Monthly Archives: June 2010

You know what I mean?

You know what I mean? Words, contexts and communication. By Ruth Wajnryb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. 225. ISBN 9780521703741. $19.99.

Reviewed by Colette van Kerckvoorde, Bard College

It is a common belief that meaning is contained in individual words and that knowledge and understanding of the basic meaning of lexical items leads to the correct comprehension of texts in a language. In this book Ruth Wajnryb demonstrates that this is a misconception: The meaning of any statement, she argues, is conveyed through complex interactions of several elements that make up language. A dictionary, although useful, can only offer limited assistance in many instances.

This volume is a collection of approximately 100 short sections that could be read independently; they are, however, organized into ten chapters. Each chapter has a brief, half-page introduction. All of the sections focus on linguistic samples taken from various interactions and encounters in the day-to-day life of the author. There are musings about conversations with her daughter, reflections on the titles of books at the local bookstore, thoughts about statements on bumper stickers, and so forth. W has a keen sense of observation, and she draws the reader’s attention to several linguistic features of the English language in a nontechnical, captivating way. The sections are written in the style of the weekly column that W writes for The Sydney Morning Herald, even though she does not indicate that the material in this book has ever been printed elsewhere.

There is neither a general introduction nor any afterword or conclusion in this book. W dives right in, provides many examples, and frequently lets her readers draw their own conclusions. She suggests that grammar plays an important role in conveying meaning, and reminds the reader that we frequently express what we want to say without actually saying it, instead relying on our audience’s ability to read between the lines. She demonstrates how language can be used to serve one’s own interest, as often observed in politicians, and also muses about the language of texts that are intended for the public domain, such as advertisements, films, bestselling books and their titles, affirmations, bumper stickers, and so on. She convincingly demonstrates that celebrated reference works such as the Oxford English Dictionary do not prove particularly helpful when confronted with contemporary instances of words such as special and hygiene.

Those with an interest in language but no background in linguistics will enjoy reading this book and will want to make it part of their own library because W’s style is informal, lively, and simple; because she has a good sense of humor; and because the topics she selected are entertaining. This book would also make a nice addition to the collection of any public lending library.

Clitic and affix combinations

Clitic and affix combinations: Theoretical perspectives. Ed. by Lorie Heggie and Francisco Ordóñez. (Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics today 74.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005. Pp. viii, 388. ISBN 9781588116116. $210 (Hb).

Reviewed by Wolfgang Schulze, University of Munich

The question of the functional and syntactic distinctions between cliticization and affixation techniques has been a hotspot in descriptive, typological, and theoretical linguistics. This volume, which concentrates on the syntax of clitics (i.e. clitic ordering) rather than on issues of grammaticalization, is another important contribution to this field. Accordingly, a broad range of linguistic issues are addressed, integrating the areas of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. In all, roughly forty-four languages are taken into consideration, including Czech, French, Greek, Icelandic, Korean, Malecite-Passamaquoddy, Spanish, and Turkish. Although the authors do not share a common theoretical framework, a certain preference for formal (e.g. syntax-based) approaches can be observed.

The volume starts with a helpful introductory article, ‘Clitic ordering phenomena: The path to generalizations’ (1–29), by the editors, Lorie Heggie and Francisco Ordóñez, who opt for a syntax-oriented approach to the ordering of clitics and affixes.

Part 1, ‘Clitic sequences’, begins with Louis H. Desouvrey’s contribution ‘Romance clitic clusters: The case connection’ (33–79). Desouvrey’s feature-based approach argues that the obligatory contour principle (OCP) is responsible for the movement of certain clitics in Romance languages. In ‘Constraining optimality: Clitic sequences and feature geometry’ (81–102), David Heap applies a feature optimality analysis to account for variations in Spanish clitic chaining. In ‘The syntax of clitic climbing in Czech’ (103–40), Milan Rezac presents a formal approach to clitic climbing. Fabrice Nicol, ‘Romance clitic clusters: On diachronic changes and cross-linguistic contrasts’ (141–97), incorporates minimalism to account for the shift from accusative (ACC)-dative (DAT) to DAT-ACC ordering of personal clitics in Romance languages and their regional variants. Elena Anagnostopoulou’s ‘Strong and weak person restrictions: A feature checking analysis’ (199–235) also includes a discussion of inverse systems.

