Metaphor and metonymy: A diachronic approach

Metaphor and metonymy: A diachronic approach. By Kathryn Allan. (Publications of the philological society 42.) Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Pp. x, 255. ISBN 9781405190855. $40. Reviewed by Min-Chien Lee and Siaw-Fong Chung, National Chengchi University

In Ch. 1of this book, Kathryn Allan probes into different factors which motivate the mappings of the conceptualization of INTELLIGENCE in three concept groups: SENSE, DENSITY, and ANIMALS. Rather than presenting a comprehensive explanation of how each corpus example could map to INTELLIGENCE, A reveals the factors motivating the mapping for INTELLIGENCE by using the ‘actual usage of metaphor by people’ (14, citing Steen Gerard, Understanding metaphor in literature, 1994).

For the first core concept of SENSES (Ch. 2), A presents and discusses four subgroups (VISION, TOUCH, TASTE, and HEARING) and their semantic mapping to INTELLEGENCE using crosslinguistic resources. The mapping shows that abstract concepts such as knowing and understanding are understood by humans’ embodiment experiences. However, A finds that the mapping from the concrete source to the abstract target, which was claimed by traditional study to explain how metaphors operate, is not always right. Sometimes the mapping operates in an opposite way (i.e. from abstract to concrete), and sometimes the concrete lexical item and its abstract metaphorical meaning are conflated. Therefore, A thinks that what might be a more suitable way to discuss the mapping is through the ‘Conflation theory’ (54), since in many cases, the meanings are conflated at first and do not separate until later.

In Ch. 3, ‘DENSITY’, A concentrates on four subgroups (WOOD, EARTH, FOOD, and MISCELLANEOUS). Based on the corpus analysis, A investigates the connection between INTELLEGENCE and DENSITY according to the source substance property—‘the property of having physically close texture’ (88). Most of the entries in the DENSITY group signify STUPIDITY, and there is a complicated operation behind the mapping of the DENSITY group. A concludes that with the diachronic approach that incorporates a corpus-based methodology and the ‘Blending theory’ (97), which allows the consideration of a wider range of factors concerning the mapping, future directions of research could be seen.

In Ch. 4, ‘ANIMALS’, A discusses the ANIMAL metaphors (MAMMALS, BIRDS, INSECTS, and FISH) by studying the corpus data. A finds that over ninety percent of the ANIMAL data are mapped to STUPIDITY. The mapping can be explained by the great chain metaphor. ‘The Great Chain is a scale of forms of being – human, animal, plant and inanimate object’ (139), in which each form of living beings is described by ‘a scale of properties’ such as behavior or biological function. A argues that the mapping between animals and humans is best demonstrated by the connection of their shared behavior properties or traits.

In the conclusion (Ch. 5), A states that there are various factors, including intralinguistic/semantic and extralinguistic/cultural ones, that trigger distinct motivation for the connection between INTELLIGENCE and the data of SENSES, DENSITY, and ANIMALS. A
proposes that it is not feasible to categorize metaphors as being either ‘metaphor’ or ‘metonymy’ because ‘neither have generally agreed upon [sic] definitions’ (182). A argues that the most appropriate way to discuss the metaphors is through a metaphor-metonymy continuum, in which the examples could be located anywhere between the two ends.

Studies in the composition and decomposition of event predicates

Studies in the composition and decomposition of event predicates. Ed. by Boban Arsenijević, Berit Gehrke, and Rafael Marín. (Studies in linguistics and philosophy 93.) Dordrecht: Springer, 2013. Pp. viii, 252. ISBN 9789400759824. $129 (Hb).
Reviewed by Ana Bravo, Universidad de Murcia

The book consists of nine articles and covers topics in the composition of event predicates. The approach is semantic (Chs. 2–7), but there are also two experimental studies on the processing of the different aspectual classes (Chs. 8 and 9). Although English is the language with which the majority of the phenomena are exemplified, Chs. 6 and 8 analyze two German expressions, while Ch. 4 focuses on French verbs.

