Monthly Archives: July 2010

Germanic future constructions

Germanic future constructions: A usage-based approach to language change. By Martin Hilpert. (Constructional approaches to language 7.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2008. Pp. ix, 205. ISBN 9789027218292. $143 (Hb).

Reviewed by Thomas Hoffmann, University of Regensburg

Although Germanic future constructions have already received considerable attention in the literature, Martin Hilpert’s book offers new insights into their grammaticalization by drawing on synchronic and diachronic corpus data. Adopting a usage-based construction grammar approach, H argues that the investigation of the nonfinite verb slot can yield important clues to the diachronic grammaticalization path as well as to potential synchronic modal meanings of future constructions.

Ch. 1 (1–12) provides a concise introduction to H’s theoretical assumptions and hypotheses as well as an overview of important controversies concerning future constructions.

In Ch. 2 (13–48), H offers a more in-depth introduction to construction grammar and the theoretical issues concerning the future tense and the grammaticalization of future constructions. Moreover, H discusses his quantitative corpus linguistic methodology (including information on the corpora that were used as well as the statistical approach that was employed to identify significant nonfinite verb collocates of the various future markers, i.e. collostructional analysis).

Next, the collocational differences in future constructions within the same language (e.g. ska ‘shall’ vs. komma att ‘come to’ in modern Swedish and shall vs. will in diachronic corpora of English) are investigated in Ch. 3 (49–87). As H argues, collostructional analyses can unearth significant semantic differences as well as differences in the grammaticalization path of competing future constructions.

Following this, Ch. 4 (89–123) moves on to a cross-linguistic comparison of cognate future constructions (e.g. Danish ville vs. English will and Dutch gaan vs. English be going to) to exemplify universal as well as language-specific developments in grammaticalization.

In Ch. 5 (125–55), H illustrates how his collostructional approach can also challenge standard assumptions about the grammaticalization path of future constructions: Swedish komma att, for example, is shown to have developed via an intermediate inchoative meaning and not as predicted by standard accounts via a stage of intention. Moreover, diachronic data on German werden ‘become’ indicate that temporal meanings predate intentional meanings, which again argues against the claim that future meanings necessarily evolve out of an earlier intermediate stage of expressing intention.

Ch. 6 (157–79) examines futurate present constructions, such as the use of present tense to refer to future events in English and German. Despite similarities (e.g. a preference for perfective and scheduled future events), H finds significant differences between the two languages. It is especially these language-specific collocational preferences that lead H to deduce that futurate presents are not just contextual, pragmatic devices but in fact constructions with a conventionalized semantic meaning.

Finally, Ch. 7 (181–86) gives a short summary of H’s main empirical findings and their implication for grammaticalization accounts of future constructions.

Germanic future constructions presents a new approach to a well-studied phenomenon that offers many new insights into the grammaticalization of future constructions. The combination of corpus linguistic methods and construction grammar theory thus is an approach that holds great potential for grammaticalization studies in general, and it can only be hoped that this approach is applied to many other phenomena in the near future.

Annual review of cognitive linguistics

Annual review of cognitive linguistics: Volume 1. Ed. by Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003. Pp. iv, 289. ISBN 9781588114273. $125.

Reviewed by Eve Lacivita, Northeastern Illinois University

The Annual review of cognitive linguistics compiles publications related to the discipline of cognitive linguistics (CL). The 2003 volume includes eleven articles, an interview with George Lakoff, and two book reviews.

In ‘Toward a corpus-based identification of prototypical instances of constructions’, Stefan Th. Gries proposes a corpus-based method to identify prototypical instances of categories and quantify similarity between category members. In ‘Entering in Spanish: Conceptual and semantic properties of entrar en/a’, Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano responds to Sotaro Kita’s previous work that challenged the universality of primitives. Kita had demonstrated that some primitives are absent in Japanese entering events. Here, Ibarretxe-Antuñano explores the same events in Spanish and finds that they are conceptualized as motion involving a boundary crossing, in which the nature of the crossing and its force dynamic relationship influence which verb is used.

