Monthly Archives: April 2011

Ichishkíin Sínwit

Ichishkíin Sínwit: Yakama/Yakima Sahaptin dictionary. By Virginia Beavert and Sharon Hargus. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press with Heritage Univeristy, 2010. Pp. lxviii, 492, CD. ISBN 9780295989150. $60.

Reviewed by Peter Freeouf, Chiang Mai University

This is a large dictionary of the Sahaptin Native American language, a member of the Sahaptian family, which also includes the closely related Nez Perce. The Sahaptian family is often included in a larger grouping, Plateau Penutian, that is itself a branch of the proposed wider Penutian stock. Various dialects of Sahaptin were still spoken by several hundred native speakers in the 1980s in Oregon and Washington. That number has greatly declined and Sahaptin is now a seriously endangered language. Fortunately, efforts are under way to preserve the language for future generations. This dictionary represents a major effort in that work. The two authors include a native-speaker linguist, Virginia Beavert, and another linguist, Sharon Hargus.

Another scholar of Sahaptin, Bruce Rigsby, contributed two articles to the introductory material, dealing with the origins and histories of the names Sahaptin (xviii–xxi) and Yakima/Yakama (xxii–xxxiv) in English. In another introductory essay, ‘Design, organization and history of Ichishkíin Sínwit’ (xxxv–lxi), Sharon Hargus describes in detail how to use the dictionary, particularly its main Sahaptin-English section (1–331). A clear explanation with diagrams is here provided on how to read each entry, as well as a fair amount of morphosyntactic information organized in paradigm charts and illustrative examples. The linguistic terms used are clearly explained for non-linguists, and more technical linguistic details are given in footnotes. This essay not only shows how to use the dictionary but helps make up for the lack of a more detailed grammatical summary.

The orthography is a slightly modified version of the standard writing system developed by Bruce Rigsby and Alex Saluskin that has been widely used since its introduction in the 1970s. A convenient orthographic chart (xii–xiii) gives a Sahaptin example word, an International Phonetic Alphabet equivalent, and (where possible) the closest English sound for each Sahaptin letter. Because the writing system employs digraphs and diacritics to represent the relatively large number of Sahaptin sounds, the Sahaptin alphabet is reproduced in alphabetic order as a footer throughout the Sahaptin-English section and the ‘Sahaptin root index’ (469–92).

Every entry in the Sahaptin-English section begins with a Sahaptin item printed in slightly larger bold type, followed by grammatical information and an English translation of the headword. Additionally, most entries contain one or two example sentences, each with an English translation; Sahaptin lexical items, phrases, and sentences are generally printed in bold typeface. The dictionary also includes a shorter English-Sahaptin section (333–467) useful to those looking for the Sahaptin equivalents of English word and expressions.

There are numerous color photographs of individuals in Sahaptin dress, cultural objects, animals, plants, and other natural phenomena with their names in Sahaptin, English translations, and short descriptions, as well as interesting black-and-white photographs from early in the previous century. The dictionary is printed on heavy paper and is designed for long use. In short, this is a beautifully designed and elegantly printed volume that serves as a fitting record of and tribute to an irreplaceable part of the cultural heritage of North America.


Reference. By Barbara Abbott. (Oxford surveys in semantics and pragmatics 2.) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 308. ISBN 9780199203451. $45.

Reviewed by Svetlana Pashneva, Kursk State University

In eleven chapters Barbara Abbott explores the connection between words and the world, viewing reference as both a pragmatic phenomenon (taking into account a ‘human factor’) and a semantic one (abstracting away from speakers and message recipients). She focuses mostly on noun phrases (NPs), leaving out other linguistic forms considered to have reference. Each chapter begins with an overview and ends with a brief concluding section.