Ch. 1 (1–26) offers a general overview of the contributions and the subject. Hence, the result is a very accessible presentation in the semantics of the composition of events that, at the same time, guides the reader through the issues examined. In Ch. 2 (27–48), Anita Mittwoch focuses on the relationship between activities and accomplishments. After having critically reviewed the criteria for distinguishing between the two classes, the author concludes that the telos is the only relevant property for considering an eventuality as an accomplishment. The modification of predicates with nonspecific DPs by in-adverbials is also studied.

Beth Levin and Malka Rappaport Hovav in Ch. 3 (49–70) concentrate on showing that cut does not encode a manner component lexically nor does climb encode a resultant state. In this way, the manner/result complementarity hypothesis can be conserved as a constraint in the lexicalization patterns of predicates and not merely as a tendency. In Ch. 4 (71–97), Fabienne Martin argues that the classification of certain manner adverbs (dispositional and psychological) and certain state predicates (experiencer psychological verbs) has to be modified in order to explain the compatibility between them, as in Paul cleverly interested him in the business. Roughly, when the modification is possible, it is either because a non-agentive predicate (achievements) has been coerced or because the state predicate is, in fact, weak agentive, instead of non-agentive.

In Ch. 5 (99–123), M. Ryan Bochnak proposes that the two readings of the English modifier half, eventive and qualitative, correspond to the two scales associated with the VP. One of the scales introduces quantity and is responsible for the telicity of the predicate and the eventive reading; the other one introduces quality and allows for the qualitative reading. In Ch. 6 (125–52), Jens Fleischhauer discusses the degree gradation of change of state verbs by the German modifier sehr ‘very’. For the author, the different readings obtained depend on whether the predicate has a standard telos or a maximum telos, a property that is given by the underlying type of scale lexically associated to the predicate. Finally, a scalar approach is also adopted in Ch. 7 (153–93) by Kyle Rwalins in order to explain the modification by the manner adverbs slowly and quickly as space and time adverbs.
With respect to the last two contributions, Oliver Bott in Ch. 8 (195–229) addresses the question of whether aspectual interpretation is processed incrementally or only when the verb has all its
arguments. In Ch. 9 (231–48), the experiment conducted by Evie Malaia, Ronnie B. Wilbur, and Christine Weber-Fox shows that telic verbs are associated with a template with an obligatory internal argument with consequences for the assignment of thematic roles.

This book is of interest to semanticists, syntacticians, and psycholinguists in the realm of the compositionality of events, as well as researchers in scalarity, adverbs, or modification. Those who look for a general survey of the field will also benefit from the contributions found within.

Dutch for reading knowledge

Dutch for reading knowledge. By Christine van Baalen, Frans R. E. Blom, and Inez Hollander. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2012. Pp. xv, 247. ISBN 9789027211972. $50.
Reviewed by Stephen Laker, Kyushu University

The purpose of this textbook is to take learners with no previous knowledge of Dutch to an advanced level of reading comprehension. The target readership includes students and researchers who have a strong interest and motivation to work with Dutch written sources, such as items in the Dutch and Flemish press, academic publications, or the reams of archival materials that exist both inside and outside the Netherlands.

The main part of the book (9–148) consists of six chapters that cover selected thematic areas: architecture and design, secularization and social issues, migration, water management, postcolonial Netherlands, and the Dutch Golden Age (seventeenth century). Each themed chapter is then based around three texts taken from newspapers, magazines, books, or Internet sources. These engaging excerpts provide insights on historical and contemporary issues, events, and personalities relating to the Netherlands (rather than Flanders). With the help of these passages and additional example sentences, numerous grammar points are highlighted and discussed in depth in each chapter. Further grammar and translation exercises supplement the learning, with particular attention being paid to similarities to and differences from English. A comprehensive answer key is found at the end of the book (199–242).