Part 2 turns to the problem of ‘Clitics vs. affixation’. In ‘Non-morphological determination of nominal affix order in Korean’ (239–82), James Hye Suk Yoon uses Korean data to argue that syntactic approaches to clitics are superior to lexicalist analyses, both conceptually and empirically. Adam Szczegielniak discusses ‘Clitic positions within the left periphery: Evidence for a phonological buffer’ (283–99) and suggests that a phonological buffer filters syntactic output. In ‘The wh/clitic-connection’ (301–14), Cedric Boeckx and Sandra Stjepanović analyze the symmetric behavior of clitics and wh-words in Bulgarian and Serbo-Croation. They argue in favor of highly abstract properties that unite disparate elements. In ‘Morphosyntax of two Turkish subject pronominal paradigms’ (315–41), Jeff Good and Alan C. L. Yu employ the head-driven phrase structure grammar approach to distinguish two types of agreement markers in Turkish, one (the k-paradigm) that represents affixes, while the other (the z-paradigm) is an instantiation of cliticization. This section is closed by Juan Uriagereka’s contribution ‘On the syntax of doubling’ (343–74), which relates clitic doubling in Spanish to features of inalienability.

In sum, this volume brings together several highly promising approaches to the world of clitics, some more novel than others. Unfortunately, the strong orientation towards formal syntactic models sets the book at risk of not being entirely accessible to followers of functional linguistics.

New comparative grammar of Greek and Latin

New comparative grammar of Greek and Latin. By Andrew L. Sihler. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. xxii, 686. ISBN 9780195373363. $45.

Reviewed by Mark J. Elson, University of Virginia

This book is a paperback reissue of the hardbound edition published in 1995. It has the same content: There have been no revisions or other changes nor is there an updated preface. The subject matter is the historical phonology (35–242) and inflectional morphology (243–629) of Greek and Latin, with the latter organized according to part of speech and followed by word indexes (631–86). Andrew Sihler notes that this endeavor began as a revision of Carl Darling Buck’s Comparative grammar of Greek and Latin (1933), but that its final form is more than a revision, going well beyond Buck’s work in both the addition of new material based on more recent knowledge of Indo-European (e.g. laryngeals) and refinement in other areas (e.g. palatalization in Greek, contraction in Greek and Latin, the organization of the verb). S, in reacting to the ‘oracular’ (vii) nature of Buck’s exposition, not only presents the material but offers, when appropriate, discussion, explanation, and motivation, availing himself of insights provided by such well-known and more recent scholars of Indo-European as Warren Cowgill, Craig Melchert, Oswald Szemerenyi, and Calvert Watkins. S notes the necessity, due to limitations of space, of omitting a discussion of Greek and Latin word-formation and of historical linguistics generally, both of which found a place in Buck’s book.

There can be no disagreement with previous reviewers, who rightfully praised the erudition of his insights, and noted the sheer effort required to produce this fine piece of work. One of the most significant advances is S’s emphasis on function to supplement the traditional emphasis on form and formal categories. This is especially evident in the presentation and discussion of the verb. In S’s words, ‘the formal facts of a paradigm are capable of explaining only some of the changes that paradigms undergo—and verb systems are much subject to remodeling both formally and functionally’ (444). The discussion therefore proceeds not from the formal facts but from the recognition of two major functional types, eventive and stative, with the former divided into punctual and durative, and the categories associated with them (e.g. aorist with punctual eventives, tense with durative eventives, voice and mood with all eventives). The formal instantiations of categories are treated in this context (e.g. the instantiation of the category of tense is treated in conjunction with durative eventives).

Because this is a book that may well go through many additional printings as a result of continued demand from scholars and students, I would like to make several suggestions that, should revisions be possible, I believe would enhance its usefulness and accessibility to all, but especially students: (i) the addition of a bibliography; (ii) the relocation of the discussion of ablaut from phonology to morphology, the area of its primary relevance; (iii) the addition of a brief synchronic overview of the verbal systems of Ancient Greek and Latin to make more meaningful S’s statement that these systems have evolved in significantly different ways from their common origin (444); (iv) the replacement of the designation functional type with lexical or lexico-functional type in the discussion of verbs because it is the lexical morpheme of verb stems that determines functional differences; and (v) a clearer distinction of terminology such as tense and primes or features, thus instantiating formal categories (e.g. aorist, which appears to be used both as a term designating a paradigm and as a feature instantiating the category of aspect). In its present state, however, S’s contribution is already a handbook in the finest sense of the word, providing superior scholarship in the form of a comprehensive presentation and discussion of the facts and relevant hypotheses.

