March 25, 2006

Simpsonological linguistics

Last week, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her blog HeiDeas, Heidi Harley posted a long list of linguistically relevant Simpsons jokes. All of us who teach introductory linguistics are in her debt, and at more advanced levels, researchers will be scanning this post for classical allusions to use in future scientific and scholarly publications. The headings that Heidi provides for the jokes are also a good test of how well you know the field's terminology and literature: thus "Context-dependent reference of tense (cf. Partee 1973 ...)":

Marge and Homer getting into bed:
M: Did you close the gate?
H: Yeah.
Through the open window comes the sound of the gate slamming in the wind. Marge looks at Homer. Homer looks fake-surprised and says,
H: Oh, you mean tonight!

Posted by Mark Liberman at March 25, 2006 09:08 AM