Six appendices follow the main text (vocabulary, irregular verbs, pronunciation, grammatical terms, numerals, and details on Dutch historical archives). The vocabulary list is not particularly exhaustive, and the pronunciation guide could be improved upon—the authors confusingly use slashes to represent graphemes rather than phonemes (e.g. ‘The Dutch /j/ […] sounds like the English /y/ in words like yes and yard’), and they exclude from their survey the characteristically Dutch diphthong /oey/ (e.g. in huis ‘house’ and uit ‘out’). Sound files of the texts, which could easily be made available for download on the publisher’s website, would prove a more useful resource. The overview of Dutch archival materials is very useful, but researchers wanting to access original collections will need to acquire additional palaeographical skills not introduced in this book.

The structural analyses, reading strategies, and other insider tips in this book should allow students and researchers to get a handle on the workings of modern educated Dutch. However, the pace is fast, as advanced-level texts are introduced from the very first chapter. The authors readily acknowledge that those proficient in German will find progress easier (xi). The authors also claim that the book could be used for self-study, but this would be toilsome without at least a basic foundation in either Dutch or German.

Maltese and other languages

Maltese and other languages: A linguistic history of Malta. By Joseph M. Brincat. Sta Venera, Malta: Midsea Books, 2011. ISBN 978993273431. Pp. xl, 496. $51 (Hb).
Reviewed by Michael W. Morgan, NDFN, Kathmandu

Maltese is, among other things, arguably the only modern Arabic variety influenced not by Classical Arabic but rather by European languages. In this book, Joseph M. Brincat gives us a detailed and insightful account of the comings and goings of all the languages which have graced Malta’s shores. This is, however, clearly the story of one of them: Maltese, an Arabic dialect coming by way of Sicily, which was then strongly affected by the other languages present. The subject of this book is the language situation of Malta, an ‘external’ history of Maltese, sociolinguistic as much as historical.
The book asks the following question: ‘Where did Maltese come from, and how did it get to be the way it is?’ In the introduction, various possible approaches are presented, and B argues for a stratal approach, according to which the modern Maltese (lexicon) derives from: prehistoric substrata (nil), principal strata (Arabic, 32.41%), superstratum plus adstratum one (Sicilian + Italian, 53.46%), and adstratum two (English, 6.12%). In parallel, he argues for a diglossic approach, with a succession of acrolects alongside the ever-present Maltese (or in the earliest period, alongside Siculo-Arabic).

Before Maltese, several languages were surely spoken in Malta—Punic, Greek, Latin—and B tells us what we know (and what people speculate) about them (Ch. 1). These languages, however, had no significant impact on the main story, leaving few, if any, traces in Maltese itself. The story really begins (Ch. 2) with how an Arabic variety, and which Arabic variety, got established on Malta. Regardless of which variety came with the first Arab invasion of 870, for later Maltese B makes it clear that it is Siculo-Arabic, brought by immigrants (refugees) from Sicily in the eleventh century, that gave rise to Maltese.

Central to the story (Chs. 3–6) are the Romance adstrata, which donated the bulk of the modern Maltese vocabulary. Although a number of languages appear here (from the Vulgar Latin-speaking indigenous population invaded by the Arabs to Italian under the Order of St. John), again the main player is Sicilian, dominant from the eleventh century. Ch. 7 discusses the origins of Maltese ‘linguistics’ under the Order and how these studies developed up to the time of British rule.

The period from British rule to present (Chs. 8–10) is a story of transition (from Maltese-Italian to Maltese-English bilingualism), standardization, and stratification. An interesting thesis presented here is that Maltese was saved because it was seen as just a ‘dialect’; the British were too busy suppressing Italian to pay attention to Maltese. Finally (Ch. 10), B gives an engrossing ‘sociolinguistic snapshot’ of ‘bilingualism, code switching, and varieties’ in present-day Malta.