In ‘The construal of atemporalisation in complement clauses in English’, Zeki Hamawand argues that atemporal complementizers have conceptual as well as syntactic functions when indicating  a speaker’s construal of a situation. Hamawand also explores polysemy in complementizers, assigning prototypical and peripheral meanings to several forms. In ‘Talking about space: Image metaphor in architectural discourse’, Rosario Caballero challenges the treatment of image metaphor as a special case independent of conceptual metaphor. She argues that in architecture, image metaphor is not arbitrary but necessary, due to the challenge of describing space. Moreover, Caballero provides evidence for conventionalized, productive image metaphor in architectural reviews.

Ana Ortigosa Pastor uses construction grammar to describe the grammatical construction of several temporal adverbs, including syntactic, pragmatic, and semantic information in ‘Temporal deictic adverbs: A constructionist approach’. In ‘Lexical creativity and the organization of the lexicon’, Teresa Vallès uses Catalan neologisms to explore the hypothesis that lexical creativity reflects the organization of the mental lexicon. Additionally, Vallès incorporates morphological segmentation to demonstrate lexical relationships among neologisms.

Alexander V. Kravchenko disputes the separation of semantics and semiotics in ‘The ontology of signs as linguistic and non-linguistic entities: A cognitive perspective’. He proposes an account of semiosis that considers grammar an autopoietic cognitive activity resulting from experience and interpretation, rather than a modular set of rules. In ‘The use of literally: Vice or virtue?’, Brigitte Nerlich and Pedro J. Chamizo Domínguez explore the uses of literally, particularly its much-criticized application to a nonliteral event, such as I saw journalists becoming animals, literally. They conclude that the disputed use provides value by intensifying a metaphoric phrase such that the phrase is interpreted in its strongest possible sense.

In ‘Is the notion of linguistic competence relevant in Cognitive Linguistics?’ Carita Paradis discusses the usefulness of the concept of linguistic competence. Paradis argues that no boundary can be established between linguistic and encyclopedic knowledge, and moreover, that this distinction is irrelevant to CL, because it presupposes modularity, which CL does not admit. An interview with George Lakoff, conducted by Jesús Sánchez García, focuses on the neural theory of language (NTL) as an integrated theory of CL. NTL uses characterizations of the chemical workings of the brain to describe how properties of neural systems are manifested in grammars. Lakoff predicts that NTL will be adequate to describe most aspects of language use and anticipates a map of the mind on par with the genome project.

What’s in a verb?

What’s in a verb? Studies in the verbal morphology of the languages of the Americas. Ed. By Grażyna J. Rowicka and Eithne B. Carlin. (LOT occasional series 5.) Utrecht: LOT, 2006. Pp. ii, 252. ISBN 9789076864945 . €24,49.

Reviewed by Edward Vajda, Western Washington University

Finite verb structure in many indigenous languages of the Americas is bewilderingly complex. No single book has yet plumbed the dimensions of this variety, and it is encouraging to see a volume of articles devoted to a dozen geographically disparate languages with typologically noteworthy verb morphology. Even more encouraging, seven of these articles focus on little described South American languages.

Four chapters discuss North American languages. Peter Bakker (3–28) provides an in-depth introduction to semantic and formal aspects of Plains Cree verbal structure, evaluating a number of earlier accounts of position class structure and raising interesting questions about morpheme ordering in the Algonquian verb. Jan P. van Eyke (29–52) discusses Lilloet transitive verb inflection with much attention to slot orders in Salish. Grażyna Rowicka (73–92) discusses another Salishan language, Upper Chehalis, offering a new morphological interpretation for vowel/zero alternations in transitive paradigms.

Hank Nater’s treatment of Tahltan (Athabaskan) verb stem structure (53–72) is the volume’s only diachronic-focused study. Using comparative data from Proto-Athabaskan and Eyak, he shows how ancient tense-mood suffixes merged with the original verb root to create the modern allomorphic stem shapes. The Tahltan data is particularly revealing because certain final fricatives remain in Tahltan that were lost in much of the rest of the Athabaskan languages.