After an introduction, Ch.2, ‘The foundations’, presents the most important problems of reference, such as denotation, connotation, proper names, and propositions, discussing them with reference to the works of John Stuart Mill, Gottlob Frege, and Bertrand Russell. Ch. 3, ‘Subsequent developments’, takes a closer look at semantic scope and scope ambiguity, and touches on the semantics of quantificational NPs, sentence operators, and modal operators. A substantial part of the chapter focuses on possible worlds semantics and propositions, and presents sets of situations and structured combinations of intensions as alternatives to the concept of the proposition.

Ch. 4, ‘The proper treatment of quantification’, reviews the work of Paul Grice and Richard Montague. She gives a detailed description of Montague grammar and discusses a number of subsequent papers. In Ch. 5, ‘Proper names’, the author takes a closer look at descriptional, cluster, nondescriptional, metalinguistic, hidden indexical, and bite-the-bullet approaches to proper-name analysis, giving arguments for and against each of these approaches. Ch. 6, ‘Definite descriptions’, concerns whether definite descriptions are referential or quantificational expressions and whether referential interpretation is encoded semantically or conveyed pragmatically. The presented arguments are shown to be inconclusive.

Ch. 7, ‘Plurals and generics’, provides an overview of several important issues concerning plurality. The discussion includes the ways in which NPs with plural and mass head nouns can be interpreted depending on what is being predicated of their denotation, the ways predicates can apply to plural and mass NPs, and the problem of generic expressions. The author concludes that ‘this chapter must be considered only a basic introduction to this complex and interesting area’ (179). The first part of Ch. 8, ‘Indexicality and pronouns’, is devoted to the problem of indexicality. A then explores various interpretations of demonstratives and reviews two approaches to unifying them. The remainder of the chapter considers multiple uses of third person pronouns, and draws parallels between definite descriptions and pronouns.

Ch. 9, ‘Definiteness, strength, partitives, and referentiality’, investigates definiteness as one of the properties of NPs traditionally linked with referentiality and touches on related concepts such as the strong-weak distinction and partitive NPs. Ch. 10, ‘NPs in discourse’, centers on speakers’ use of NPs in conversational contexts. After providing an insight into pronouns, the problem of donkey pronouns, and dynamic semantics theories, she looks at the ways NPs are used by speakers. A review of a number of proposals for classifying NPs is followed by a brief description of the nature of discourse referents. In the final chapter, ‘Taking stock’, A compares the pragmatic and semantic conceptions of reference, and concludes that the area of noun-phrase reference remains full of unsolved problems, which she encourages readers ‘to go out and solve’. (280).

This book offers a highly readable presentation of major issues associated with reference. It is recommended for anyone interested in reference, semantics, philosophy of language, and cognitive studies.

Decentering translation studies

Decentering translation studies: India and beyond. Ed. by Judy Wakabayashi and Rita Kothari. (Benjamins translation library 86.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009. Pp. xi, 219. ISBN 9789027224309. $135 (Hb).

Reviewed by Taras Shmiher, Ivan Franko National University in L’viv, Ukraine

The present volume is the outcome of two conferences: Ingenious Traditions in Translation, held in Ahmedabad; and Asia in the Asian Consciousness: Translation and Cultural Transactions, held in Tejgadh. It consists of a philosophical foreword about Asian consciousness, Buddhism, and translation by Ganesh Devy, the editors’ introduction, and thirteen articles.

In ‘Introduction’ (1–15), Judy Wakabayashi and Rita Kothari narrate about translations, cultural contexts, and theoretical issues in a wide-ranging discussion, contrasting Western European Translation Studies and alternative non-European cultural traditions.

G.J.V. Prasad (17–28) analyzes translations in Tamil in terms of long-term cultural processes aimed at removing Sanskritic influences and building Tamil identity, covering the matters of religion, caste, and political patronage. He examines periods of Tamil hybridization and purification campaigns where linguistic and cultural pride shaped the notion of Tamil identity. Similarly, E.V. Ramakrishnan (29–41) discusses how Malayalam translation was used to define a regional identity distinct from Sanskrit and Tamil. Translation was enlisted as a means of resisting the hegemonic tendencies in these separate traditions.