A superb treatment of the subject, this book is a must for Maltese specialists and also of great interest to those interested in the sociolinguistic history of ‘small’ languages, particularly Semitic
languages (especially North African Arabic varieties). Due to the prominent role the languages of Sicily played in this story of Maltese, anyone interested in a ‘linguistic history of Sicily’ would also surely want to read this book.

Introduction to live grammar: A grammar of English centered on the verb

Introduction to live grammar: A grammar of English centered on the verb. By Norma Corrales-Martin. Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2012. Pp. 70. ISBN 9783862883493. $59.
Reviewed by John Ryan, University of Northern Colorado

This short book is the author’s initial attempts to apply to English the principles of her previously released Gramática viva (2000) (translated as Live grammar) of Spanish, which has its basis on the verb. Following the pattern of her original book which used the corpus containing a combined total of 500 songs and sayings from Spain and Latin America, this book draws on twenty-five songs from The Beatles lyrics (1992) to demonstrate the applicability of this grammar’s approach to English. In explaining her shift in focus from the traditional view of the subject as the primary constituent of the sentence to now that of the verb, the author uses the metaphor of the center of the universe, which up until Galileo’s discovery was thought to be the Earth and not the sun.

The book consists of six chapters, the first of which is a brief introduction to the author’s purpose and rationale. Ch. 2 begins with a history of the literature on grammars that focus on the verb, and ends with an overview of what is different about a ‘live’ grammar. Chs. 3 and 4, each less than a page long, deal with a brief rationale for use of the corpus as well as methodological considerations and nomenclature used throughout the book. Ch. 5, the most extensive chapter, begins with working definitions utilized by the author throughout the book. Main topics include the concepts of sentence and grammatical categories, as well as the different relationships established between grammatical categories of the sentence, including morphosyntactic, morphological, and semantic. This last area is supported by seventeen pages of tables with comprehensive supporting information. Ch. 7 is the final chapter of the book and serves as the conclusion, suggesting why live grammar is a revolutionary approach. It also makes recommendations for use of the book as a teaching tool for both second and native language learners of English. Numbered chapters are followed by four appendices with additional tables and the sample analysis of four Beatles’ songs.

The book is an innovative approach to the explanation of grammatical concepts that starts with the verb as a focal point. It is a first step in demonstrating the crosslinguistic applicability of this method, using English as a point of reference. Now that live grammar has been demonstrated as a viable option for both English and Spanish, what would make the enterprise even more powerful is to expand the analysis and show how it works for other languages both within and outside the Indo-European family. This would extend the usefulness of the approach beyond learners of English or Spanish to linguists who are interested in language more generally.

Methods in contemporary linguistics

Methods in contemporary linguistics. Ed. by Andrea Ender, Adrian Leemann, and Bernhard Wälchli. (Trends in linguistics: studies and monographs 247.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2012. Pp. xiii, 536. ISBN 9783110284669. $168 (Hb). Reviewed by Natalia Levshina, Université catholique de Louvain

This book is a festschrift in honor of Iwar Werlen, whose impressive multifaceted research agenda spans from Swiss dialectology and multilingualism to linguistic relativity, onomastics, and the theory of ritual. The diversity of Werlen’s methodological tools matches the breadth of his theoretical interests. This book presents a panorama of methodological issues in variational linguistics and typology, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics, and functionally oriented and historical linguistics. One of the central aims of the book is to increase methodological awareness and make the methodological discourse in linguistics more explicit. Rather than focusing on specific methods, the contributions raise the discussion to a more general epistemological level, considering such topics as the relationships between linguistic-specific and universal scientific methods, the empirical cycle of linguistic research, relationships between qualitative and quantitative methods, hermeneutic issues of text interpretation, multi-methods approaches and triangulation, and many others.