Annette Veerman-Leichsenring (93–118) discusses valency-changing operations the Metzontla Popoloc verb. This is the only study representing Mesoamerican languages.

The remaining contributions analyze data from little-known South American languages representing diverse genetic groupings. Willem F. H. Adelaar (121–42) describes directional affixes and their morphological relation to aspect markers in the Tarma Quechua verb. Eithne B. Carlin (143–58) presents a semantic description of verbalizers in Trio, a Cariban language with a rich array of verb deriving processes. Mily Crevels (159–71) describes verbal affixes that convey plurality of action in Itonama, a language isolate. Pluractional affixes in Itonama form a particularly interesting group typologically, since some refer to event number, others to participant number, and still others may refer to both. Aspect-related multiple exponence in these morphemes is also noteworthy. Simon Vad de Kerke (171–88) describes object cross-reference in Leko, another isolate. Sérgio Meira (189–214) explains the morphological differences between stative verbs and nouns in Sateré-Mawé, a Tupian language. Pieter Muysken and Kutja Hanness (215–34) discuss verbal morphology in Uchumataqu, which belongs to the Uru-Chipaya microfamily. Stella Telles and Leo Wetzels (235–52) describe the elaborate evidentiality system of Lakonde, a language that belongs to the Nambikwara microfamily.

All of the authors are Dutch or are affiliated with a research institute in the Netherlands. That, along with the fact that most of the articles are based on data gleaned from original fieldwork, demonstrates the strength of this country’s contribution to efforts to document language diversity in the Americas. What makes this collection particularly accessible and valuable to linguists in general is that each article contains a useful introduction to complex and little-described morphological phenomena as well as conclusions that inform theoretical and typological studies of verb structure from a broader cross-linguistic perspective.

Analyzing grammar

Analyzing grammar: An introduction. By Paul R. Kroeger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Pp. xvii, 364. ISBN 9780521016537. $67.95.

Reviewed by Marian Klamer, Leiden University

This is not a book about linguistic field methods; instead it is an introduction to morphology and syntax for students who are preparing for fieldwork on undescribed languages. Paul Kroeger’s goal is to help students write good descriptive grammars by providing future field workers with the foundation necessary for analyzing the grammatical system of an undescribed language. Therefore, this text  differs from similar volumes (e.g. Thomas E. Payne, Exploring language structure, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006) in that it includes more advanced topics such as a typology of case and agreement, gender, and pronoun systems as well as an introduction to the semantics of tense, aspect, and modality. K explains how standard notational devices such as phrase structure trees and word formation rules can be used to adequately describe grammatical structures, thereby supplementing the clear prose descriptions that any descriptive grammar should contain. Another unique feature of this text is the appendix, which contains the outline for a grammatical sketch, a set of Swahili data, and an assignment to practice writing a grammatical sketch using the data.

The virtue of this book is that, while it does not focus on any specific theory of grammatical structure, it incorporates many major theoretical insights developed over the last two decades. K explains that his ‘basic assumptions about how human grammars work are those of Lexical Functional Grammar’ (xi), referring to Joan Bresnan (Lexical functional syntax, Oxford: Blackwell, 2001).

The book contains chapters on topics such as ‘Grammatical form’, ‘Constituent structure’, ‘Semantic roles and grammatical relations’, ‘Noun classes and pronouns’, ‘Non-verbal predicates’, ‘Derivational morphology’, ‘Non-linear morphology’, and ‘Clitics’. K provides examples from many nonwestern languages, including  Tawala (Papua New Guinea), Southern Azerbaijani (Iran), Luiseño (North America), Ngbaka (Congo), and Jacaltec (Guatemala) to mention just a few of the more than 130 languages referred to throughout the book. Numerous problem sets demonstrate how the information can be applied to the analysis of actual language data. In many places, K describes analytical problems that may be encountered and suggests practical solutions. The book contains a useful glossary (341–51) of over 200 linguistic terms, with reference to the chapter(s) where the terms are further explained. There is also a language (360–61) and subject index (362–64).

