Monthly Archives: August 2011

Minority languages and group identity

Minority languages and group identity: Cases and categories. By John Edwards. (IMPACT: Studies in language and society 27.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2010. Pp. ix, 231. ISBN 9789027218698. $ 49.95.

Reviewed by Anish Koshy, The EFL University, India

The book is part of the IMPACT: Studies in language and society series of publications in sociolinguistics and is organized in nine chapters, including the introduction. The first four chapters set up the theoretical positions on the basis of which the latter chapters discuss four minority language settings.

In his introductory remarks, Edwards, a psychologist by training, lays down the major themes of the book: understanding minority languages and identities through a typology and case studies of such languages.

While discussing the maintenance of small languages in the context of languages in contact and conflict, E considers homogenization of languages as a result of people’s conscious choices and presents bilingualism as a possible solution. He also problematizes the notions of being a linguistic ‘minority’ and attempts at ‘maintaining’ a language. In the next chapter, issues of language decline, revival, and new ecology are discussed. The role of lack of inter-generational transfer in language death is emphasized and hence the role of a community in reviving its language, if only for the symbolic reason of marking identity. E maintains language is not organic and charges many revivalists with archival embalming of languages.

Giving examples of various language struggles, the next chapter discusses the social dynamics of assimilation and pluralism, arguing that linguistic tensions can resolve in four different ways, including communicative language-shift. Seeing language shift and loss as symptoms of a larger dynamic, E argues that the best assessments of linguistic conditions come from a methodological triangulation from various disciplines. Ch. 5 provides a typology of minority-language settings, discussing earlier attempts at typology (e.g. Charles Ferguson’s sociolinguistic profiling model), types of minority situations, and models of typology, concluding with a discussion of E’s own model.

Chs. 6–8 present case studies of Irish, Gaelic in Scotland, and Gaelic in Nova Scotia, providing a historical overview of their settlements, migration, and decline. Revival efforts like the founding of various associations, legislative measures, and media-support, are traced and place of these languages in modern education is also discussed, concluding with remarks on current trends and research findings. The last case study, on Esperanto, traces the history of constructed languages and attempts to discuss it in the same framework.

The book’s claim to be a dispassionate assessment of language maintenance, loss, and shift may not be fully borne out. The author’s very critical remarks on linguists’ approach to dying languages, calling it a doomsday approach, may not be fully justified. Language’s role in defining identity is discussed thoroughly. As the causes of language shift/loss are global and have far-reaching consequences throughout society, the author is justified in arguing for a methodological triangulation.

Psycholinguistics 101

Psycholinguistics 101. By H. Wind Cowles. (Psych 101.) New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2011. Pp. vii, 199. ISBN 9780826115614. $25.

Reviewed by Engin Arik, Isik University

This volume is part of the Psych 101 series, which offers very short introductions to interesting topics in psychology. Psycholinguistics 101 consists of eight chapters and an index. In Ch. 1, ‘Introduction: What is psycholinguistics’ (1–16), the author defines linguistics and psycholinguistics, gives a brief history of the field, and introduces some of its major themes, e.g. top-down versus bottom-up processing, serial versus parallel processing, automatic and controlled processing, and modularity. This chapter ends with an overview of the remaining chapters.

In Ch. 2, ‘Language as an object of (psychological) study’ (17–33), the author presents basic features of language, from sound systems (phonetics and phonology) and word structure to sentence structure, meaning, and real-world use. In Ch. 3, ‘How we know what we know: Methods in psycholinguistics’ (35–60), the author starts with the types of measures used in psycholinguistic studies, then explains the most important psycholinguistic experimental tasks, such as questionnaires, button presses, vocal responses, eye-tracking, measurement of event-related brain potentials, and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Finally, this chapter briefly suggests how to avoid problems in using those tasks and methods.

In Ch. 4, ‘Information flow and language ambiguity’ (61–91), the author discusses how contextual ambiguity is resolved and ambiguous sentences are interpreted during language processing. In Ch. 5, ‘(Multiple) Language representation and the brain’ (93–120), the author offers a brief account of language areas in the monolingual and bilingual brain and psycholinguistic studies on phonological, lexical, and syntactic representations of language in bilinguals. Ch. 6, ‘Language in the real world: Dialogue and (co)reference’ (121–52), focuses on language use in conversation and deals primarily with the interaction between speaker and listener, discussing such topics as common ground, intelligibility, avoiding ambiguity, priming and alignment, co-reference, and factors that influence the interpretation of reference.