The book contains a collection of twenty high-quality articles on diverse methodological issues in crosslinguistic and language-internal variation, language processing, production and acquisition, and other topics. Many articles present innovative methodologies, such as in Bernhard Wälchli’s contribution on indirect measurements in morphological typology or in Ruprecht von Waldenfels’ article on the use of parallel corpora in linguistic research. Some offer an overview of the state of the art in a specific research domain, discussing, for example, different methods in research on modality (Johan van der Auwera and Gabriele Diewald’s article) or the experimental paradigm in psycholinguistics (Constanze Vorwerg’s contribution). Yet another type is represented by the articles that identify a methodologically problematic area in a linguistic subdomain and offer a solution: for example, Raphael Berthele’s multi-method approach to multilingualism, Penny Boyes Braem’s proposals regarding the annotation of signed languages, and Daniel Perrin’s use of dynamic systems theory in research on ‘real-world’ writing.

As the editors write in the introduction, the book as a whole follows a bottom-up approach. This means that the book provides a mosaic of methods, rather than one universal framework. However, this collection of articles gives a good idea of the methodological diversity in contemporary linguistics, and the critical and innovative approach of most papers is definitely though-provoking. Although many case studies deal with the complex linguistic landscape of Switzerland, which is not surprising in a book dedicated to Iwar Werlen, the book will be of interest to any linguist who works or is planning to work with empirical data.

The development of phonology in Spanish and Portuguese

The development of phonology in Spanish and Portuguese. By Eduardo D. Faingold. (LINCOM studies in romance linguistics 59.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2008. Pp. 127. ISBN 9783895867125. $80.
Reviewed by Sonia Ramírez Wohlmuth, University of South Florida

The background assumptions presented in the introductory chapter of the book provide cohesion for disparate situations of phonological acquisition: first language acquisition in children, the development of creoles, and languages in contact. Because these contexts assume the coexistence of multiple varieties of language, the phonological repertory that evolves in the specific cases under study can be construed as examples of the emergence of the unmarked. Eduardo D. Faingold relies on the concept of phonological universals (and markedness) studied by Joseph H. Greenberg and his predecessors. The history of the concept of markedness, presented in Ch. 2, begins in the work of Nikolai S. Trubetzkoy and Roman Jakobson, and continues in the theoretical underpinnings of generative phonology.

The data utilized in this study include tokens collected by the author based on observations of language acquisition (Argentine Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese) of his son and niece, as well as published studies on the acquisition of phonology in Spanish and Portuguese as first languages. Data for adult phonology (creoles and languages in contact) are gleaned from synchronic and diachronic studies of creole languages such as Papiamentu and Palenquero as well as varieties of Judeo-Ibero-Romance and Fronterizo.

Discussion of the development of child phonology begins with the presentation of the phonological systems of both the input languages under study, Argentine Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. Application of the markedness filter allows for prediction of those phonemes that will be acquired later or modified to reduce markedness. F recognizes the shortcomings of studies that depend on small samples and, frequently, as in this study, involve particularly complex linguistic environments as children are presented with data from two or more competing linguistic systems. Those tokens that appear to counter the predictable preference for unmarked forms may have mitigating circumstances such as word frequency. Consequently, F cautions: ‘The issues and counterexamples noted in the previous sections clearly show that not all children nor all language systems support the oppositions proposed as optimal’ (16).

Chs. 5 and 6 examine the phonological inventories of Papiamentu, Palenquero, Judeo-Ibero-Romance, and Fronterizo (a contact or fusion language developed on the Brazilian/Uruguayan border) as well as phonotactic restrictions that have developed in these language varieties. The simplification of onsets and codas, and, in some cases, syllable nuclei, is a predictable, unidirectional change. As in the case of child language, sociolinguistic factors are explored in the case of lexical borrowings that form counterexamples to the emergence of the unmarked. However, F has convincingly demonstrated that, despite the influence of the language of prestige, there is an overall tendency to select the less marked or universally more frequent phonemes and phonotactic patterns, not only in the acquisition of the phonology of the first language but in the development of creoles and fusion languages as well.

