Annual review of cognitive linguistics

Annual review of cognitive linguistics: Volume 7. Ed. by Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009. Pp. iv, 356. ISBN 9789027254870. $164.

Reviewed by Engin Arik, Purdue University

This volume consists of articles, a special section, interviews, and book reviews. The first section, ‘Articles’, consists of four papers written specifically for this volume. In ‘Serializing languages as satellite-framed: The case of Fon’ (1–29), Renée Lambert-Brétière argues that Fon is a satellite-framed language with respect to Leonard Talmy’s typology. In ‘English posture verbs: An experientially grounded approach’ (30–57), John Newman examines frequently found posture verbs in English, such as sit, stand, and lie. Mario Brdar focuses on linguistic forms for animals, trees, and wood(s) in Slavic languages to investigate metonymy avoidance strategies in ‘Metonymy-induced polysemy and the role of suffixation in its resolution in some Slavic languages’ (58–88). ‘Symbol and symptom: Routes from gesture to sign language’ (89–110) by Sherman Wilcox shows how the Italian gesture meaning ‘impossible’ is grammaticalized in Italian Sign Language.

The volume also has a ‘Special section: Constructing a second language’. There are seven articles in this section, starting with ‘Constructing a second language: Introduction to the special section’ (111–39) by Nick C. Ellis and Teresa Cadierno, which summarizes the articles in this section. In ‘The inseparability of lexis and grammar: Corpus linguistic perspectives’ (140–62), Ute Römer provides an overview of corpus linguistic research on the lexis-grammar interface. Stefan Th. Gries and Stefanie Wulff examine whether German speakers of English as a second language (L2) store gerund and infinitival complement constructions separately in ‘Psycholinguistic and corpus-linguistic evidence for L2 constructions’ (163–86). ‘Constructions and their acquisition: Islands and the distinctiveness of their occupancy’ (188–221), written by Nick C. Ellis and Fernando Ferreira-Junior, investigates the effects of naturalistic L2 acquisition of type/token distributions in verb-argument constructions.

In ‘Reconstructing verb meaning in a second language: How English speakers of L2 Dutch talk and gesture about placement’ (221–44), Marianne Gullberg explores how English speakers of Dutch as a second language express placement events (e.g. English put versus Dutch leggen ‘lay’ and zetten ‘set’). Teresa Cadierno and Peter Robinson investigate the acquisition of L2 constructions in ‘Language typology, task complexity and the development of L2 lexicalization patterns for describing motion events’ (245–76), with a particular focus on Danish and Japanese speakers learning English. This section concludes with the article, ‘Constructing a second language: Some final thoughts’ (277–90), by Ewa Dąbrowska. She investigates how cognitive linguistics can provide an appropriate model for second language research and can make larger contributions to both first language acquisition/learning and theoretical linguistics.

The volume includes two interviews. In ‘Meaning making: The bigger picture: An interview with Zoltán Kövecses’ (291–300), Réka Benczes interviews with Zoltán Kövecses to get his thoughts on the main topics of cognitive linguistics and personal story to become a cognitive linguist. In ‘A psycholinguist’s view on cognitive linguistics: An interview with Ray W. Gibbs’ (302–18),  Javier Valenzuela discusses Gibbs’ own thoughts about cognitive linguistics, advocating for empirical research to further explore the main topics. The volume also presents four book reviews.

In sum, this volume presents highly authentic overview articles and research papers as well as a wonderful special section on L2 and cognitive linguistics.