This text could be used in various types of courses. Although its primary purpose is to train for the analytical part of field work, this volume would also make an excellent textbook for an introductory linguistics course. Some may consider it a virtue that the pace of this book (as well as its scope) is less introductory than other, similar texts. Furthermore, Chs. 9 and 10, as well as many of the exercises, would provide material useful for a course on language typology. For these more eclectic uses of the book, however, the table of contents may not include enough detail about the exercises; more information such as the name of the language analyzed and the topic of the exercise would be helpful.

In all, this volume is a solid introduction to fieldwork methods. It is an excellent choice for the background knowledge necessary to begin analyzing the morpho-syntax of an undescribed language.

St Helenian English

St Helenian English: Origins, evolution and variation. By Daniel Schreier. (Varieties of English around the world G37.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2008. Pp. xv, 312. ISBN 9789027248978. $173 (Hb).

Reviewed by Thomas Hoffmann, University of Regensburg

St Helenian English (StHE) is considered to be the oldest Southern Hemisphere variety of English. In light of this, it is somewhat surprising that so far no large-scale linguistic description of it has been available. Now, based on his own fieldwork on the island, Daniel Schreier tries to close this gap with his book, St Helenian English: Origins, evolution and variation.

After a short introductory chapter (1–8), Ch. 2 (9–66) surveys the basic principles of contact linguistics. Because one of the main issues addressed here concerns the question of whether StHE is the result of dialect contact or creolization, S carefully surveys and discusses all of the crucial concepts involved in these two processes (e.g. koinéization, mixing, levelling, simplification/regularization, reallocation, independent developments, interdialect forms vs. jargonization, borrowing, pidginization, creolization, mixed languages, creoloids, and semicreoles).

In Ch. 3 (67–121), S provides an overview of the history of StHE, focussing on the contact setting and the sociodemographic and sociolinguistic evolution of the variety. He argues that from its discovery in 1502 to the mid-eighteenth century, St Helena was characterized by large-scale immigration as well as emigration, and that it was not until the mid-eighteenth century that the population began to stabilize. Furthermore, because the two main groups of immigrants in the eighteenth century were Southern English settlers and Malagasy slaves, S claims that the varieties of these immigrants must have been the most important contributors to the local feature pool.

Next, in Ch. 4 (123–58), S tries to reconstruct the diachronic evolution of StHE by surveying various historical texts. In all, he identifies over fifty phonological and morphosyntactic features that recurrently appear throughout his data. For each of these, he discusses potential sources (such as the South of England for the interchange of /v~w/ or creolization for the invariant negative marker no).

In the first part of Ch. 5 (159–201), S provides an overview of the StHE’s synchronic segmental phonology using Wells’s lexical set. The second half of this chapter deals with the variety’s synchronic morpho-syntax.

Ch. 6 (203–21) presents the results from a sociolinguistic variationist study of two selected variables (consonant cluster reduction and copula absence). As S argues, the results from both studies show some degree of regional variation on the island. Moreover, both variables are taken as indications that StHE is the result of language contact.

Finally, Ch. 7 (223–53) summarizes S’s main results. He claims that the island’s complex contact history explains why StHE possess many features typical of English-based creoles, while at the same time exhibiting, for example, a segmental phonology similar to dialect contact varieties such as Australian or New Zealand English.

Helenian English: Origins, evolution and variation is an extremely careful and well-written account of the diachronic evolution and synchronic features of StHE and should be of interest to anyone working on contact linguistics, varieties of English, or sociolinguistics in general.

Handbook of descriptive language knowledge

Handbook of descriptive language knowledge: A full-scale reference guide for typologists. By Harald Hammarström. (LINCOM handbooks in linguistics 20.) Munich: LINCOM, 2006. Pp. 312. ISBN 9783895863837. €70.

Reviewed by Katrin Hiietam, Manchester,UK

Harald Hammarström’s volume is a compilation of published references for attested languages, including those for a wealth of lesser-known languages.

Typologically oriented, this volume presents facts without arguing for or against any theoretical views. H notes that this volume is an attempt to present the languages of the world ‘without undue bias towards European languages’ (1) and to provide a well-balanced, systematic, and complete handbook that contains sufficient references. To my mind, this aim has been met.