Syntax: Basic concepts and applications

Syntax: Basic concepts and applications. By Robert Freidin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Pp. xv, 283. ISBN 9780521605786. $36.
Reviewed by Ana Bravo, Universidad de Murcia

This textbook is a privileged window into what generative linguists have in mind when they talk about syntax. It allows students with no background in the area to gain an accurate view of syntax understood as part of the human faculty of language. This last assumption explains the fact that some issues (e.g. binding and existential sentences), as long as they do not point crucially at the computational system of human language, are not addressed here, although raising predicates and double object constructions are. Others, such as displacement, phrase and sentence structure, and ellipsis, receive an extensive presentation. The text fully develops within the minimalist program, although the use of concepts belonging to previous stages, such as movement and displacement versus merge in context, also has a different purpose. There are questions left open, such as those regarding the relationship between thought and language or processing and parsing (Ch.2), while for others, such as coordination (Ch. 4), a possible solution is given.

Apart from the nine chapters and the references, the book contains a glossary, with 138 items, an index—although only thematic, and 160 exercises. The exercises in the different chapters appear spread throughout the text in a way that makes them part of the content. Some of them recapitulate the explanation, but many others either push it forward or complete it. At the end of each chapter, a comprehensive summary and a bibliographical note with references to the ‘must’ in the literature of the relevant area are most welcome. English is the language used to present most of the phenomena, although other languages do appear: German (the head parameter), Russian (displacement), Portuguese (displacement), Welsh (word order), Chinese and Japanese (word order, wh-movement), French, Spanish, and Irish (wh-movement), and Greek (preposition stranding in sluicing).

With respect to the content, Ch. 1 takes the reader in a very appealing way right into the complexity of what the computational system of human language is supposed to be. Ch. 2 deals with the topic of internal language as an object of inquiry and the general framework that relies on this concept, including such topics as how language is acquired and how it is put to use. Chs. 3–5 concentrate on categories and constituents, labels, argument structure, and phrase structure and clause structure, jointly with the operations and theoretical principles needed to construct them, namely Merge and the no tampering condition. The different types of displacement and its effects on various elements, along with its theoretical implications are studied in Chs. 6–8. Finally, Ch. 9 deals with the syntactic processes of ellipsis and sluicing.

The book is strongly recommended for those students and professors who want to be conducted by compelling evidence and rich reasoning directly into what can be considered the computational faculty of human language put to work, that is, syntax and its interaction with the interfaces (the logical form and the phonological form).

Prosodic categories: Production, perception and comprehension

Prosodic categories: Production, perception and comprehension. Ed. by Sónia Frota, Gorka Elordieta, and Pilar Prieto. (Studies in natural language and linguistic theory 82.) Dordrecht: Springer, 2011. Pp. viii, 296. $159 (Hb).
Reviewed by Lori McLain Pierce, University of Texas at Arlington

This book investigates the role of prosody in language grammar and language processing as it interacts with other aspects of the grammar, such as syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The chapters in the book are a result of the third Tone and Intonation in Europe Conference in 2008. The collection aims to add to the work on prosodic theory by investigating the overlap of phonology, phonetics, and psycholinguistics through empirical methods that include production, perception, and comprehension experiments. The book is organized into twelve chapters that can be grouped into five areas of focus within prosodic phenomena; a subject index follows the chapters for the reader’s convenience.

The book begins with an introduction written by the editors (1–15) of the topics addressed in the chapters as well as an argument for the contribution that the collection makes to the broader understanding of prosodic theory. The topic addressed by the contributors of the first two articles (17–68) is that of prosodic groupings regarding the processing of phonological clitics, compound words, and sentences with structural ambiguities in several languages. The four articles that follow (69–186) examine prosody and focus with regards to pitch accent in English, focus-marking in Dutch child language, information structure and intonation in Nɬeʔkepmxcin, and the Korean accentual phrase.
The next two articles (187–230) investigate the relationship between intonation and meaning through perception experiments with Italian questions and narrow focus statements. The following article (231–42) discusses the three-way quantity distinction in vowels and consonants found in Estonian word prosody and how pitch affects perception of quantity. The final two articles (243–90) discuss the phonetics and phonology of the use of f0 in tonal languages, examining how languages differ in the phonetic representation of the same phonological feature and how tonal languages implement non-tonal strategies to signal grammatical meanings, such as sentence type.