Texts from Indian literature are rich in multiple renderings and intertextuality. Treating written versions, oral tellings, and non-verbal representations from medieval Karnataka, T.S. Satyanath (43–56) traces the existence of pluralistic epistemologies within the episode of Kirata Shiva and Arjuna from the Mahabharata that significantly contribute to understanding the construction and continuity of texts, tellings, and renderings. Rita Kothari (119–31) discusses how the harmony of different languages and religions within Sufi practice in Sindh reflects elements of hybridity, migrancy, and translation. Farzaneh Farahzad (133–43) continues the topic by examining the misrepresentation of Sufi literature in English translations.

A group of articles is devoted to the issues of power and translation. V.B. Tharakeshwar (57–73) shows how translations of Greek tragedies into Kannada reflected discussions between colonialism and nationalism in the early twentieth century. Keeping the background of British legal search in the Sanskritic tradition for a divine/singular origin like the Christian authority during the late eithteenth century, Christi A. Merrill (75–94) questions the understanding of translational fidelity in the colonial view and nowadays. Researching the reception of Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahab’s ‘Kitab At-Tawhid’ in Urdu translation, Masood Ashraf Raja (95–106) argues that translation became a powerful tool of political transformation within the framework of Muslim identity in British India.

Tridip Suhrud (107–17) analyzes Mahatma Gandhi’s own translations and the translations of his works that he supervised and authorized to uncover peculiar difficulties of conveying the originality of his thought to the multilingual world. Sherry Simon (161–74) focuses on the paradoxes of vocabulary used by poet and linguist A. K. Ramanujan in his practice as a translator.

Finally, Theresa Hyun (145–59) reveals the significance for Koreans under Japanese rule of translations from Indian poetry inspired by anti-colonial struggles. Meanwhile, Judy Wakabayashi (175–94) explores the semantic domain of translation, covering terminological discrepancies, potential insights into Japanese views of translation, and divergence from standard English terminology. In the Zulu context of South Africa, Stanley G. M. Ridge (195–212) focuses on a nineteenth-century colonial trial as a nexus of competing practices of translation and interpreting.

The volume is provided with an index of names, titles, places, and notions.

Annual review of South Asian languages and linguistics 2009

Annual review of South Asian languages and linguistics 2009. Ed. by Rajendra Singh. (Trends in linguistics. Studies and monographs 222.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2009. Pp viii, 249. ISBN 9783110225594. $140 (Hb).

Reviewed by Anish Koshy, The English and Foreign Languages University, India

Annual review of South Asian languages and linguistics (ARSALL) is an annual series that replaced The yearbook of South Asian languages and linguistics in 2007. The current volume, the third issue, has three papers as ‘General contributions’, one invited paper as a ‘Special contribution’, three ‘Reports’, five ‘Reviews’, and two ‘Dialogues’.

Drawing examples from English and Bangla, Probal Dasgupta presents the notion of intersecting economies within the substantivist program, which permits multiple characterization, and manages the coexistence of isolated irregular forms with the rest of the system, noting the failure of formal theories to explain such forms. Peter Hook and Prashant Pardeshi attempt to create a taxonomy of idiomatic EAT-expressions in Marathi through the notions of correspondence and alternation. They examine their power to reshuffle roles, increase transitivity, and add vividness and salience to the expression. Arguing for emergent unmarkedness against the notion of default unmarkedness, Shakuntala Mahanta analyzes exceptional triggering of morphologically induced vowel harmony in both nominal and verbal morphology of Assamese within the optimality theory framework, and explores the theoretical precept of locality in exceptionality. Michael W. Morgan’s ‘Special contribution’ attempts to place Indian sign language (ISL) in a wider typological and areal perspective, focusing on the encoding of core verbal arguments to classify 250 ISL verbs.