Marquesan: A grammar of space

Marquesan: A grammar of space. By Gabriele H. Cablitz. (Trends in linguistics, studies and monographs 169.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2006. Pp. xx, 682. ISBN 9783110189490. $208 (Hb).

Reviewed by Wolfgang Schulze, University of Munich

Since the late 1980’s, studies in the grammar of space (i.e. spatial grammar) have become a focus of both cognitive linguistics and functional descriptivism. This book is another highly welcomed contribution to this growing field of interdisciplinary linguistics. Gabriele Cablitz does not assert that the grammar of a language emerges from basic spatial or locational strategies in cognition. Rather, she concentrates on those grammatical and lexico-semantic domains and categories that are said to reflect spatiality in terms of source domains.

The book includes eight chapters, half of which are devoted to the details of the Marquesan grammar of space. Marquesan is a partly endangered Central Eastern Polynesian language spoken on the Marquesas (a part of French Polynesia). After describing the basic layout of the book and its general aims, Ch. 2 introduces the ‘Ethnographic and linguistic background and methodology’ of Marquesan and addresses issues of field work and methodology. C not only refers to data that stem from direct elicitation and text recordings but also employs several tests that are related to drawing and photo recognition and other types of tasks and games (e.g. route description). All games and tasks are nicely documented in an appendix. This volume is thus based on a broad variety of data that go beyond what is usually included in standard descriptive grammars.

Ch. 3 summarizes the grammar of (Northwest) Marquesan. This comprehensive chapter (roughly 150 pages) is a highly developed presentation of Marquesan, which by itself has the value of a monograph. Ch. 4 turns to the peculiarities of a grammar of space, discussing the relevant parameters from a cognitive and psycholinguistic point of view. This section can serve as a guideline for analogous studies in other languages.

Ch. 5 presents a ‘Semantic and morphosyntactic analysis of locative constructions in North Marquesan’. Using a construction-based approach, C provides both a survey and an analysis of several types of locative constructions, arranged according to the type of grounded reference (e.g. place names, body parts, local nouns) indicated. The world of ‘Modifiers in locative constructions’ is the theme of Ch. 6. The analyses nicely demonstrate the extent to which such locational or directional particles can modify the semantics of a locative construction. Ch. 7, ‘Usage of locative constructions in large-scale and small scale reference’, addresses the Marquesan strategies to linguistically express different types of orientation. C distinguishes large-scale (e.g. ‘bay’, ‘ocean’, ‘up’, and ‘down’) from small-scale reference (e.g. intrinsic reference) before describing preferred frames of reference and aspects of topology. Ch. 8 is a helpful summary of the data and analyses.

In sum, the methodologically convincing Marquesan: A grammar of space is a major step towards unveiling and describing the spatial foundations of grammar.

In other words

In other words: Variation in reference and narrative. By Deborah Schiffrin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Pp. 373. ISBN 9780521484749. $48.

Reviewed by David Herman, The Ohio State University

Defining variation analysis as the study of different ways of saying (more or less) the same thing, this book focuses on variation as it plays out in two aspects of language use: reference (i.e. the evocation of a person, place, or thing through a referring expression) and narratives (i.e. sequences of temporally ordered clauses that report sequences of events). Ch. 1, ‘Variation’ (1–32), distinguishes between two approaches in which variation analysis, originally concerned with lexical, phonological, and morphosyntactic features, has been extended to the discourse level. One approach examines discourse variation, or patterns of language use associated with specific groups in specific settings; the other approach, pursued by the author, examines variation in discourse, or how linguistic structures (e.g. verb tenses, clause order) are variably realized in different discourse contexts. The following chapters consider referrals and stories that appear in the second position (i.e. after another, prior referral or storytelling act); hence Deborah Schiffrin is concerned with such phenomena as repairs, repetitions, paraphrases, and replays.

