Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A whole new level of nerdiness

Over at Speculative GrammarianTM I found this simple little game that they chose to call LingDoku ("Like SuDoku, But for Linguists"). I know it's a satirical journal so I'm embarrassed to say how much I could enjoy puzzles like this. The one they provided is very simple but imagine how useful a game like this would be to get practice with distinctive features in a phonology class. It's going in my lesson plans.

They provide nine IPA symbols--ɤ n β g b m z ŋ--representing a matrix of 3 places of articulation--bilabial alveolar and velar--and 3 manners of articulation--plosive fricative and nasal. No row or column can contain any symbols of common manner or place. They start with


The completed grid of course would be


That's almost as basic as a grid can be. So how about a larger puzzle. Or a grid in which the symbols are filled in and the job is to identify what features are being used to organize the rows and columns. coronal dorsal labial bilabial lateral voicing +/-ATR retroflex stridency sonorance...

We could add the variable of binary and absolute features or even throw some feature geometry in there.

It'd be as fun as doing compass proofs in geometry.


Thanks for reaching out.

You can also contact me at wishydig[at]gmail[d0t]com.