In ‘Regional reports’, Fida Birzi discusses the birth of a new pidgin called Pidgin Madam, born out of the linguistic contact between colloquial Sinhala and Lebanese Arabic (the substrate language). Kazuyuki Kiryu and Prashant Pardeshi report on research on South Asian languages in Japan between 2000 and 2008. Andrew Hardie, Ram Raj Lohani, Bhim N. Regmi, and Yogendra P. Yadava examine the morphosyntactic categorization scheme employed for tagging within the recently completed Nepali National Corpus.

The repetition of many previous authors in this volume works against the ARSALL series’ stated purpose of becoming a general forum for linguists working on South Asian languages. While the contributions in ARSALL2009 are important in themselves and useful for anyone interested in these languages, a wider participation of linguists would make the series more vibrant and better representative of the various dimensions of linguistic inquiry pursued in and about the Indian sub-continent.

Cognitive perspectives on word formation

Cognitive perspectives on word formation. Ed. by Alexander Onysko and Sascha Michel. (Trends in linguistics. Studies and monographs 221.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2010. Pp. viii, 431. ISBN 9783110223590. $140 (Hb).

Reviewed by Anish Koshy, The English and Foreign Languages University, India

The contributions in the volume are selected papers from the Second International Cognitive Linguistics Conference held in Munich in 2006 and invited papers. The book is organized into two parts.

Part 1, ‘Theory and interfaces in word formation’, deals with theoretical contributions, interface issues, and classification of Word Formation (WF) processes. With examples from the lexical network of emotion, Martina Lampert and Günther Lampert present and assess the notion of recombinance as against usage-based models of morphology in the representation of complex WF processes. Questioning proposals of a clear-cut dichotomy between synchrony and diachrony, Livio Gaeta examines if certain cases of homonymy/polysemy in Luxembourgish and Italian can be traced back to natural patterns of cognitively-grounded processes of diachronic evolution. Gerhard B van Huyssteen seeks to redefine and postulate a taxonymy of component-structures of complex words in Afrikaans for the purposes of developing a morphological parser. Working within a network approach to information-processing and drawing data from multiple sources, Hilke Elsen stresses on the significant role that words operating as gestalts play in language processing. Philipp Conzett views gender as an integral part of cognitive grammar and a constitutive factor in WF processes by arguing that diachronically, grammatical gender patterning is an efficient reuse of existing linguistic structures. Investigating Adjective+Noun compounds and phrases in Dutch and German from a constructionist perspective, Matthias Hüning argues that lexicon and grammar are seen to exist in a continuum and not as two distinct modules of a language.

Part 2, ‘Theory and processes of word formation’, explores a cognitive linguistics analysis of traditional WF processes. Réka Benczes discusses the motivations for creativity in English compounds and explains the compounds in terms of constructional schemas and conceptual blending. Analyzing hybrid compounds in German, Alexander Onysko discusses the associative relationship between the specifier and the head element in determinative compound nouns in terms of dynamic prototypicality and instantiation of inherently contiguous sub-groups. Problematizing unidirectional theories on conversion, Birgit Umbreit argues for a bidirectional understanding of lexical motivation in conversion by providing evidence from cognitive word-family organization and other sources. Bert Cappelle shows that double -er coinages (e.g. fixer-upper) are not necessarily intentional performance errors and reviews challenges it poses to usage-based accounts by exploring the role of imitation and analogy in its use. Taking up the issue of holistic versus decomposed processing of complex forms, Judith Heide, Antje Lorenz, André Meinunger, and Frank Burchert investigate how prefixed words are represented and processed in the mental lexicon focusing on ver-prefixed German verbs. Describing a fully-automated system called Zeitgeist which harvests neologisms from Wikipedia and adds semantic entries to WordNet, Tony Veale and Cristina Butnariu argue that lexical databases should be capable of interpreting neologisms with origins in existing word forms.

This book discusses language as a product of human cognition and the potential fallacies of a rule-based approach to word-formation. The papers included in this collection provide novel insights into issues like coining, the persistence of morphologically marked forms, and compositional and holistic processing of complex forms.

Agents of translation

Agents of translation. Ed. by John Milton and Paul Bandia. (Benjamins translation library 81.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009. Pp. vi, 337. ISBN 9789027216908. $143 (Hb).