Ch. 2, ‘Problematic referrals’ (33–68), investigates repairs made to referring expressions. Four possibilities are analyzed: (i) continuing referring expressions and continuing referents, (ii) changing referring expressions and changing referents, (iii) changing referring expressions but continuing referents, and (iv) continuing referring expressions but changing referents. Ch. 3, ‘Anticipating referrals’ (69–109), discusses repairs to the definite and indefinite articles prefacing nouns. These repairs encompass shifting and repeating articles and are targeted at external (i.e. word-to-world) as well as internal (i.e. word-to-word) problems that affect interlocutors’ management of referrals. Ch. 4, ‘Reactive and proactive prototypes’ (110–53), deals with referral problems that occur when a speaker assumes that the hearer has a level of familiarity with the referred-to item that proves to be unwarranted. A reactive strategy to such problems involves redistributing information initially presented by a noun across several utterances and tying the problematic information to a prior text. This same basic strategy can also proactively ward off potential referral problems, as demonstrated by utterances in which there is and they have are used to establish familiarity with discourse referents and separate out potential foci of attention. Ch. 5, ‘Referring sequences’ (154–98), explores how interlocutors manage referrals to people, places, and things in an evolving textual world in which those discourse entities acquire, as talk proceeds, new properties and relations.

The next three chapters of the book shift the focus from referrals to stories. Ch. 6, ‘Reframing experience’ (199–240) and Ch. 7, ‘Retelling a story’ (241–76) both explore issues bound up with the retelling of a story by one speaker—namely, Holocaust survivor Susan Beer—across four different oral history interviews. Drawing on Erving Goffman’s concepts of framing and footing as well as recent work in positioning theory, Ch. 6 examines how the teller reframes her past experiences in different contexts of telling, whereas Ch. 7 discusses structural and evaluative changes across the different versions of Beer’s story. Ch. 8, ‘Who did what (again)?’ (277–313), offers yet another take on the idea of stories in the second position. Here S revisits narratives analyzed in previous work, developing new perspectives on those stories by exploring how they involve rereferring and retelling. Finally, Ch. 9, ‘Redoing and replaying’ (314–40), draws together the various strands of the analysis as a whole, in the process showing how S’s account of redoing referrals and replaying narratives relates to approaches and constructs developed by other theorists of discourse.

This rich study will help set the agenda for research on variation in discourse for years to come. For specialists in the field of narrative inquiry, the book’s insights into the structures and functions of acts of renarration will be particularly valuable. S’s account of referrals is no less illuminating and will be of broad interest to researchers in fields such as pragmatics, discourse analysis, and the philosophy of language.

Agreement systems

Agreement systems. Ed. by Cedric Boeckx. (Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics today 92.) Amsterdam: John Benjamns, 2006. Pp. x, 346. ISBN 9789027233561. $188 (Hb).

Reviewed by Wolfgang Schulze, University of Munich

The phenomenon of agreement has been examined primarily in functionally and typologically oriented studies, whereas generative approaches to language have only hesitatingly taken up this issue. Therefore, this volume, edited by Cedric Boeckx, will be welcomed by those interested in how agreement features are discussed within a formal generative framework. In his introduction (1–12), Boeckx briefly reports on the most burning issues in agreement studies from a generative point of view and provides short summaries of the eleven papers included in the volume.

The individual papers are arranged in alphabetical order of the authors. In the first contribution, ‘Are we in agreement?’ (13–39), Gabriela Alboiu discusses the interaction of case valuation and agreement, arguing for an analysis of case checking ‘as a property of phrasal domains rather than of agreement’ (13). Alboiu uses Romanian data to elaborate this thought-provoking hypothesis. The typologically well-known problem of person splits is addressed by Artemis Alexiadou and Elena Anagnostopoulou in ‘From hierarchies to features: Person splits and direct-inverse alternations’ (41–62), which focuses on data from Lummi and Passamaquoddy.

Using data from Turkish, Tuvan, Kazakh, and a number of European languages, in ‘Finiteness and the relation between agreement and nominative case’ (63–98), Gülşat Aygen discusses issues of finiteness, suggesting that ‘agreement on [complementizer] C is involved in licensing Nominative subjects only in the presence of Epistemic Modality’ (63). In ‘Case and agreement with genitive of quantification in Russian’ (99–120), Željko Bošković investigates the interesting hypothesis that ‘Russian morphological case is a direct reflection of abstract Case [just as…] Russian morphological agreement is a direct reflection of abstract agree(ment)’ (113).

