Monthly Archives: May 2010

Words and other wonders

Words and other wonders: Papers on lexical and semantic topics. By Dirk Geeraerts. (Cognitive linguistic research 33.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2006. Pp. x, 493. ISBN 3110190427. $77 (Hb).

Reviewed by Heiko Narrog, Tohoku University

This work is a collection of seventeen papers on lexical semantics by Dirk Geeraerts, who is probably the leading lexical semanticist within the framework of cognitive linguistics. The papers, which were originally published between 1988 and 2003, cover a wide range of topics within the field of lexical semantics, starting with ’Prototypicality and salience’ (Section 1) and ‘Polysemy’ (Section 2), extending to ‘Constructions and idioms’ (Section 3), ‘Meaning and culture’ (Section 4), ‘Lexicography’ (Section 5), and, finally, ‘Theory and methods in lexical semantics’ (Section 6). In their approach these topics range from theoretical/conceptual considerations to case studies on the one hand, and to issues concerning the status of cognitive semantics in the history of linguistic semantics on the other.

Despite its programmatic commitment to the study of language use, cognitive linguistics may be first and foremost identified with an idealist approach that has relatively little regard for empirical language data and is more interested in theoretical modeling. This is a heritage that can be traced back to the theory’s roots in generative semantics, that is, ultimately in generative grammar, and its low regard for language use. In contrast, one of the characteristics of G’s approach is his strong empirically oriented position that has recently led him to the use of corpus data and statistical methods. Connected with this empiricism is G’s interest in social and cultural variation. Furthermore, G has been advocating the importance of an onomasiological approach in contrast to the semasiological approach, which has traditionally been at the center of lexical-semantics studies. Some onomasiological studies are included in this volume. Finally, concerning specifically his stance on polysemy, which is one of the central issues in cognitive semantics, G has espoused models of multidimensional meaning structure, in which parameters of each dimension are defined in terms of semantic features. This stands in contrast to the radial network model that dominates the field.

Many papers assembled here originally appeared in publications that are relatively widely available, but others may be less accessible to linguists, thus justifying their reissue in this volume. Furthermore, G has added introductory remarks that situate each paper within the development of G’s own research and of the field of lexical semantics in general. Although firmly committed to the framework of cognitive linguistics, the author presents himself as an independent and critical thinker. His articles will thus be welcome food for thought for semanticists regardless of theoretical persuasion.

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Introduction to the morphology of Setswana

Introduction to the morphology of Setswana. By Caspar J. H. Krüger. (LINCOM studies in African languages 69.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2006. Pp. 314. ISBN 9783895868764. $190.80 (Hb).

Reviewed by Sabine Zerbian, University of the Witwatersrand

Caspar J. H. Krüger’s Introduction to the morphology of Setswana is a tribute to the rich morphology of a Bantu language spoken in Southern Africa. The book consists of thirteen chapters. In Ch. 1 (7–28), K introduces the language and draws attention to the problem of words and word classes in Bantu morphology. The controversy around word class identification is mirrored in the conjunctive and disjunctive orthographic systems employed for the Southern Bantu languages. K reviews the work of Clement Martyn Doke and E. B. van Wyk, two scholars who developed the criteria of word identification that K follows.

In Ch. 2, ‘Paradigmatic and syntagmatic morphology: A concise exposition’ (29–56), K introduces the basic morphological terminology. Using relevant examples from Setswana, K illustrates bound and free morphemes, grammatical and derivational morphemes, and word formation processes such as affixation and reduplication. Ch. 3, ‘Paradigmatic morphology of the noun’ (57–100), describes in detail Setswana’s rich noun class system, an excellent example of the noun class systems that Bantu languages are famous for. Ch. 4, ‘Noun class interchange’ (101–26), examines instances of words that change from one noun class into another. This change in class corresponds with a change in semantics.