Reviewed by Taras Shmiher, Ivan Franko National University in L’viv, Ukraine

The present collection examines the concept of agency in translation studies where agents—mediators between a translator and an end user of a translated text—stimulate major historical, literary, and cultural changes through translation. Its agents either influence changes in translation style, broadening the philosophical borders of a language and its society, or perform their specific cultural and political role. Patronage, power, and habitus are the key conditions and factors of producing cultural artifacts, raising national consciousness, and changing literary tastes. The thirteen essays included in this volume uncover various facets of relations between these factors in a global outlook, as they are written by scholars who study agency in literatures of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

Latin American polysystem is most discussed by the contributing researchers. Georges L. Bastin highlights the life and acts of Francisco de Miranda, the major agent of translation during the late eighteenth through the early nineteenth century. The author hypothesizes how the real role, played by translation in the subcontinent, contributed to the emancipation movement and the creation of a national and continental identity and culture. Maria Eulália Ramicelli presents the French magazine Revue Britannique as an important transmitter of British ideas and cultural norms for Brazilian fiction writers. The relationship between national literary production and translation in the twentieth century Argentina and Brazil are studied in the chapters by Lisa Rose Bradford and by Thelma Médici Nóbrega and John Milton, respectively.

Denise Merkle considers the significance of the publishing house Vizetelly & Company for modernizing the publishing industry in late-Victorian Britain. The publishers introduced inexpensive translated and original editions to the British market, but they greatly suffered from Victorian censorship as well. Carol O’Sullivan’s essay discusses the work of another Victorian publisher, Henry G. Bohn, who was a pioneer in popularizing translated classics for the general market and private circulation.

Among other European literatures, Outi Paloposki compares the daily routines and decision-making of two Finnish translators, Karl Gustaf Samuli Suomalainen (nineteenth century) and Juhani Konkka (twentieth century). The author describes the process of selecting books for translation, the use of source texts and versions, typographical design, and fees in order to demonstrate the limitations of Finnish translators to choose the content of their work. Christine Zurbach analyzes the activities of a special group of theater translators in Portugal from 1975–1988. Francis R. Jones explores Anglophone translations of poetry by post-war Bosnian writers.

Studying the translation activity of Ahmed Midhat and translation discourse in the Ottoman culture of the late nineteenth century, Cemal Demircioğlu reveals the foundations of dynamism in Ottoman writing, publishing, and journalism, as well as shows the mediator in conveying Western culture to Ottoman society. Şehnaz Tahir-Gürçağlar focuses on the prominent twentieth century Turkish politician Hasan-Âli Yücel, whose activities are a valuable tool for investigating the historiography of culture and translation.

The chapter by Akiko Uchiyama discusses Fukuzawa Yukichi’s translations from other non-Western literatures that significantly impacted the nineteenth century Japanese reader’s perception of these cultures. He is regarded both as a proponent of civil liberties, independent thought, and egalitarian humanism and as a supporter of Japan’s aggression towards neighboring Asian countries.

African milieu is described by Paul Bandia in his essay on Cheikh Anta Diop, who tried to establish a historical and cultural connection between ancient Egypt and Black Africa by deciphering hieroglyphs and Meroitic script into a modern writing.

Finally, the volume includes notes on contributors and an index of names, titles, and subjects.

Language networks

Language networks: The new word grammar. By Richard Hudson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 275. ISBN 9780199298389. $55.

Reviewed by Michael Zock, LIF – CNRS, Marseille

This book was written by the creator of the concept of word grammar. Richard Hudson argues that language is a conceptual network in which language can be described in terms of nodes and their relations (2–3). The book is divided into five chapters.

Ch. 1, ‘Introduction’ (1–62), describes H’s assumptions concerning language, its structure, and its processing. While he assumes that language is basically a network, he argues that language processing is mainly activation spreading.