In Ch. 7, ‘Using your hands: Sign languages’ (153–74), the author moves from spoken to sign language. After dispelling common misconceptions about sign languages, it touches upon such issues in sign languages as structure (phonology and syntax), language processing, iconicity and arbitrariness, lexical access, grammatical space and spatial representations, and co-reference. Ch. 8, ‘How good is “good enough”?’ (175–91), shows how language processing is more complicated than previously thought.

In sum, this book provides a very concise introduction to psycholinguistics. It is well-written and touches upon a wide range of important psycholinguistic issues, such as the structure of language, methods, language processing, language representation, and sign languages. I believe that it can easily be used as an additional reading in an undergraduate psycholinguistic course.

The architect of Modern Catalan

The architect of Modern Catalan: Selected writings. Pompeu Fabra (1868–1948). Ed. by Joan Costa Carreras. Translated by Alan Yates. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009. Pp. xxxii, 240. ISBN 9789027232649. $143 (Hb).

Reviewed by David Elton Gay, Bloomington, IN

Though he is largely unknown outside of Catalan studies, Pompeu Fabra was the most important Catalan grammarian and language standardizer of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In The architect of Modern Catalan, Joan Costa Carreras and his collaborators have teamed up to introduce Fabra to the English-speaking world, and they have created a fine anthology with which to do so.

The anthology opens with a series of appreciations of Fabra and his work by Joan Josep Moresco, Salvador Giner, Joan Martí i Castells, and George Kremnitz that focus largely on biographical matters. These are followed by an introduction to the Catalan language by Carreras and Alan Yates that describes the historical and sociolinguistic situation of Catalan, as well as some of the important intellectual and literary movements in the language. The book concludes with a useful bibliography of materials on the Catalan language in English, Spanish, French, and Catalan and a list of useful websites on Catalan.

Carreras then examines ‘Pompeu Fabra: A life’s work in applied linguistics’ in a long and very detailed chapter that looks at virtually every aspect of Fabra’s life and work as a Catalan scholar. This chapter offers useful bibliographical information about Fabra’s writings in two places:  an annotated bibliography of the various grammars Fabra wrote of Catalan, English, Spanish, and French (82–86), and a fuller bibliography of Fabra’s writings and works about Fabra and Catalan more generally (95–101).

A brief chapter on the ‘presentation of the edition’ treats of editorial matters. In the anthology of Fabra’s writings (113–219), the editors have made a concerted effort to show the range of Fabra’s writings, which include work on grammar, lexicography, spelling reform, standardization, and language purification (in the case of Catalan, this meant the removal of Castilianisms from the language).

This is a very useful book about a too little known linguist and grammarian.

Politics of the postcolonial text

Politics of the postcolonial text: Africa and its diasporas. Ed. by James Tar Tsaaior. (LINCOM textual analyses 3.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2010. Pp. 222. ISBN 9783862880140. $97.30.

Reviewed by Kanavillil Rajagopalan, State University at Campinas, Brazil

This book is a collection of twelve essays on Africa, the diasporic experience, politics of postcolonialism and globalization, and cultural identity. The contributors can all trace their cultural roots to Africa, and many of them draw on their own experiences of diaspora and prolonged contact with the world at large. The result is a volume of articles at once well grounded theoretically and highly thought-provoking.

In his introduction, Ch. 1, ‘Of origins, politics and the place of the postcolonial text in black history/culture’, James Tar Tsaaior sets the tone of the entire volume with the claim that politics is of the very essence of postcolonial cultures. That politics is counter-hegemonic to the postcolonial narrative and takes a perspective of subversion vis-à-vis the Western canon. But, even while stating the importance of ‘dismantling … the architecture of imperial knowledge inscribed in the labyrinthine matrices of the master text’ (6), he also accuses ‘the decadent and indulgent political and business elite’ (10) for the predicaments in which Africa finds itself.

The eleven texts that follow amply illustrate strategies for the arduous task of dismantling the canonical readings of works by up-and-coming and classic African writers, as well as writers like Alex Haley, author of Roots. Several contributors undertake interesting forays into Ben Okri’s novels, Tanure Ojaide and Odia Ofeimun’s exilic poetry, Rebecca Njau’s Ripples in the pool, and Chinua Achebe’s Things fall apart and Anthills of the Savannah.

Some of the authors use a wide-angle interpretive lens to look at recent Nigerian popular music as counter-narratives, reconfiguring black musical genealogies in the context of the African Diaspora, the politics of representation in the postcolonial African writing, and the politics of postcolonial becoming in the Caribbean novel.