Ch. 5, ‘Paradigmatic morphology of pronouns’ (127–46), addresses absolute, demonstrative, quantitative, and possessive pronouns in Setswana. Ch. 6, ‘Paradigmatic morphology of particles’ (147–52), deals with a word class that is signified by prepositions, conjunctions, and relative pronouns in English. K alludes to the controversy in African linguistics of whether or not these lexical items constitute autonomous words. The following three chapters, Ch. 7 ‘Paradigmatic morphology of conjunctions’ (153–60), Ch. 8 ‘Paradigmatic morphology of adverbs’ (161–64), and Ch. 9 ‘Paradigmatic morphology of interjections’ (165–66), are relatively short. Setswana has only a small group of genuine adverbs; most often adverbial specifications are expressed by particle phrases (discussed in Ch. 6).

Ch. 10, ‘Paradigmatic morphology of the verb’ (167–256), addresses the rich verbal morphology that is common for agglutinative languages. The verb is divided into three domains: prefixes, root, and suffixes. Verbal prefixes display subject and object agreement (which K discusses with the resulting sound changes) and can also mark aspect and tense. Verbal suffixes, which are most commonly discussed in current investigations on Bantu morphosyntax, have been analyzed as marking the causative, applicative, reciprocal, passive, iterative, and past tense. Indeed, K’s examination shows the richness of suffixes in this domain, although many suffixes are either unproductive or only semiproductive.

Ch. 11, ‘Paradigmatic morphology of the auxiliary verbs and copulative verbs’ (259–82), discusses two additional categories of verbs: auxiliaries and copulas. In his discussion of the copula, K follows the tradition of distinguishing between identifying, descriptive, and associative copulas. In Ch. 12, ‘Syntagmatic morphology’ (283–92), K provides morphological templates for the internal structure of nouns, verbs, and pronouns. Finally, in Ch. 13, ‘Word groups: components and combinatory rules’ (293–312), K delves into syntax for a discussion of the combination of two or more words that form cohesive units.

A suitable reference work for students and scholars of African linguistics, Introduction to the morphology of Setswana provides a detailed description of the language’s morphology, using many illustrative examples.

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The expression of modality

The expression of modality. Ed. by William Frawley. (The expression of cognitive categories 1.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2005. Pp. x, 268. ISBN 9783110184365. $46.

Reviewed by Heiko Narrog, Tohoku University

The study of modality has been booming in the last five or ten years, to the extent that it has become difficult to keep track of all of the book publications on the topic, let alone research papers. The expression of modality, with its handbook-like concept, comes just at the right time, as it provides some orientation in this field, and a guide to the relevant research literature.

Four articles give overviews of central areas in the study of modality: Ferdinand de Haan on ‘Typological approaches to modality’ (27–69), Stefan Kaufmann, Cleo Condoravdi, and Valentina Harizanov on ‘Formal approaches to modality’ (71–106), Elizabeth Traugott on ‘Historical aspects of modality’ (107–39), and Soonja Choi on the ‘Acquisition of modality’ (141–71). The articles by de Haan and Traugott offer thorough overviews of the literature, with Traugott’s providing a full ten pages of references. The four overview articles are framed by an introduction by Jan Nuyts (1–26), which outlines key concepts and issues in the field, and two case studies on individual languages—‘Modal expression in Valley Zapotec’ by Pamela Munro (173–205) and ‘Modality in American Sign Language’ by Sherman Wilcox and Barbara Shaffer (207–37). These are both remarkable languages with respect to modality. Valley Zapotec has no core set of modal morphemes and does not conflate the formal expression of deontic and epistemic modality.

Overall, the volume shows evidence of good communication between the editor and the authors. The individual contributions frequently refer and correspond to each other, resulting in thematic coherence. Although the editor claims that he wants to see his publication as a ‘tutorial on how notions of possibility, probability, necessity, belief, and confidence are expressed and learned in human language and how to analyze and explain such notions’ (v), it amounts to nothing less than a small handbook. There is only one conspicuous gap in the coverage, namely, the lack of an article on the syntactic treatment of modality. The article by Kaufmann and colleagues focuses on semantic analysis only.

The book is rounded out by a detailed topical outline and a general index.

This is the first title in a new series. If the following volumes can match the standard set by Frawley’s publication, this should become a successful enterprise.