Ch. 2, ‘Morphology’ (63–116), uses the same theory of word grammar to describe linguistic forms. H explains that ‘morphological patterns are represented as a network of relations among words, morphs, and sounds or letters’ (63).

In Ch. 3, ‘Syntax’ (117–82), Hposits that syntactic structures are best described in terms of dependency-structures (DSs). He justifies this choice by claiming that DSs (i) are simpler than phrase structures, (ii) can account for long distance-dependencies, (iii) have desirable mathematical properties, (iv) are used by most parsers, and (v) have psychological reality.

Ch. 4, ‘Gerunds’ (183–210), explains gerunds as a hybrid unit. H states that ‘English gerunds are … single words which are both verbs and nouns…nothing more is needed in order to generate ordinary gerunds, though special provisions are needed for possessive subjects and no/any’ (210).

In the last chapter, Ch. 5 ‘Meaning: Semantics and sociolinguistics’ (211–48), H deals with meaning, considering it both from a semantic and pragmatic point of view. For example, the word cookie signals not only the fact that we want to talk about a certain kind of biscuit, but also that we adhere or belong to a certain speech community (224). One of the many questions addressed in this section deals with the acquisition of meaning. H explains that people are able to store so many structures and words due to recycling, a mechanism that allows speakers to build new objects out of old ones.

I found the book to be highly stimulating and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in understanding how language is represented or structured in peoples’ minds. Although there were some noticeable omissions, this book functions as a nice introduction to language processing and psycholinguistics.

The handbook of phonetic sciences

The handbook of phonetic sciences. 2nd edn. Ed. by William J. Hardcastle, John Laver, and Fiona E. Gibbon. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010. Pp xii, 870. ISBN 9781405145909. $199.95 (Hb).

Reviewed by Anish Koshy, The English and Foreign Languages University, India

This volume contains twenty-two chapters organized into five major sections. It sees the addition of ten new chapters while the organizational scheme of the first edition is retained.

Part 1, ‘Experimental phonetics’, has four chapters. Maureen Stone gives an overview of the role of laboratory instruments in the study of speech disorders and speech processing applications. While Christine H. Shadle considers various aerodynamically distinct oral tract behaviors and the methods of measuring them, Hajime Hirose studies the functions of laryngeal structures and the basic laryngeal adjustments required for different phonetic conditions. Jonathan Harrington takes up a detailed analysis of the acoustic characteristics of three major categories of sounds.

Part 2, ‘Biological perspectives’, has three chapters. Janet Mackenzie Beck explores organic variation in speech performance due to differences in shape and proportion of vocal organs. Hermann Ackermann and Wolfram Ziegler review characteristics of primate and human brains with reference to human language. Anne Smith discusses neural processes and issues of interface, the role of feedback, and neuroplasticity.

Part 3, ‘Modelling speech production and perception’, is the largest section in the handbook. Barbara L. Davis gives an overview of the formalist, structuralist, cognitive science, and auditory-perceptual perspectives on speech acquisition. Edda Farnetani and Daniel Recasens explore coarticulation and connected speech processes from various theoretical perspectives. Anders Löfqvist discusses the problems of coordination and motor control in motor systems in speech production. Christer Gobl and Ailbhe Ní Chasaide deal with acoustic aspects of phonation and its exploitation in the context of speech communication. Kenneth N. Stevens and Helen M. Hanson review the quantal/enhancement theory and its relationship to the notion of distinctive features. Brian C. J. Moore introduces aspects of auditory processing. James M. McQueen and Anne Cutler conclude this section by focusing on the cognitive aspects of speech perception in terms of lexical and pre-lexical processing.

Part 4, ‘Linguistic phonetics’, has five chapters. Janet Fletcher reviews temporal aspects of prosody and the rhythmic dimension of speech. Mary E. Beckman and Jennifer J. Venditti discuss functional aspects and establish parameters with which to study pitch change. John J. Ohala reviews the historical evolution of phonetics and phonology, and argues for an integration of the two fields. Tracing the development of the international phonetic alphabet notation, John H. Esling presents important challenges and revisions to the system. Paul Foulkes, James M. Scobbie, and Dominic Watt explore sociophonetics by seeking to explain socially structured variation in speech.

