It was a complete coincidence, really. It was late April, and the mayor of San Diego had just announced his resignation, and so Geoff Pullum wrote from his office in Language Log Plaza to thumb his nose at me for living in the city that is giving California such a bad name. (It’s more than the mayor, who was recently ranked third worst in the nation; the entire city council appears to be corrupt, the deputy mayor — who is supposed to step in as Mayor on July 15 — is himself under indictment for allegedly making a deal with strip club owners to relax the don’t-touch-the-dancers laws, and the list goes on.)
I happened to have just re-read Geoff’s Duke of York Gambit paper — regular readers know why — and there was a reference in it to <a href=”another 1976 paper of Geoff’s in Lingua. The folks at Lingua have recently (and, may I add, very smartly) made the entire contents of that journal available electronically to subscribing libraries, so a few clicks later I’m reading this very interesting paper I’d never bothered looking up before. So I write back to Geoff and say: “Listen here, Mr. City on a Hill, I didn’t vote for this mayor or this council, so give me a break, OK? And by the way, I’ve been (re-)reading some of your phonology work from the ’70s and I’m thinking that maybe you know who it is who first used the “counterXeeding” terminology, so why don’t you tell me?”
And wouldn’t you know it, Geoff knew — there’s a reference to it in his 1983 LI squib, appropriately entitled “Morphophonemic Rules, Allophonic Rules, and Counterfeeding”. it’s apparently an IULC paper by Greg Iverson entitled “Speculations on Counterfeeding”. Until IULC does like Lingua and makes their entire catalog available electronically, I’ll give the same ten bucks that I lost to Colin to the first person who has this paper and sends it to me.