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Beyond misunderstanding

Beyond misunderstanding: Linguistic analyses of intercultural communication. Ed. by Kristin Bührig and Jan D. ten Thije. (Pragmatics & beyond new series 144.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2006. Pp. vi, 339. ISBN 9789027253873. $173 (Hb).

Reviewed by Anastassia Zabrodskaja, Tallinn University

This volume summarizes the discussion of the analyses of misunderstandings in intercultural discourse: the presumption of the editors is that intercultural communication does not consist of misunderstandings alone. Divided into two parts, Part 1 deals with the basic assumptions of the linguistic reconstruction of intercultural communication and clarifies the relationship between language and culture. Georges Lüdi investigates how general linguistic theory could be influenced by a functional grammar of code-switching. He also outlines the attitudes towards translinguistic markers (i.e. the forms on the surface of discourse), such as loans, interferences, and code-switching. Jochen Rehbein proposes that misunderstandings are a step within the sequence of communication and that communication cannot be accomplished as long as misunderstandings remain unsolved. Considering whether the analysis of intercultural communication has determined and enriched linguistic methodology and theory, Jan D. ten Thije concludes that the combination of generalizing, perspectivizing, and contrasting cultural standards can help foster intercultural understanding.

Part 2 focuses on interactive analyses of intercultural discourse. Through rhetorical conversation analysis, Grit Liebscher demonstrates how speakers manage perspectives by means of rhetorical devices. She concludes that interculturality is a matter of negotiation between the participants rather than a concept that can be defined a priori. Jennifer Hartog analyzes talk between a German and a Turk. Using the notion of misunderstanding, Hartog describes various kinds of communicative trouble and reveals that discourse between interlocutors of different cultures is not always intercultural.

Martina Rost-Roth examines intercultural communication in institutional settings. She demonstrates that interactions are marked by miscommunication and problems in understanding and argues that many communication problems are directly linked to differences in cultural conventions (e.g. temporal references). Dennis Day discusses expressions that refer to collectives of people—for example, terms that have the potential to refer to people as members of social groups (generally) and ethnic or cultural groups (specifically). According to Day, there is a distinction between the notion of an ethnic group and the (superordinate) notion of cultural group. In an analysis of data from two industrial work places in Sweden, Day demonstrates that interethnic communication can be identified from an interlocutor’s perspective.

Through an overview of British-German business communication, Claudia Bubel argues that, in spite of conflicting factors, small talk is accomplished in an orderly fashion. Lise Fontaine explores the use of we and its complex composition within group. Helga Kotthoff investigates hyper-rituals and lamentations in modern Georgia. Finally, moving beyond linguistic and cultural explanations of (mis)understandings and (mis)communication, Shi-xu explains intercultural communication as primarily a cultural-power practice.

In sum, these papers present new perspectives on linguistic analyses of intercultural communication.

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Scottish Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic. By William Lamb. 2nd edn. (Languages of the world/Materials 401.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2003. Pp. 118. ISBN 3895867276.

Reviewed by Edward McDonald, University of Auckland

This short grammar of Scottish Gaelic (ScG) was written as part of a PhD thesis on register variation and is characterized by Lamb as ‘descriptive’ and ‘by no means complete’ (4). In length and coverage it is roughly comparable to the chapter-length treatments by Donald MacAulay (The Scottish Gaelic language. The Celtic languages, ed. by Donald MacAulay, 137–248, 1992) and William Gillies (Scottish Gaelic. The Celtic languages, ed. by Martin J. Ball and James Fife, 145–225, 1993); the only book-length treatment I am aware of, though a pedagogical rather than descriptive grammar, is by Michel Byrne (Facal air an Fhacal: Gràmar na Gàidhlig, 2000), written in Gaelic, which deals with the syntax mainly through the morphology. So although a full-length descriptive grammar is, as L notes, ‘still a desideratum of ScG linguistics and pedagogy’ (4), this work makes a good start in that direction, supplementing the basic description with a typological treatment that should make it of broader use beyond Celtic studies. A particularly pleasing innovation is the use of authentic material from a corpus of spoken and written Gaelic compiled by the author; it would certainly be a boon to have that corpus available to other researchers.