Part 5, ‘Speech technology’, has three chapters. Daniel P. W. Ellis discusses sound-filtering and the Fourier analysis and spectrographic representation of speech signal. Rolf Carlson and Björn Granström survey text-to-speech synthesizing systems, discussing current trends like multimodal and multilingual synthesis. Steve Renals and Simon King conclude this section by reviewing techniques, models, and algorithms used in automatic speech recognition research.

This volume succeeds in maintaining its multidisciplinary orientation with exhaustive discussions of current techniques, experimental approaches, and theories used in the various sub-fields, while also standing as a testimony to the highly productive and ever-expanding nature of the discipline.

Current trends in diachronic semantics and pragmatics

Current trends in diachronic semantics and pragmatics. Ed. by Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen and Jacqueline Visconti. (Studies in pragmatics 7.) Bingley, UK: Emerald Group, 2009. Pp. ix, 302. ISBN 9781849506779. $144.95 (Hb).

Reviewed by Anish Koshy, The English & Foreign Languages University, India

This volume has fifteen papers, which originated in a 2007 Workshop on Diachronic Semantics and Pragmatics, held in Montreal. The papers deal with general theoretical as well as language-specific issues.

In the introductory paper, ‘Current trends in diachronic semantics and pragmatics’, the editors summarize the individual contributions in the book and discuss how pragmatic factors influence semantic change and the conventionalization of conversational implicatures. In ‘APO: Avoid pragmatic overload’, Regine Eckardt discusses semantic change in English even, German fast ‘almost’ and selbst ‘even’, and Italian perfino ‘even’, due to pragmatic overload on the hearer, when confronted with a usage that makes accommodation impossible.

Ulrich Detges and Richard Waltereit trace the diachronic evolution of Spanish bien (a discourse marker) and French bien (a modal particle) in terms of distinct discourse pragmatic strategies. In ‘Context sensitive changes: The development of the affirmative markers godt ‘good’ and vel ‘well’ in Danish’,  Eva Skafte Jensen analyzes the evolution of Danish affirmative markers as an instance of the conventionalizing of conversational implicature. She posits that these markers developed due to word order and the semantic context.

Kate Beeching explains the evolution of particles like French quand même ‘after all’, English though, Scottish but, and German aber ‘but, at all’, from a concessive or adversative conjunction to a hedging and boosting particle in her article, ‘Procatalepsis and the etymology of hedging and boosting particles’. In ‘Central/peripheral functions of allora and “overall pragmatic configuration”: A diachronic perspective’, Carla Bazzanella and Johanna Miecznikowski trace the diachronic evolution of Italian allora ‘so, then’ from being a temporal adverb of simultaneity and consecution to becoming a discourse marker.

Maria Estellés discusses the role that paradigmatic relations have played in the grammaticalization of Spanish digressive markers por cierto ‘certainly’and a propósito ‘by the way’. Magdalena Romera’s ‘The multiple origin of es que in Modern Spanish: Diachronic evidence’, traces the diachronic development of Spanish es que ‘it is that’constructions, as it has come to be used as a function of elaboration and reinterpretation. Bethwyn Evans examines the evolution of the Marovo aspect/mood marker ma to a discourse connective particle in ‘From aspect/mood marker to discourse particle: Reconstructing syntactic and semantic change’. Gabriele Diewald, Marijana Kresic, and Elena Smirnova trace the diachronic evolution of German evidentials and modal particles to demonstrate that different particles may share the same channels in grammaticalization.

Mario Squartini, in ‘Evidentiality, epistemicity, and their diachronic connections to non-factuality’, discusses the diachronic correlations between evidentiality and epistemicity in several Romance language verb forms, including hearsay markers and conditionals. Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen suggests the diachronic evolution of the French negation ne…pas to have been largely governed by discourse-functional constraints in Janus-faced contexts in ‘The grammaticalization of negative reinforcers in Old and Middle French: A discourse-functional approach’. ‘A roots journey of a French preposition’ by Silvia Adler and Maria Asnes shows that the multiple readings of the French preposition jus qu’à ‘until’ does not involve any evolution from a concrete core to other abstract meanings.