Although H suggests the introductory chapter might not be of great importance to what follows, it provides insight into the organization of the volume. It should be read before studying the rest of the book.

The references contain word lists, phonology, sketches, short grammars, full grammars, and also the so-called Holy Trinity of a full length grammar, texts, and a dictionary. Almost 4000 languages are reported on; however, H states there are more than 1300 references to relevant publications that he has not yet read, for various reasons (18). He hypothesizes that there are as many as 4729 documented languages (19), and, as such, H does not imply his list is complete.

The languages are arranged according to geographic region and language family. H does not include an index of language names: he considers it unnecessary because the Internet can be used to deduce which family a language belongs to. References to individual grammatical descriptions are indexed by genetic language unit—that is, a language, or set of languages that has been demonstrated to stem from a common ancestor by orthodox comparative methodology (Lyle Campbell, Historical linguistics: An introduction, 2nd ed., Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004). Occasionally, H adds comments about the sources (e.g. a canonical source, a thesis, a sketch) and links to Web sites.

H emphasizes that this book is not a substitute for the actual works: he encourages the reader to consult the original references if more information is required. This book is systematic and well organized. It will provide a good starting point for anyone interested in languages.

Pocket Hawaiian grammar

Pocket Hawaiian grammar: A reference grammar in dictionary form. By Albert J. Schütz, Gary N. Kahālo’omalu Kanada, and Kenneth William Cook. Waipahu, Hawai’i: Island Heritage Publishing, 2005. Pp. xx, 226. ISBN 9781597001762 . $8.99.

Reviewed by Edwrad Vajda, Western Washington University

A full-length, modern grammar of Hawaiian has yet to appear. The most detailed reference, by Samuel H. Elbert and Mary Kawena Pukui (Hawaiian Grammar, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1979), remains provisional in many respects. By contrast, a superb reference work on Hawaiian vocabulary has existed for decades (Samuel H. Elbert and Mary Kawena Pukui, Hawaiian Dictionary, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1971; revised and enlarged, 1986; reprinted with corrections, 1991). This first-ever dictionary of Hawaiian grammatical terms, words, and concepts thus fills an important gap in published materials readily available for learners and teachers of this rather famous indigenous language.

This dictionary contains more than 1,200 individual entries, including cross-listings of words spelled using earlier orthographic conventions. Many entries are devoted to the language’s numerous function words and particles, with concise semantic interpretation and clear examples of usage in context. This information supplements lexically-oriented Hawaiian dictionaries since the editors provide a balanced discussion of differing scholarly interpretations for some of these words. Many entries represent masterful mini-dissertations; a notable example is the discussion with examples of the ka/ke distinction in definite article usage (95–96). Separate entries on homonyms, such as hea (question word) and hea (vocative), contain excellent examples that serve as a valuable diagnostic in distinguishing each separate function (73–74). Other entries define and exemplify Hawaiian grammatical categories based on common linguistic terms such as ablative or active verb; these definitions are useful because they are based on specific reference to the given category’s function in Hawaiian grammar, something generic dictionaries of linguistic terms do not offer.

The final type of entry, and often the longest, involve discussions of topics such as Hiram Bingam’s experimental Hawaiian syllabary (194–95) or discuss key aspects of language structure such as compound verbs (42), reduplication (182–83), or vowel shortening (210–11). Entries on comment-topic (38–39) and comment-topic-complements (39–41) provide insights into word order not readily found in other sources. The entry on the vowel system (211) offers the valuable observation that if the long and short distinction in Hawaiian vowels is considered phonemic and diphthongs are regarded as distinct phonological units as well, then Hawaiian contains twenty-four distinct vowel phonemes. This thought-provoking reinterpretation of the language’s widely commented phonemic paucity appeared earlier in an article by one of the editors (Albert J. Schütz. 1981. A reinterpretation of the Hawaiian vowel system, Oceanic Linguistics 20.1–43). There are also occasional comments on the historiography of Hawaiian linguistic studies, particularly in regard to orthographic conventions.