Apart from an introductory chapter on sociolinguistics (6–16) and a brief summary of phonology (17–21), the bulk of the work deals with morphosyntax. The chapter on morphology (22–67) is the longest in the book, reflecting not only perhaps a traditional bias but the central role of morphological marking in the syntax, and provides an ‘overview of morphological characteristics’ plus a detailed treatment of nominal and verbal morphology. The chapter on syntax proper (68–100) deals with predicate nominals, constituent order and grammatical relations, and clause combinations, plus a short but suggestive treatment of discourse phenomena such as referential devices and highlighting of constituents.

L’s exposition is clear and consistent, though occasionally the theoretical apparatus, mainly taken from functional typological frameworks such as William Foley and Robert Van Valin’s Functional syntax and universal grammar (1986), proves a bit too weighty to digest for its brief presentation. The organization of the grammar is such that it would allow anyone searching for the main syntactic typological features of Gaelic to find the necessary information quickly and easily. Apart from the use of authentic examples in the text itself, particularly in the chapter on syntax, L also provides a complete sample text, an oral folktale, in a appendix. This would perhaps have been even more useful if it had been divided into clauses/sentences, with some discussion of the principles on which this was done. With these minor reservations, however, this is a very useful, concise volume, and we can only hope it will be followed up by a longer treatment of a language underrepresented in the linguistic literature.

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Phonologie: Champs et perspectives. Ed. by Jean-Pierre Angoujard and Sophie Waquier-Gravelines. Paris: ENS Éditions, 2003. Pp. 207. ISBN 9782847880311. $41.29.

Reviewed by Douglas C. Walker, University of Calgary

Phonologie: Champs et perspectives is an interesting, if heterogeneous, collection of articles that deal with several of the dominant themes in current phonological discussions. As the editors appropriately note, underlying these articles is the need to ensure that phonological structure is ultimately grounded in the speech signal and is therefore compatible with the constraints that arise from the fact that such structures are learned by children and used by speakers in a variety of situations. In a period of renewal (not to say upheaval) of phonological theorizing, this book sets out not to defend any particular approach but rather to illustrate the great variety of questions that phonologists confront and the evidence that they deploy.

The first of the seven contributions is by one of the editors, Sophie Waquier-Gravelines, ‘Du réalisme des formalisations phonologiques contemporaines: Que nous apprennent des données d’acquisition?’ (9–34), who uses data from the acquisition of liaison in French to argue for the incorporation of performance constraints in the development of optimality theory (OT). G. N. Clements, ‘Les diphthongues brèves en anglais: Fonction phonétique du trait tendu/relâché’ (35–55), ventures into the thorny fields of diphthongs and vowel length in English and how to best characterize tense-lax distinctions. Clements concludes, in part on the basis of sophisticated instrumental data, that even if a tense-lax distinction has no distinctive role in the current system of General American English, it cannot be excluded from representations given its future potential for phonologization.

Poetic language is the focus of the longest contribution, ‘Phonologie et poétique: Le blason du fol Triboullet (Rabelais, Tiers livre XXXVIII)’ (57–104) by Audrey Walczak. Walczak provides a glimpse into the field of (François) Rabelaisian studies with her investigation of the pronunciation of French in the sixteenth century. She then turns to an exploitation of the theory of phonological elements (à la Jonathan Kaye, Jean Lowenstamm, and Jean-Roger Vergnaud) in her study of a dialogue between Pantagruel and Panurge (concerning a character named Triboullet). In addition to a brief study of the semantic structure of the dialogue, Walczak provides a detailed analysis of its complex multilevel and multifactorial phonological organization. Her analysis is a fascinating blend of current phonological theory and the poetics of literature. Next, in ‘La syllabe ou la more en tonologie africaine, ou comment se fait l’interface entre segments et tons’ (105–29), Annie Rialland examines, on the basis of a number of African languages, syllables and morae as tone bearing units; she considers the implication that morae are subunits of syllables, although syllables can impose constraints on the number of tones and on tonal contours.