Elke Gehweiler discusses the diachronic development of the English negative intensifier mere from a privative adjective due to a process of grammaticalization and subjectification. The final paper, ‘The origin of semantic change in discourse tradition: A case study’ by Katerina Stathi, discusses the role of discourse traditions or contexts in semantic and pragmatic change through the German construction gehören + participle II ‘persistence of’’.

This collection closely examines how meanings change by focusing on different aspects, such as the role of the speaker and listener and interactional factors. Altogether, each paper contributes to questioning many of the accepted theoretical positions and offers insightful analyses.

The metalanguage of translation

The metalanguage of translation. Ed. by Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer. (Benjamins current topics 20.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009. Pp. vi, 192. ISBN 9789027222503. $128 (Hb).

Reviewed by Taras Shmiher, Ivan Franko National University, L’viv, Ukraine

The metalanguage of translation contains some materials republished from the international journal Target (2007, volume 19) in hopes of expanding the scope of readership for salient topics. This volume includes eleven papers on metalinguistic topics covering terminology, bibliography, epistemology, and localization.

The first article, ‘How about meta?: An introduction’ (1–7) by the editors, initiates the discussion on the interconnection between translations and our knowledge about translations (1). Gernot Hebenstreit analyzes classical papers to demonstrate the applicability of definition theory to translation terminology in ‘Defining patterns in translation studies: Revisiting two classics of German Translationswissenschaft’ (9–25).

‘Risking conceptual maps: Mapping as a keywords-related tool underlying the online Translation Studies Bibliography’ (27–43) by Luc van Doorslaer focuses on compiling bibliographies on translation studies that may systematize and structure a wide range of concepts, standards, and values. The author demonstrates how the mapping principle is used for an online project and what challenges this mapping faces. Continuing in this line of lexicographic narration, Leona Van Vaerenbergh examines existing dictionaries and encyclopedias on translation in ‘Polysemy and synonymy: Their management in Translation Studies dictionaries and in translator training. A case study’ (45–63).

Josep Marco argues that the epistemological, conceptual, and intercultural problems in translation terminology are inextricably linked in ‘The terminology of translation: Epistemological, conceptual and intercultural problems and their social consequences’ (65–79). ‘Natural and directional equivalence in theories of translation’ by Anthony Pym (81–103) discusses the concept of equivalence, revealing the co-existence of two competing conceptualizations of this term. Leena Laiho studies the translatability of a literary work in ‘A literary work—Translation and original: A conceptual analysis within the philosophy of art and Translation Studies’ (105–21), framing the discussion in the theoretical context of analytic philosophy and translation studies.

Mary Snell-Hornby focuses on the concept of terminology in ‘‘What’s in a name?’: On metalinguistic confusion in Translation Studies’ (123–33) by studying the ways in which a new term may be introduced. Nike K. Pokorn elucidates the pitfalls in defining such distinct and clarified concepts as ‘native speaker’ and ‘mother tongue’ in ‘In defence of fuzziness’ (135–43). Iwona Mazur continues the examination of terminology in her article, ‘The metalanguage of localization: Theory and practice’ (145–65).

‘The metalanguage of translation: A Chinese perspective’ (167–81) by Jun Tang provides a brief account of its development throughout history and discusses the recent domestic anxiety concerning the uncritical acceptance of Western academic discourse in China.

The final article, ‘Translation terminology and its offshoots’ (183–89) by Yves Gambier, analyzes the history and principles of compiling Translation terminology (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1999). This volume also contains a subject index to help direct the reader.

The publishers were absolutely right to republish these precious articles for a wider distribution. Altogether, this volume presents the significance of translation studies as a discipline and demonstrates the need for additional study in this area.