‘History and the politics of representation in the postcolonial African text’ by Gboyega Kolawole and Sule E. Egya is representative of the overall tone adopted by most of the contributors to this volume. The authors point out that ‘[p]olitical poetry, that is, poetry that thematizes sociopolitical, economic, cultural, and other issues affecting the well being of the society, has existed since the beginning of written poetry in Nigerian literature’ (105). The reference to threnody underscores Nigeria’s agonizing trials and tribulations during the 1980s and 1990s when the military took over the reins of power and brutally suppressed civil rights.

Ultimately, the contributors are all interested in discovering their true identities, unrecognizably obscured by discourses alien to their cultures and long beyond their powers to challenge.

Argument and rhetoric

Argument and rhetoric: Adverbial connectors in the history of English. By Ursula Lenker. (Topics in English linguistics 64.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010. Pp. xvi, 293. ISBN 9783110205589. $177 (Hb).

Reviewed by Elly van Gelderen, Arizona State University

Although adverbs are an ‘oppressed part of speech’ (v), they have recently received quite some attention. Argument and rhetoric was a Habilitationsschrift in 2006/2007 (v) and contributes much to what we know about the history of connectors. The book provides a helpful review, mainly of the functional literature and classification of connectors throughout the various historical stages of English (though the literature cited stops in 2007).

The aim of the book is ‘corpus-based analyses of the development of a particular word class in connector function’ (4). The author cites an experiment on the effect of connectors that shows they provide authority and logic to a text and hence the rhetorical aspect becomes important. A further claim is that ‘changes in the history of English connectors thus seem to have been triggered by the typological and structural changes which set English … apart from other Germanic languages’ (9). Unfortunately, this is not subsequently worked out well. The final paragraph of Ch. 1 (21) summarizes the main questions: are there recurrent patterns, can we distinguish clines, and how much stylistic choice is involved?

Chs. 2–4 lay the groundwork by defining adverbs and describing their various functions. In Old English, there are few adverbial connectors, according to Ch.5, although there are stance adverbs such as eac ‘also’ and eornostlice ‘earnestly’, ambiguous adverbs such as nu ‘now’, pronominal connectors such as forþæm ‘therefore’, and demonstratives. Ch. 6 looks at the big picture from Old to Modern English, and notes that many adverbial connectors have disappeared and many new ones have taken their place (80). Ch.7 examines the morphological tools used to renew the connectors and notes that very few are loans. Ch. 8 identifies three source domains: space, time, and truth. Chs. 9–11 show that connectors for cause/result, concession/contrast, and addition are very different in character. Ch. 12 very briefly examines soþlice `truly’, classified as transitional.

Personally, I found Ch. 13 the most interesting: sentence-initial connectors, such as ‘[a]nd therefore’, in authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer change to medial connectors, such as however, in e.g. Adam Smith. This stylistic change was helped by a different application of punctuation. The eighteenth century saw a grammatical use of punctuation that indicated a core of subject, verb, and object, with adverbials ‘sequestered’ by commas.

The book is rich in well-analyzed examples and contributes to our knowledge of connectors.

Style shifting in Japanese

Style shifting in Japanese. Ed. by Kimberly Jones and Tsuyoshi Ono. (Pragmatics and beyond new series 180.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2008. Pp. vii, 335. ISBN 9789027254252. $149 (Hb).

Reviewed by Irene Theodoropoulou, Qatar University

The volume consists of twelve chapters dealing with style shifting in Japanese as a context-bound phenomenon inextricably linked to language structure (2). The editors bring together diverse perspectives on the types of style shifting and factors influencing it. Several chapters focus on style shifting between ‘polite’ predicates ending in desu or masu and ‘plain’ predicates (non-desu/masu).

Haruko Minegishi Cook argues that in university academic consultation sessions between professors and students, the static tie of masu to social status is cast into doubt, given that both masu and desu can be used interchangeably within the same social context for the construction of diverse social personae. Similarly, Naomi Geyer’s study situates style shifting within politeness studies and argues that both forms have distinct but interrelated functions: the plain form marks solidarity among interlocutors and mitigates the threat of performed actions, while masu impersonalizes the speaker and indicates deference to the addressee. Politeness is the key focus also in Shoko Ikuta’s contribution on conversation interviews: her findings suggest that the (non) use of desu/masu style can work as an interactional politeness strategyfor saving face.

Senko K. Maynard’s article argues that two expressive aspects of style mixture, emotivity and creativity, are used to manipulate different voices in written discourse, while Mutsuko Endo Hudson’s study of semi-polite styles associated with the negative forms masen and nai desu argues for their signaling a psychological distance between speakers, as well as indexing their explaining or evaluating a situation. Similarly, Satoshi Uehara and Etsuko Fukushima show that masen forms index politeness and are to be found at the beginning of conversations, while nai desu forms are found in other parts of the conversation and point to growing familiarity among interlocutors.