In ‘Conséquences de la décomposition du phonème en traits’ (131–55), Georges Bohas and Rachida Serhane study the Arabic root morpheme. Using an analysis in which features—rather than segments—play the key role, they show, contrary to various structuralist or generative proposals, that meaning can be linked to matrices of phonological features rather than to the morpheme (which is commonly viewed as the smallest indivisible meaningful unit). The following article, ‘Phonologie et connexionnisme’ (157–72) by Atanas Tchobanov, ventures into the domain of neurolinguistics, linking phonological analysis to studies of neural behavior through a discussion of four connectionist models and expressing the preliminary—and no doubt controversial—view that such models reinforce arguments for a phonology without constituency and without derivational rules.

No discussion of current phonology should omit a treatment of the diachronic dimension, and the final contribution, ‘Phonologie et diachronie’ (173–94) by Jean-Pierre Angoujard satisfies this requirement. Angoujard proposes that phonological evolution be viewed similarly to the way changes in languages are often viewed: as a change in parameters. It is then not segments (or their realizations) that change but rather parametric values, an effect that anchors change in a functional (principles and parameters) approach. Classic examples from the history of French (diphthongization, prothesis, cluster simplification, and nasalization, all couched in terms of phonological elements) serve to exemplify Angoujard’s analysis.

Phonologie: Champs et perspectives provides a stimulating discussion of a number of phonological issues, such as acquisition, literary analysis, tonology, psycholinguistics, and diachrony. As a result, this volume constitutes a worthwhile demonstration of the vitality of current phonological debate and opens the way for further developments in a field that is increasingly linked to what has been called external evidence.

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Talk and practical epistemology

Talk and practical epistemology. By Jack Sidnell. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005. Pp. 251. ISBN 9027253854.

Reviewed by Gregory M. Matoesian, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sidnell’s book analyzes the practical epistemology—the social distribution and organization of knowledge—in everyday conversational encounters in Guyana, South America. Using methods from conversation analysis and linguistic anthropology, he focuses on epistemic stance and evidentiality in reports, assessments, stories, advice seeking and giving, and reminiscing—analyzing the source, basis, and (un)certainty of knowledge in interaction. In the process, he demonstrates in vivid detail how local knowledge is not only differentially distributed but also normatively accountable and interactionally organized.

Chs. 1–4 provide theoretical and methodological orientations to conversation analysis and linguistic anthropological approaches to discourse and knowledge, as well as ethnographic background of the history and language of Guyana. Ch. 2 provides an excellent overview of epistemic stance, evidentiality, footing and reported speech, and an overview of anthropological approaches to knowledge; S contrasts these with his preference for conversation analytic approaches.

Chs. 5–9 demonstrate the practical epistemology and social organization of knowledge through an in-depth analysis of audio recording of discursive interaction. Ch. 5 examines how children develop an orientation to evidence through question and answer sequences. This chapter shows not only how children learn to provide the grounds for knowing but also how to defend their claims when challenged by adults. Ch. 6 deals with uncertainty and expertise in advice seeking and giving and how it is asymmetrically organized around issues like authority and limited access to esoteric knowledge. Challenging the view of uncertainty as mental state, S shows in elaborate detail how mental predicates are interactionally organized and social structured. Ch. 7 deals with a case of ‘cultivated ignorance’ in a sexually charged case: the individual has had inappropriate sexual relations. Here the individual produces a defense to a projected accusation not by denial but by questioning the source of the information. The denial is embodied (rather than overtly announced) by epistemologically challenging the source of the information, that it was based on hearsay or gossip rather than first-hand observation, and here we can also see how participants position the epistemological status of knowledge.

Chs. 8–9 concern ‘reminiscing’ in the local rum shop and how this activity establishes, displays, and maintains specific alignments such as copresence, engagement, nonengagement, and informed and uninformed recipients. S demonstrates how claims to knowledge are produced, challenged, and defended, displaying the cultural fact that participants must possess direct access to the events under discussion. He also provides a fascinating explanation for the exclusion of women from participation in storytelling activity due to marital patterns of exogamy and patrilocal residence.

The book concludes with a lengthy appendix defining the major concepts of conversation analysis, such as sequence, repair, and so on.