John Frampton and Sam Gutmann turn to ‘How sentences grow in the mind: Agreement and selection in efficient minimalist syntax’ (121–57). ‘Agreement configurations: In defense of “Spec head”’ (159–99) are discussed by Hilda Koopman, and Halldór Ármann Sigurđsson explores ‘Agree in syntax, agreement in signs’ (202–37). Usama Soltan contributes ‘Standard Arabic subject-verb agreement asymmetry revisited in an agree-based minimalist syntax’ (239–65), and instances of null-case are touched upon in Juan Uriagereka’s ‘Complete and partial Infl’ (267–98). In ‘Case-agreement mismatches’ (299–316), Ellen Woolford addresses the question of why languages with ergative case and accusative agreement seem not to exist. Finally, In ‘Local agreement’ (317–39), Jan-Wouter Zwart explores the hypothesis that agreement ‘is always a relation between phrases, never a relation between a head and a phrase’ (317).

Most of the papers are highly technical and call for a profound knowledge in formal syntax and its descriptive apparatus. However, once the reader has adopted this perspective, both the theoretical sections and the wealth of illustrating examples taken from a variety of languages will be enormously beneficial. In this sense, the volume will also be especially interesting for researchers attempting to add aspects of language theory to their typological findings.

English syntax

English syntax: An introduction. By Jong-Bok Kim and Peter Sells. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2008. Pp. 296. ISBN 9781575865683. $32.50.

Reviewed by Katrin Hiietam, Manchester, UK

This is a well written and easy-to-follow introductory level textbook for students of English. What sets this publication apart from numerous other textbooks of the same kind is that it offers a formal analysis of English within the head driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG) framework. Although this textbook is aimed at readers without any prior knowledge of English or syntactic analysis, it covers a wealth of topics, including agreement, raising, control, auxiliaries, the passive, and relative clauses. However, it does so in a nonintimidating way for complete beginners.

The book starts with a general introduction to the nature of human language and the basics of theoretical analysis—that is, how linguistic rules are discovered and why it is meaningful to study the structure of a language. Then, like any other good text on English syntax, it moves on to cover word structure, followed by phrase structure and the major phrase types.  Finally, syntactic forms, grammatical functions, and semantic roles are discussed, along with the relationship between form and function, syntactic heads, complements, and modifiers (Chs. 1–4).

In the next two chapters (Chs. 5–6), the authors introduce the basic concepts of HPSG and focus on subjects, complements, noun phrases, and agreement. The authors highlight the advantages of using HPSG, as this framework emphasizes the interaction between lexical properties and grammatical components and thus provides a full picture of the English language.

Chs. 7–8 deal with raising, control, and auxiliary constructions. Following that, Chs. 9–12 focus on related constructions, such as the passive and active voice, wh-questions and relative clauses, and, finally, constructions based on long-distance dependencies, such as the so-called ‘easy’ constructions (i.e. extraposition and cleft constructions).

Each chapter ends with exercises related to the topic that range from simple to more elaborate. The aim of this book is to equip students with an understanding of the syntax of English and to develop basic knowledge and skills for analyzing a language within a theoretical framework.

As this textbook is the product of many years of lectures by the authors and has been shaped by the students’ responses, it is a valuable and accessible tool for any teacher of English syntax.

In my opinion, the main advantages of this textbook are, that (i) the authors slowly walk a novice linguist through the maze of grammatical concepts and terminology, thus raising confidence and not curbing the desire to get to know more by overloading the student with excessively heavy technical terminology and content; and (ii) the data used in discussions are descriptive facts of English. If one were to ask whether yet another book on English syntax is necessary, the answer would probably be ‘Why not? As long as the text illustrates that it is possible to think differently (and not be considered in the wrong) about some grammatical phenomenon’.

The study of language

The study of language. 3rd edn. By George Yule. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Pp. 273. ISBN 9780521543200. $32.99.

Reviewed by Alexander Onysko, Universität Innsbruck

The third edition of The study of language largely lives up to the byline on the title page: ‘thoroughly revised and updated’. A comparison to the previous edition shows a variety of improvements. The layout of the book is more user-friendly due to larger fonts for chapter headings and section titles that facilitate selective reading. Moreover, the extended list of keywords following each chapter heading in the table of contents complements this improved layout by providing a clearer overview of the concepts dealt with in the individual chapters.