This book provides a multitude of methods from production, comprehension, and perception experiments for investigating the interface between prosody and other elements of the grammar. Production experiments include speech paradigms (both online and prepared), picture-naming, and conversation tasks. In addition, comprehension experiments, including eye-tracking experiments, and perception experiments are used.

Not only is a wide array of experimental methods used, but a variety of languages is also examined. While some are well documented, others like the Salish language Nɬeʔkepmxcin and the Bantu tonal language Shekgalagari are underrepresented in the literature, especially with regards to these prosodic phenomena. By documenting the prosody and prosodic processing of
these lesser-known languages, the field has a better understanding of how these phenomena compare crosslinguistically.

Overall, this book is recommended for researchers in the fields of phonology, phonetics, and psycholinguistics. While some background in these fields would be useful to better understand the implications of the research, each chapter outlines previous work in the area under investigation and gives detailed accounts of methodology, at times even including pictures to ensure the reader’s comprehension.

Frequency effects in language, vol. 2: Frequency effects in language representation

Frequency effects in language, vol. 2: Frequency effects in language representation. Ed. by Dagmar Divjak and Stefan Th. Gries. (Trends in linguistics: studies and monographs 244.2.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2012. Pp. vii, 282. ISBN 9783110273786. $140 (Hb).
Reviewed by Natalia Levshina, Université catholique de Louvain

This book focuses on the effects of frequency on the way linguistic categories and constructions are represented in the speaker’s mind. Most contributions also pursue an important methodological goal; namely, they compare linguistic evidence from corpora and experiments. The articles in the book analyze a large amount of data collected with the help of diverse experimental techniques (e.g. eye tracking, interviews, picture descriptions) and employ diverse quantitative techniques to ensure the validity of the conclusions drawn.

The book opens with an introduction by Dagmar Divjak, where she revisits the contemporary controversy with regard to frequency effects in language and outlines the main themes of the book. The core of the book consists of three parts. The first focuses on near-synonymous constructions, such as go + complement constructions in English (Doris Schönefeld), prefixal verbs with the meaning ‘load’ in Russian (Svetlana Sokolova, Olga Lyashevskaya, and Laura A. Janda) and the dative alternation in Dutch (Timothy Colleman and Sarah Bernolet). The studies in the second part (Neal Snider and Inbal Arnon; Catherine Caldwell-Harris, Jonathan Berant, and Shimon Edelman), based on English and Hebrew, challenge the privileged status of words in the lexicon and the traditional distinction between stored and computed forms.

The final part explores the structure of the mental lexicon, both from a semasiological (polysemy in English and Spanish) and onomasiological perspectives (antonymy and lexical conversion in English). The studies demonstrate, among other interesting findings, that lexical information stored by speakers includes information about the relative frequencies of the use of the word as a particular word class (Laura Teddiman), that elicitation data are less rich and less homogeneous than the corpus evidence of polysemous senses (Littlemore and MacArthur), and, finally, that the relationships of antonymy depend less on lexical cooccurrence than the conceptual opposition of the words (Joost van de Weijer, Carita Paradis, Caroline Willners, and Magnus Lindgren).

This book further develops the main idea of its companion, namely that frequency effects should be nuanced with regard to their scope and nature. It also challenges many traditional assumptions about linguistic representation, such as the ‘empty’ semantics of aspectual prefixes in Russian (Sokolova et al.), the idea of a universally valid radial structure representation of a word’s meaning (Jeannette Littlemore and Fiona MacArthur), and the textbook definition of antonymy as a lexical relationship (van de Weijer et al.). With all its thematic diversity, the book is an important step in understanding the dialectic relationship between language use and knowledge and can be recommended to a broad linguistic audience.