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A history of the English language

A history of the English language. By Elly van Gelderen. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2006. Pp. xviii, 334. ISBN 9789027232373. $49.95.

Reviewed by Colette van Kerckvoorde, Bard College at Simon’s Rock

The motivation for this textbook came from Elly van Gelderen’s dissatisfaction with the existing histories of the English language. In comparison to previous histories, this volume focuses more on the change that English underwent from a synthetic to an analytic language, and, as a result, presents more information about grammatical and typological features than has been discussed elsewhere.

The book is divided into ten chapters, the first three of which provide necessary background information. In Ch. 1, the concept of linguistic change is introduced as well as a definition of English. Ch. 2 surveys English spelling and sounds as well as its case system. Ch. 3 investigates the origin of languages and the language families of the world before focusing on Indo-European and Germanic languages.

The history of English spans five chapters, and the author adheres to the customary treatment of Old English, its transition to Middle English, Early Modern English, and Modern English. Ch. 9 discusses English around the world with an emphasis on phenomena observed in different locations, such as the elimination of verbal endings, rather than on individual dialects. Additionally, the author examines English-influenced pidgins and creoles. Ch. 10 reviews the major changes that have occurred in English and explores several theories about language—in particular, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

There is no accompanying workbook, but exercises and sample texts are included at the end of each chapter. Middle English, for example, is exemplified by excerpts from Layamon, “Piers Plowman”, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”, the Paston Letters, and some anonymous lyrics. Possible answers to the exercises are included in an appendix. At the end of the book, a table contains a ‘Chronology of historical events’, which will be helpful for those interested in English history. Recognizing the growing availability of internet resources, the author frequently refers to websites and includes only those that are expected to be fairly stable. A website designed specifically to accompany this textbook provides many more links, which, the author promises, will be tested regularly and kept current.

This book is written with a linguistics-oriented audience in mind. Whenever possible, the author includes discussions of recent scholarly debates, such as the influence of Celtic on Western Old English syntax and morphology. This makes the book less suited for courses offered through an English department, although still a great choice for linguistics students. Students not familiar with linguistics, or those who acquired English as a foreign language, may need some additional readings or instruction.

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Focus in Manado Malay

Focus in Manado Malay: Grammar, particles, and intonation. By Ruben Stoel. Leiden: CNWS Publications, 2005. Pp. 281. ISBN 9057891018. € 23.

Reviewed by Edmundo Luna, University of California at Santa Barbara

In this book, Ruben Stoel describes the phenomenon of focus in Manado Malay, also known as Minahasa Malay (MM), a variety of Malay spoken in the city of Manado and surrounding areas on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. The term ‘focus’ is used in this work in the more general sense of ‘the conveying of new information in a sentence’ (155), rather than the more specialized use frequently found in the Austronesianist literature. This sense of focus is investigated in three domains: grammatical structure, discourse particles, and intonation. The study is based on both a corpus of naturally occurring speech and experimental data. The first part of the book (Chs. 1–4) provides background information on focus in MM, as well as observations made on the basis of the speech corpus. The second part (Chs. 5–8) provides results from the experimental data.

Ch. 1 (1–3) introduces the goals and structure of the book and describes the corpus of naturally occurring speech that serves as the empirical foundation for this study. Ch. 2 (5–64) provides background linguistic and historical information on MM. This chapter also provides an extensive grammatical sketch of MM, from its phonology and morphology to clausal and extra-clausal syntax. Ch. 3 (65–98) provides a description of the wide variety of discourse particles used in MM, along with a preliminary categorization of these particles. Ch. 4 (99–131) discusses intonation in MM with a particular focus on accent (= ‘pitch accent’, since S does not discuss any intonation-related phenomenon outside of pitch). Here a distinction is drawn between basic intonation patterns (i.e. most commonly used patterns) and special intonation patterns (i.e. patterns with specialized functions).

