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FYI: Dates in May

Author: Maher Awad

By Jim McCawley

May 2, 1919. Baudouin de Courtenay concedes defeat in his bid for the
presidency of Poland.

May 3, 1955. Mouton & Co. discover how American libraries order books
and scheme to cash in by starting several series of books
on limericks. The person given charge of this projec
mishears and starts several series of books on
linguistics. No one ever notices the mistake.

May 5, 1403. The Great English Vowel Shift begins. Giles of Tottenham
calls for ale at his favorite pub and is perplexed when
the barmaid tells him that the fishmonger is next door.

May 6, 1939. The University of Chicago trades Leonard Bloomfield to
Yale University for two janitors and an undisclosed
number of concrete gargoyles.

May 7, 1966. r-less pronunciation is observed in eight kindergarten
pupils in Secaucus, N.J. The governor of New Jersey
stations national guardsmen along the banks of the Hudson.

May 9, 1917. N. Ja. Marr discovers ROSH, the missing link for Japhetic unity.

May 11, 1032. Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II orders isoglosses erected
across northern Germany as defense against Viking intruders.

May 12, 1965. Sydney Lamb announces discovery of the hypersememic
stratum, setting off a wave of selling on the NYSE.

May 13. Vowel Day. (Public holiday in Kabardian Autonomous Region).
The ceremonial vowel is pronounced by all Kabardians as a
symbol of brotherhood with all speakers of human languages.

May 14, 519 B.C. Birth of Panini.

May 15, 1964. J. Katz and J. Fodor are separated in 5-hour surgery
from which neither recovers.

May 17, 1966. J. R. Ross tells a clean joke.

May 18, 1941. Quang Phuc Dong is captured by the Japanese and interned
for the duration of hostilities.

May 19. Diphthong Day. (Public holiday in Australia)

May 20, 473 B.C. Publisher returns to Panini a manuscript entitled
_Saptadhyayi_ with a note requesting the addition of a
chapter on phonology. Panini begins struggling to mee
the publisher's deadline.

May 21, 1962. First mention of the _Sound_Pattern_of_English as
`in press'.

May 23, 38,471 B.C. God creates language.

May 26, 1945. Zellig Harris applies his newly formulated discovery
procedures and discovers [t].

May 27, 1969. George Lakoff discovers the global rule. Supermarkets
in Cambridge, Mass. are struck by frenzied buying of
canned goods.

May 29, 1962. Angular brackets are discovered. Classes at M.I.T. are
dismissed and much Latvian plum brandy is consumed.

May 30, 1939. Charles F. Hockett finishes composing the music for the
Linguistic Society of America's anthem, `Can You Hear
the Difference?'

May 31, 1951. Chomsky discovers Affix-hopping and is reprimanded by
his father for discovering rules on shabas.

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