Although the editors intend this as a reference for anyone wishing to look up a specific word or concept (vi), the dictionary is filled with many unexpected items that make reading it through well worth the effort for anyone with more than a passing curiosity for Hawaiian grammatical structure. The copious example sentences alone make this dictionary worth perusing from cover to cover.

Well written, handy for both students and scholars, and occasionally thought provoking, this unique and inexpensive book deserves a place in any Polynesian linguistics library.

Leo Spitzers Briefe an Hugo Schuchardt

Leo Spitzers Briefe an Hugo Schuchardt. Ed. by Bernhard Hurch. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2006. Pp. 432. ISBN 9783110180398. $192 (Hb).

Reviewed by Keri Henley, University of Texas at Arlington

Letters between two European intellectuals during World War One provide insight into the political and cultural environment of this critical period in history. For instance, Leo Spitzer observes that in the German community ‘the silence of the highly intellectual supports Hitler’ (294). Bernhard Hurch’s compilation of letters written by Romanist Leo Spitzer to Romanist and linguist Hugo Schuchardt exposes the human side of linguistics and language: a glimpse into the men’s personalities reveals a view of humankind during World War One. Topics such as etymology, German language variation, and philology were raised throughout the letters in addition to other literary and linguistic themes.

H compiled the book in a way that is manageable and enjoyable to read: the first of its seven sections provides contextual information and character profiles of both Schuchardt and Spitzer and includes a history of the colleagues’ roles in their respective societies and personal communities. A younger Spitzer begins tentatively writing the older, more seasoned Schuchardt, and the letters sketch the development of not only their relationship but also the development of each man as well. Written in German, the letters expose the Viennese intricacies of their author and reflect not only personal correspondence but also of the difficulties of a politically and socially difficult era.

The correspondence spans from February 1912 to February 1927 and consists primarily of letters from Spitzer to Schuchardt. In the first letter, Spitzer begins with utmost formality, requesting permission to correspond with Schuchardt. As the letters progress, it is intriguing to see how familiar the two men become with each other’s lives and careers, simply through this correspondence. This is reflected in the relaxed manner in which Spitzer writes, especially how he adjusts to addressing Schuchardt less formally as time passes.

The content of the letters varies widely, ranging from questions about linguistics and family, to political views and current events. Spitzer incorporates his daily life, thoughts, and interactions in his letters, which seem to function almost as a journal. Although no significant correspondence from Schuchardt is provided, the reader may hear his voice from what is reflected in Spitzer’s return correspondence. The letters continue until February of 1927, just a few months before Schuchardt’s death in April of that year.

H has produced a well-organized and succinct presentation of the correspondence between the two scholars and friends. An extended index details the people to whom Spitzer refers. With this personal and contextual information that H provides, the reader is able to fully grasp the multifaceted layers of life and history that these letters reveal.

English in the world

English in the world: Global rules, global roles. Ed. by Rani Rubdy and Mario Saraceni. New York: Continuum, 2006. Pp. vi, 218. ISBN 9780826489067. $70.

Reviewed by Richard W. Hallett, Northeastern Illinois University

Comprised of an introduction by the editors and thirteen chapters by various linguistic and social science researchers, this book examines three rival positions on the role of the English language in the world. In the introduction (5–16), Rani Rubdy and Mario Saraceni introduce the language used in international communication as English as an international language (EIL) or English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). They state that the chapters ‘are intended to reflect a strong and urgent sense’ (15) of issues such as imposing a single model of English, acknowledging its hegemony, necessitating a counter-culture movement, and recognizing its polymorphous nature worldwide. The remaining chapters are divided into two parts.

Following a short introduction, Part 1, ‘Conceptualizing EIL’, includes seven chapters. ‘An interview with Tom McArthur’ (21–31) presents Rani Rubdy and Mario Saraceni’s discussion with the founder of the journal English Today: The International Review of the English Language concerning the spread of English(es). Jennifer Jenkins briefly introduces the core and noncore features of ELF phonology in ‘Global intelligibility and local diversity: Possibility or paradox’ (32–39). Barbara Seidlhofer discusses five misconceptions about ELF in ‘English as a lingua franca in the expanding circle: What it isn’t’ (40–50).

