where under conditions of language contact, earlier restricted distributions have been broadened, such as the phonemicization of voiced ... more ]

9. The Original English MovementAnnouncement (4 visits)

Announcement The Original English Movement. For decades descriptive linguists and professional prescriptivists--technical writers, editors, and English teachers--have been at war. As most linguists know all too — The Original, English Movement, seeks to resolve the, conflict between, descriptivists and, prescriptivists by, fully embracing the, notion that English, should not, change--not now, not in the future, not even in the past. — well, the prescriptivists say that descriptivism is at best a weak philosophy of usage, and at worst an invitation to grammatical chaos. However, too many prescriptivists maintain what is, to descriptivists, an illogical position: ... more ] Podcast!

10. Cartoon Theories of LinguisticsPart INon-Configurational LanguagesPhineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. (4 visits)

Cartoon Theories of Linguistics, Part I—Non-Configurational Languages. Phineas Q. Phlogiston, Ph.D. Unintentional University of Lghtnbrgstn. A. Mathematician Friend once told me that, in mathematics, it is sometimes said that if you cannot explain the basic outline of a mathematical idea to a bright and interested 10-year-old, then you don’t really understand it yourself. That got me thinking, and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions: According to my 10-year-old niece, I don’t understand any mathematical ideas. Something similar could be said for linguistic ideas. It is generally accepted that math is hard (Davis & Hersh, Friend, Lakoff & Núñez, Lucas, Mac Lane, ... more ] Book!

11. Lingua PrancaLinguistic Contributions To The Formal Theory Of Big-Game HuntingR. Mathiesen (4 visits)

Linguistic Contributions To The Formal Theory Of Big-Game Hunting. R. Mathiesen, Brown University. The Mathematical Theory of Big-Game Hunting must surely be ranked among the major scientific achievements of the twentieth century. That this is so is largely the work of one man, H. Pétard, in whose fundamental paper (1938) certain recent advances in mathematics and physics were employed with great skill to create a theory of unmatchednot to say unmatchable!power and elegance. One must not, of course, dismiss Pétard’s predecessors totally out of hand: the field had a long and distinguished history as a technology, was raised to the rank of a science by the Mysore and ... more ] Podcast!

12. Sprachgeist Guides for the Linguist on the Go!Book Announcement from Panini Press (4 visits)

PAID ADVERTISEMENT — New from Panini Press: Sprachgeist Guides for the Linguist on the Go! Is that dative in the example set you’re looking at really a dative? Is a Karimojong participle the same thing you’d call a participle? As any linguist knows, it’s usefuland sometimes vitalto get an accurate picture of a language you’re not a specialist in, and to do it quickly. Unfortunately, up to now, doing so has involved trying to plow through reference grammars, and we all know the problems with those! Many authors create idiosyncratic terminology sets, use ... more ]

13. The Oxford Comma: A SolutionEliza Doolittle (4 visits)

The Oxford Comma: A Solution. Eliza Doolittle. The Oxford Comma has once again raised its nasty little head in linguistic circles, thanks largely to the efforts of one Ms Truss and her book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It is time once and for all to put this little beast to rest. (No, not Ms Truss, you moron--the Oxford Comma). For those of you wondering what the Oxford Comma (OC) actually is, I have one question: what on earth are you doing reading an up-market linguistic magazine like this? So for your delectation and delight here is a definition of the OC: it’s the insertion of a comma after the penultimate item in a list, just before the and--for example, ‘coffee, cream, and ... more ] Podcast!

14. Internship at Phonetics Lab XThe Case of the Uvular NasalJohn Fredrickson (4 visits)

Internship at Phonetics Lab X, The Case of the Uvular Nasal. John Fredrickson. As part of my internship at the renowned Phonetics Lab X in Topeka, I kept a detailed lab notebook. This is an excerpt from that notebook. I was sitting at my desk, it was a Monday, my first day in the lab. I was preparing some experimental materials. I heard my name called from down the hall, “Fredrickson!” I rushed into the lab director’s office adjacent to mine. The nameplate on her door said “Dr. Alexandrine.” She was hanging up the phone as I entered. ”Fredrickson, we’ve got an emergency at City Hall. An enraged employee is holding the mayor hostage.” She was grave, “the employee ... more ]

