LINGUIST List 2.174

Saturday, 27 Apr 1991

FYI: Dates of Interest...

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Message 1: Dates of Interest

Date: Sat, 27 Apr 91 11:03:24 EDT
From: <John_M._Lawlerub.cc.umich.edu>
Subject: Dates of Interest
 _______________________________________________________________________

 Subject: Dates In The Month Of May That Are Of Interest To Linguists
 By: James D. McCawley, Linguistics Department, University of Chicago
 _______________________________________________________________________

 The following is an unauthorized republication of a classic of ling-
 uistic humor (ignoring for the moment the oxymoronic - or perhaps
 merely redundant - nature of that phrase), composed originally by
 Jim McCawley for local consumption in celebration of Goodspeed Day,
 a holiday commemorating the date on which the Chicago Linguistics
 Department moved into Goodspeed Hall. The fact that the Department
 is now housed in the Classics Building may perhaps give some of the
 archaeological flavor of this composition, despite the fact that its
 satire seems to hold its bite remarkably well in today's linguistic
 world (mutatis mutandis, of course:-).

 I offer no excuses for this republication, beyond the obvious fact
 that it's funny. That should be reason enough.

 Additional copies are available by anonymous ftp from um.cc.umich.edu.
 The directory is LING, and the file is linguist.may.

 Enjoy.
 -John Lawler
 Linguistics Program University of Michigan
 jlawlerub.cc.umich.edu USERGB4NUMICHUB
 _______________________________________________________________________

 (Note: May, the month in which Goodspeed Day is celebrated at Chicago,
 by recently established tradition, can be seen from the fol-
 lowing to be a linguistically auspicious month)
 ___________________________________________________________________

 -*- DATES IN THE MONTH OF MAY THAT ARE OF INTEREST TO LINGUISTS -*-
 _______________________________________________________________________

 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 project
 mishears and starts several series of books on linguis-
 tics. 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 num-
 ber of concrete gargoyles.
 _________________________________________________________

 May 7, 1966: r-less pronunciation is observed in eight kindergarten
 pupils in Secaucus, N.J. The governor of New Jersey sta-
 tions 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 a defense against Viking in-
 truders.
 _________________________________________________________

 May 12, 1965: Sydney Lamb announces discovery of the hypersememic stra-
 tum, setting off a wave of selling on the NYSE.
 _________________________________________________________

 May 13: Vowel Day. (Public holiday in Kabardian Autonomous Re-
 gion). The ceremonial vowel is pronounced by all Kabard-
 ians as a symbol of brotherhood with all speakers of hu-
 man 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 meet
 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 pro-
 cedures and discovers [t].
 _________________________________________________________

 May 27, 1969: George Lakoff discovers the global rule. Supermarkets in
 Cambridge, Massachusetts 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 shabes.
 _______________________________________________________________________

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