Ch. 5 (133–54) illustrates the interaction of focus and constituent order in MM. S first discusses possible constituent orders found in the corpus data and concludes that the data are too limited to address questions that might be clarified through experimentation. His first two experiments are based on acceptability judgments of various constituent orders and focused constituents. He finds that SV and SVO orders are the most frequent/most acceptable orders in MM (no matter where the focus lies), while other orders are acceptable only with the focus associated with the appropriate constituent(s).

Ch. 6 (155–80) discusses the interaction of focus and discourse particles in MM. The notion of focus is further refined, and the results of four experiments involving discourse particles are offered. From these experiments, S concludes that only no has the strongest case of being a focus-marking particle in MM.

Ch. 7 (181–210) discusses the interaction of focus and accent placement in MM. Two experiments involving accent placement are described. The first involves accent placement in production, while the second involves the perception of accent placement and focus. S’s conclusions are that while speakers will tend to place accent on focused constituents, listeners tend to perceive (sentence-)final accents, even if the focused constituents are nonfinal.

Ch. 8 (211–13), the concluding chapter, is a concise summary of the book’s goals, the rationales behind using both corpus and experimental data, and possible avenues for future research.

This book is a valuable resource, for it not only contains a description of a little-described language, but it also considers factors such as discourse particles and intonation in the formulation of how focus can be represented in MM. It is unfortunate that the author’s use of the term ‘focus’ is not discussed in detail until Ch. 6, since it differs from its usual use among Austronesianists. An additional consideration that could be included in future accounts is the role of MM discourse particles in interaction. Perhaps this would complement the experimental work S has already done for discourse particles and focus in MM. Overall, S’s work should provide plenty of incentives for future studies of not only other little-described languages of the area, but also innovative approaches in addressing complex linguistic issues such as focus

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Arguments and structure

Arguments and structure: Studies on the architecture of the sentence. By Teun Hoekstra. (Studies in generative grammar 67.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2004. Pp. 416. ISBN 9783110179538. $152 (Hb).

Reviewed by Fredrik Heinat, Sweden

This book contains fourteen of Teun Hoekstra’s papers, some previously unpublished, some coauthored, and some translated into English. The articles were written over a span of approximately twenty years. The consequence is that, although the overall framework is generative, the early articles gear more towards government and binding, whereas the later ones gear towards minimalism (1995-style). The book is divided into four sections: argument structure, tense (T)-chains, the morphosyntax of nominal and verbal constituents, and small clauses (SCs).

Section 1 consists of five articles, including a discussion of the relationship between the main and auxiliary forms of the verbs have and be. H argues that previous claims that have is derived from be may be correct. Additionally, he claims that be is a transitive verb whose internal argument is made into subject. Other topics in this section include indirect objects, actives and passives, and verbal affixation.

Section 2 deals with T-chains and consists of four articles that deal with topics such as (i) the complements of perception verbs and the impossibility of an embedded argument raising into the matrix clause (e.g. I heard Mary sing a song vs. Mary was heard sing a song); (ii) complementation of causative verbs in French and Italian and their similarities to auxiliaries; (iii) long clitic climbing in Romance and head-movement; and (iv) the empty category principle, islands, that-trace, and tense marking.

Section 3 focuses on bracketing paradoxes, which H and his coauthors, Harry van der Hulst and Frans van der Putten, conclude in the first article do not exist. In each case, either the order in which the morphemes are put together (i.e. level ordering theory) or the semantic structures are shown to have properties that resolve the paradox. The second article deals with the nominal infinitive in Dutch, and the third article discusses of-insertion in nominal constructions (e.g. The enemy’s destruction of the city). Extending a proposal by Richard Kayne that many nominals have the structure determiner (D) complementizer phrase (CP), H argues for treating of as a complementizer.

The final section contains two articles. The first article examines morphologically complex verbs, and H argues that a view in which words are formed presyntactically is untenable. The second article investigates SCs. H claims that predication is represented by SCs and that, in principle, all projections may instantiate a SC. Furthermore, H tries to unify projection and adjunction by making a distinction between different types of licensing.

This interesting book covers many syntactic topics; therefore, there is probably something in it for every syntactician, no matter what special interest they might have. However, this also means that the volume contains topics that some syntacticians may consider more peripheral as well.

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