Philological teaser

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From George Walkden on Facebook: "Syntactic Reconstruction and Proto-Germanic: Cinematic Teaser".

We don't normally promote books, but that promotional video is special.

Like the trailer, OUP promises the book for August, but amazon is estimating October. (though maybe the U.S. theatrical release will just be later…).


  1. Alex said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 11:29 am

    This trailer is brilliant. All drama, no preview of the actual content of the reconstructed proto-Germanic. Clearly, Walkden has found the solution to the troublingly low readership numbers for academic writing.

  2. mike said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

    There's a disturbing lack of gunplay in the trailer.

  3. BobW said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

    It could use a car-chase scene too, a good place for the ubiquitous VW from Bullit!

  4. Yuval said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

    How, HOW, did he miss the (rated) PG pun?

  5. Rebecca said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

    All he needs now is to do it in movie-trailer-voice

  6. Y said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

    BobW, the car would be a reconstructed Proto-Mercedes-Saab-Bentley.

  7. Matt said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

    I take back everything bad I have ever said about "book trailers." It was all worth it to see this.

    (Kind of a bummer to go to Amazon and see the price, though… maybe someone at OUP will decide to ride this towering wave of publicity by offering a pre-order discount? There's still time!)

  8. Chris Waters said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

    On the one hand, this is very funny. On the other, I'm a little bit worried about the implications. What if "publish or perish" gets replaced with "make it pulse-poundingly exciting or perish?" I'm not sure that would really benefit science overall. :)

  9. Dan Lufkin said,

    July 28, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

    Hwæt! At that price, I'll have to wait for the movie to come out on Netflix.
    No Kindle edition?

    On second thought, Kindle editions of Icelandic text tend to be fraught with mis-OCRs of Þ and Ð, so perhaps it's as well not to go there.

  10. Keith said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 3:10 am

    290 pages at £65 for a hardback academic book seems quite affordable. You can read chapter 1 as a PDF, to find out if you'd find it useful or enjoyable.

  11. Pflaumbaum said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 3:47 am

    I love how lame the opening line sounds in nu-RP. Those lines can only be read out by a General American voice that sounds like it's been living in a cigar for decades.

  12. peter said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 5:22 am

    Chris Waters said (July 28, 2014 @ 8:02 pm)

    "What if "publish or perish" gets replaced with "make it pulse-poundingly exciting or perish?" "

    This has already happened with academic teaching. The new new thing is MOOCs.

  13. richardelguru said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 6:14 am

    He has quite a line in amusing footnotes too…I guess Terry Pratchett needs to be looking in his rear-view mirror. :-)

  14. Daniel Barkalow said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 11:25 am

    Yuval: these days, they don't just give the rating, they give the reasons. So that would be: "Rated PG for language".

  15. Y said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    "Rated PG for strong verbs"?

  16. mike said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

    >"Rated PG for strong verbs"?

    lol. Y wins.

  17. Matt said,

    July 29, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

    290 pages at £65 for a hardback academic book seems quite affordable.

    If you're a library buyer or an academic for whom reading the book will confer professional advantage (or just plain rich), maybe "affordable" is the word. Within the context of academic hardbacks, it's certainly within the standard range. But £65 is not the sort of money most of us can drop on a single book we hadn't heard of two days ago that sounds like it might be an edifying read, alas.

    OUP have calculated that there aren't enough such potential buyers to make it worth lowering the price. I'm not second-guessing that; they know more about their market than I do. But I am hoping that if enough people comment on places like Language Log showing such interest, someone at OUP will eventually notice and try to find a way to take our money. (Paperback edition!)

    Incidentally, Walkden's homepage has a lot of downloadable papers on this and related topics. (He'a the author of that great paper on hwæt from a few years ago.) He's definitely one of the good guys as far as open access is concerned.

  18. George Walkden said,

    July 30, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

    Thanks for the share and for the kind words! Can't believe I missed the PG thing.

    The book is out in the UK in August, but the US release date is not until October, I'm afraid.

  19. David Marjanović said,

    July 30, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    I laughed so hard!

  20. Keith said,

    August 4, 2014 @ 2:41 am

    "Rated PG for strong verbs"?

    "Rated PG for strong verbs and for some thematic content": I hope there is mention of the verb *slahaną.

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