15. Speech Disorders as Indicators of Potential for Lyrical SuccessOzzie Tchomzkij (4 visits)

Speech Disorders as Indicators of, Potential for Lyrical Success. by Ozzie Tchomzkij, Rock Glossologist to the Stars. In recent decades, there has been a subtle shift in popular music, as the idea that the human voice itself can be considered an instrument, rather than merely a delivery system for lyrics, has gained widespread acceptance among the general public. This has led to the recognition and thus to the success of such singers as Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper, and Pat Benatar, whose ethereal voices have a purity of tone unmatched among mere mortals. Most singers looking to make a name for themselves, though, do not have the kind of staggering talent that, for example, the divine Kate Bush does. However, those who are ... more ] Podcast!

16. Lingua PrancaTo Deify Roman Jakobson, Volume XXVBruno Dončikov and I. M. Slon (4 visits)

To Deify, Roman Jakobson. Essays on the Occasion, of His Seventieth Birthday, 14 October 1976, Volume XXV. Unauthorized duplication of, this very expensive text is, both prohibited and expected, 1977, OCS, Betalendoorneus — To Deify Roman Jakobson Volume XXV. Linguistics and Language Editor: Bruno Dončikov, Želtopupenkov, V.L. Statistical Summary of Numeral Use in XIV Century South Slavic Žitija (on Birch Bark), 31, Potrebenja, N.O. Applying the Double Helix to the Russian One-stem Verb System and Declension of Cardinal Numbers, 43, Comaneçi, N. Albanian Reality Markers, 44, Koidula, L. Tartu or -vous: Speech Registers in Estonian, ... more ]

17. The Fifteen LinguistsHortatory Ergative Dudeney (3 visits)

The Fifteen Linguists. Hortatory Ergative Dudeney. Once upon a time, there were fifteen linguists who all did fieldwork on the same language in several nearby villages. ... Theirs was a friendly rivalry, and they each had different theories about the best way to gather the greatest number of high-quality example sentences in the language they all studied. Interestingly, because of his theories of elicitation, the first linguist felt that he only needed one informant. The second linguist had a different theory that required that she have only two informants. The third linguist, a lowdown dirty lexicalist if ever there was one, had three informantsand so on, up to the fifteenth linguist, a dastardly rotten ... more ]

18. The Gropes of Academe: Scenes of the Modern Academy Shadow-Boxing with Itself with One HandNigel Cornelius Blumscote-Haverford (3 visits)

The Gropes of Academe: Scenes of the Modern Academy, Shadow-Boxing with Itself with One Hand. by, Nigel Cornelius Blumscote-Haverford, Associate Professor, Dept. of Linguistics, Bowbells University of the Humanities, Bowbells ND. Researchers1 in sexology and general psychology2 have long evinced an unhealthy curiosity about what some call “kink” and more normal people call “filthflarnfilth.” In particular, there has been far too much attention paid to games of dominance and submission outside their proper sphere of foreign relations. One of the well-established but far too publicized results is that quite often those who partake in such matters choose a role not ... more ]

19. Minomalism Rules!Psammeticus Press Free Linguistic Ramblings Series (3 visits)

Psammeticus Press,, Minomalism Rules!. Presented by the Psammeticus Press Free Linguistic Ramblings Series. Hot from the ComPress: the Rules of Minomes [Minomes: Minimal Nominal Memos [Memos: Memes of the Moment]] have [yet] been found to be [yet] compressible, in the [still [still: rooted to the node, viz. CP [CP: core paresis]]] thoroughly self-circular, self-replicating and self-back-scratching fashion [fashion: see memos]. The latest breakthrough is as follows: α → ∅ as needed, and, ∅ → α as needed, and so on, where α = anything, i.e. [α1, α2, ... αn], in ... more ]

20. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to LinguisticsA ReviewDon Boozer (3 visits)

The Speculative Grammarian Essential, Guide to Linguistics— A Review. by Don Boozer, Librarian for the Language Creation Society. The Speculative Grammarian Essential Guide to Linguistics is an anthology of articles, essays, and other content gleaned from the online publication Speculative Grammarian or SpecGram “as it is known to devotees and sworn enemies alike”. The following scenario might provide some rough idea of the tone of “the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics”: Ben Zimmer1 and The Harvard Lampoon have a torrid one-night affair (over a spaghetti and lasagna dinner) from which ... more ]

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Last updated Jul. 1, 2022.