The book comprises twenty chapters that cover essential topics in linguistics, from traditional fields such as phonetics and phonology, morphology, word formation, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics to important areas such as discourse analysis, language and the brain, language acquisition, gestures and sign languages, language history and change, regional variation, social variation, and language and culture. In comparison to the second edition, the cohesion within the opening chapters has been successfully increased. Thus, Ch. 1, ‘The origins of language’, is now immediately followed by ‘Animals and human language’, which includes a discussion of the properties of language (e.g. displacement, arbitrariness, productivity, cultural transmission, duality) within the context of the limited ability of chimpanzees to acquire (human) language.

Additional changes that improve the accessibility of the book include the removal of the chapter on language and machines, whose content in the second edition was a bit outdated, and the addition of separate chapters devoted to regional variation, social variation, and language and culture. This separation allows for an expansion of topics such as dialectology, social markers, speech style and style shifting, prestige, speech accommodation, social barriers, vernacular language, slang, address terms, and language and gender.

As helpful tools for teaching and self study, every chapter concludes with study questions, research tasks, discussion topics or projects, and suggestions for further reading. An appendix contains answers to the study questions, and the newly available glossary allows students to navigate safely through the unknown waters of linguistic terminology, which are successfully kept to a mere trickle throughout the book.

While this volume offers an incredible amount of information in a concise and clear manner, there are a few areas of language analysis that should be included in such a comprehensive introductory book. For example, the chapter on syntax is solely based on generative grammar and neglects other approaches such as functional grammar and construction grammar. Similarly, the chapter on semantics focuses on the rather static notions of semantic features and lexical relations. Prototype semantics and polysemy are comparably underrepresented, and while the process of metonymy is lucidly explained, its close kin, metaphor, remains unmentioned. A brief depiction of cognitive and logical approaches would better indicate the complexity of semantics. Finally, the rapidly developing fields of corpus linguistics and cognitive linguistics deserve separate chapters in the book.

Despite these minor shortcomings that could inspire future editions of The study of language, this edition has taken a step to remain the most lucidly written, comprehensive, and concise introduction to language available. This volume is impressive for its accessibility, compact structure, and didactic aids.

Telephone interpreting

Telephone interpreting. By Nataly Kelly. Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2008. Pp. xiv, 284. ISBN 9781425185015. $29.95.

Reviewed by Diana Gorman Jamrozik, Columbia College Chicago

Nataly Kelly’s Telephone interpreting: A comprehensive guide to the profession introduces its readers to the emerging field of telephone interpreting. The text has an introductory glossary for terms used, twenty five chapters divided into five parts, and a bibliography. The entire text, including examples of interpreted phone calls, is in English.

Part 1, ‘Introduction to telephone interpreting’ (1–32), includes Ch. 1, ‘A brief history of telephone interpreting’, Ch. 2, ‘How it works’, and Ch. 3, ‘Industry trends’. These chapters introduce consumers and practitioners to the intricacies of telephone interpreting.

Part 2, ‘Working as a telephone interpreter’ (33–92), is divided into five chapters that offer interpreter practitioners a means to compare conference and community work to telephone interpreting. Part 2 includes Ch. 4, ‘Profile of the ideal candidate’, Ch. 5, ‘Finding employment as a telephone interpreter’, Ch. 6, ‘Home office vs. call center’, and Ch. 7, ‘Working from a home office’. In Ch. 8, ‘Quality in telephone interpreting’, K discusses misconceptions about the telephone interpreting industry, including consumer concerns regarding quality control and the confidentiality of calls.

Drawing on the codes of professional conduct that are already established for other interpreting venues and organizations, Part 3, ‘Ethics and standards’ (93–182), outlines K’s proposed seven part code of ethics for telephone interpreters. Examples of ethical dilemmas faced by telephone interpreters and exercises for practical applications of the tenets are provided. Part 3 includes Ch. 9, ‘Model code of ethics for telephone interpreting’, Ch. 10, ‘Model standards of practice for telephone interpreting’, Ch. 11, ‘Interpreting the standards: Explanations and exceptions’, Ch. 12, ‘Model standards of practice: Emergency settings’, Ch. 13, ‘Model standards of practice: Health care settings’, and Ch. 14, ‘Model standards of practice: Legal settings’.