In ‘Defining the “successful bilingual speaker” of English’ (51–70), Luke Prodromou identifies problems with the lingua franca core and offers examples from his own corpus-based research to suggest directions for future research. In ‘Which model of English: Native-speaker, nativized or lingua franca?’ (71–83), Andy Kirkpatrick calls upon applied linguists to describe a lingua franca model. Peter K. W. Tan, Vincent B. Y. Ooi, and Andy K. L. Chiang explore the choice between world Englishes and ELF in ‘World Englishes or English as a lingua franca? A view from the perspectives of non-Anglo Englishes’ (84–94). In the last chapter of Part 1, ‘Standard English in the world’ (95–109), Anthea Fraser Gupta attempts to ‘move the teaching of English as a foreign language into the real world’ (96).

Following another short introduction, Part 2, ‘Pedagogical implications of EIL’, includes six chapters. In ‘EIL curriculum development’ (114–29), Sandra Lee McKay calls for a reassessment of the role of native speaker competence and culture in teaching EIL. Brian Tomlinson presents his opinions on the optimum methodology for the teaching of EIL in ‘A multi-dimensional approach to teaching English for the world’ (130–50). Nicos Sifakis’s goal in ‘Teaching EIL: Teaching international or intercultural English? What teachers should know’ (151–68) is to raise the awareness of pedagogical issues for future EIL teachers. Also addressing pedagogical issues, T. Ruanni F. Tupas, in ‘Standard Englishes, pedagogical paradigms and their conditions of (im)possibility’ (169–85), explores the political question of access to standard English(es). In ‘English in the world does not mean English everywhere: The case for multilingualism in the ELT/ESL profession’ (186–99), Michael Joseph and Esther Ramani call for a multilingual identity change in English language teaching. The book concludes with Rani Rubdy and Mario Saraceni’s interview with the editor of TESOL Quarterly, ‘An interview with Suresh Canagarajah’ (200–11).

This book will appeal to researchers in the areas of world Englishes, applied linguistics, and English language pedagogy.

Translation studies at the interface of disciplines

Translation studies at the interface of disciplines. Ed. by João Ferreira Duarte, Alexandra Assis Rosa, and Teresa Seruya. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2006. Pp. vi, 207. ISBN 9789027216762. $158 (Hb).

Reviewed by María A. Fernández-Parra, University of Wales Swansea, United Kingdom

The outcome of a conference held at the University of Lisbon in November 2002, this volume investigates translation studies as a transdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary science.

In the first of three parts, the contributions examine translation studies as a discipline, rather than as a process, and discuss its interdisciplinary nature. The authors marvel at the development of the discipline while also fully aware of its shortcomings: on one hand, translation studies is praised as a kaleidoscopic entity in which ‘differences of approach should not be seen as disrupting but as enriching’ (50), while on the other hand, some authors cast doubt on the validity of certain aspects of the current methodology of translation research. Both ends of this continuum are well presented and convincing, thus leaving it to the reader to decide where translation studies currently stands.

Part 2 is devoted to the position of translation within a culture under the influence of a more predominant culture, such as Portuguese in relation to Spanish. Some doubt is shed on the validity of two well-established concepts in translation—namely, that the readership is conceptualized as a homogeneous entity and that translation is not only linguistic but also cultural. With good arguments, Alexandra Assis Rosa claims that the readership of a translation is anything but homogeneous and Matthew Wing-Kwong Leung offers a new perspective of translation not only as linguistic and cultural but also ‘as a means of ideological resistance’ (129).

The papers in Part 3 deal with the less-documented aspects of translation, including the concepts of overtranslatability and pseudooriginals. These concepts are explained using well-chosen examples. Also, a revealing account of the history of translation in China invites Western scholars to collaborate with Asian scholars in the study of the theory and practice of translation.

Overall, with themes that run from theoretical to practical, this volume is both thought-provoking and informative. This is a book for those hoping to view translation studies from a new perspective as well as engage in debate about its methodology and key concepts. This volume would sit well on the shelf of any linguist interested in translation.