Yesterday I had some fun with April Fool's. I made a fake news post on Reddit's linguistics page that, and I quote, "Ethnologue formally reclassifies and accepts Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic, Dravidian, Kartvelian, and Afro-Asiatic as members of Nostratic Superfamily." Hopefully it got a few linguists out there completely raging. The Nostratic family is an old typological proposal that the aforementioned language families are all related. There are serious problems with the theory and it does not have the consensus of the scholarly community behind it, but there is a very small number of linguists that buy it, which means that my news post actually sounds like it could be real. I'm guessing 99% of historical linguists would burst into a rage upon seeing that.
But April Fool's had some great headlines elsewhere:
- BREAKING: Chomsky Confesses "Universal Grammar is Bullshit," Embraces Usage-Based Approach
- Area Man Disproves Functional Load Hypothesis with Groundbreaking Anecdote
- HPSG Professor Invents New Lexical Rule
- New Language Invented by Bored Undergrad
- LSA President Advances Tongue Root Too Far, Resigns
- New Evidence for Neanderthal Language Announced
More than a few people had the wool over their eyes yesterday.