K then offers mock telephone calls that include industry specific jargon for interpreters to analyze in Part 4, ‘Practice scenarios’ (183–248). Part 4 includes Ch. 15, ‘How to use the practice scenarios’, Ch. 16, ‘Practice scenarios: Utilities’, Ch. 17, ‘Practice scenarios: Travel and entertainment’, Ch. 18, ‘Practice scenarios: Telecommunications’, Ch. 19, ‘Practice scenarios: Finance’, Ch. 20, ‘Practice scenarios: Insurance’, Ch. 21, ‘Practice scenarios: Government’, Ch. 22, ‘Practice scenarios: Health care’, and Ch. 23, ‘Practice scenarios: Legal’.

In Part 5, ‘Client considerations’ (249–78), K provides consumers of telephone interpreting services information on how to work with the industry. In cases in which a multilingual corporation is in need of a vendor of telephone interpreting services, Ch. 24, ‘Selecting a telephone interpreting provider’, lists a number of questions to consider while researching vendors. In Ch. 25, ‘Working effectively with telephone interpreters’, K offers individual consumers of telephone interpreting services tips on how to have a successfully interpreted phone call, and includes explanations and examples.

Telephone interpreting: A comprehensive guide to the profession is written in a straightforward and accessible manner. It is an excellent introduction to the field of telephone interpreting and should be of interest to consumers of interpreting services, interpreter practitioners, and interpreter educators.

The spiral of ‘anti-other rhetoric’

The spiral of ‘anti-other rhetoric’: Discourses of identity and the international media echo. By Elisabeth Le. (Discourse approaches to politics, society and culture 22.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2006. Pp. xii, 280. ISBN 9789027227126. $173 (Hb).

Reviewed by Richard W. Hallett, Northeastern Illinois University

In Ch. 1, ‘Media, international relations, collective memories, and Critical Discourse Analysis’ (1–16), which essentially serves as the introduction to the book, Elisabeth Le begins to present a case study of elite newspapers in three nations: France, the United States, and Russia. Her study employs a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of the editorials in these newspapers to determine the effect of the ‘international media echo’ (6). According to Howard Frederick (Global communication and international relations, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1993), this effect can occur ‘when the content of one nation’s media becomes news in the media of another country’ (228).

Using the interacting cascading networks model (9), L presents overviews of Russian, French, and American societies in Ch. 2, ‘National and international contexts for the international media echo’ (17–52). Following these overviews is a discussion of the print elite media in these three countries, which includes histories of the French newspaper Le Monde, the American newspaper The New York Times, and the Russian newspapers Izvestija, Nezavisimaja Gazeta, and Segodnija.

The linguistic analysis in Ch. 3, ‘Russia in Le Monde and The New York Times’ (53–105), shows how seventy-four editorials about Russia in the French and American elite newspapers, which appeared from August 1999 to July 2001, differ in terms of argumentation, debate construction, and the presentation and positioning of ‘us’ and ‘them’. In Ch. 4, ‘Le Monde’s and The New York Times’ editorials in their national societies’ (107–28), these editorials are shown to be a reflection of the world conceptions of France and America that, in part, form their respective national identities.

Claiming to leave a linguistic analysis of Russian media to ‘those who possess more than [her] fluent reading abilities of Russian’ (129), L utilizes the interacting cascading networks model to analyze the Russian socio-political organization in Ch. 5, ‘Russian reactions to the West’ (129–60). To this end, she discusses the three Russian elite newspapers, the Russian official position, Russian public opinion, and Russia’s position in the world vis-à-vis the West from 1999 until 2001.

The conclusion, Ch. 6, ‘Crossing cultural and disciplinary boundaries’ (161–81), summarizes L’s analyses of the interactions among the national elite print media on the textual, ideational, and interactional levels. This chapter also discusses the ‘anti-other rhetoric’ spiral, which L declares ‘the most negative manifestation of the international media echo’ (162), and calls for the necessity of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research. Following this chapter are five extensive appendices that contain a wealth of information: ‘Editorials’ (183–85), ‘Chronology’ (187–96), ‘Coherence analysis’ (197–209), ‘Content coding’ (211–35), and ‘Negative representation of Russia’ (237–43).

This book is a welcome addition to the growing number of CDA studies. It could be used as supplemental reading material in discourse studies as well as international relations and media studies.