Yuka Matsugu and Yoshiko Matsumoto each flesh out gender issues in style shifting. Matsugu argues that a binary distinction between masculinity and femininity in gendered styles is challenged by her analysis of women conveying masculine social stances when frustrated or displeased. Matsumoto’s study of middle-aged middle-class women suggests that there are several layered meanings within one style that need to be analyzed in unison.

Shigeko Okamoto’s article on regional and standard varieties of Japanese makes the important argument that regional and standard variants are used in complex manners, led by functionally-driven choices. Kuniyoshi Kataoka and Shoji Takano both push research on style shifting in new directions. Kataoka argues for the need for interactional analysis of deictics as aspects of style (shifting), while Takano argues for the need of a multi-stylistic approach to style beyond a single social situation, with casual conversations as the fundamental site.

Overall, despite its limited crossreferencing, which hinders its cohesiveness, this volume contains some eye-opening contributions that will interest not only scholars working on Japanese but also (socio)linguists interested in style.

Basic concepts for interpreter and translator training

Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training, revised edn. By Daniel Gile. (Benjamins translation library 8.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009. Pp. xv, 283. ISBN 9789027224323. $49.95.

Reviewed by María Dolores Romero, Madrid, Spain

Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training is the result of a study that included naturalistic, experimental, and theoretical issues in translation studies and related disciplines, especially cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. This book, a revision of the 1995 edition, is written for practitioners who teach conference interpreting and/or translation.

The book is divided into ten chapters. Ch. 1 provides suggestions on how translators and interpreters should carry out their work. This includes a good knowledge of their passive and active languages. In addition, this chapter points out the need for formal training and a process-oriented approach focused on principles, methods, and procedures. In Ch. 2, Gile indicates that the main purpose of professional translation is to help people communicate in specific situations. He also discusses the ways the interests of translators and interpreters might conflict with their clients’.

Ch. 3 investigates aspects of the process of verbalization from a specific idea experimentally and finds that sentences expressing the same message can be quite different. Ch. 4 analyzes discourse comprehension by describing aspects of understanding and its components. The author points out the importance of extralinguistic knowledge for understanding specialized text. In Ch. 5, G presents a sequential model of written translation which consists of a succession of two-phase operations: the comprehension and reformulation phases.

Ch. 6 deals with ad hoc knowledge acquisition in interpreting and translation; this is defined as the acquisition of new knowledge for the purpose of preparing a translation assignment. This chapter also explains important issues in the use of information sources and in strategies for ad hoc knowledge acquisition. The following chapter explains simultaneous interpreting as a set of three core efforts: listening and analysis; production; and short term memory.

Ch. 8 focuses on situations in which interpreters do not understand terms or sentences in the source speech or do not know how to express a concept in the target language, and provides a list of basic tactics to cope with such problems. In Ch. 9, G explains that the formal definitions of the three categories of working languages for conference interpreters established by the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) are not very clear in practice. Moreover this chapter presents concepts and models to resolve problems for interpreting that can also be applied to written translation. In the final chapter G explains the advantages of teaching translation theory to students in the classroom. He concludes with an analysis of the interpretation, decisions, resources, and constraints (IDRC) framework.

Each chapter ends with teaching suggestions, advice on what students need to remember and appendices with exercises for classrooms demonstrations. The book concludes with a glossary of specialized terms.

The Austronesian languages

The Austronesian languages. By Robert Blust. (Pacific linguistics 602.) Canberra, Australia: The Australian National University, 2009. Pp. xxi, 852. ISBN 9780858836020. $190.79.

Reviewed by Peter Freeouf, Chiang Mai University

The Austronesian family includes over a thousand languages, making it one of the largest language families in the world. The family extends from Taiwan and mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the coast of the island of New Guinea to most of the islands of the Pacific and Madagascar.

Clarity of style and breadth of coverage make this work a uniquely valuable treatment of the extensive Austronesian language family. This work will serve the needs of linguists, anthropologists, historians, and other interested readers for a long time to come. It is no exaggeration to say that it is the definitive survey of Austronesian.

The volume begins with a detailed table of contents and includes several maps as well as numerous tables and figures, all of which contribute to making this work an easy-to-use encyclopedia of one of the world’s major language families. Ch. 1, ‘The Austronesian world’ (1–28), introduces the geographical setting of the Austronesian languages. Various topics include physical anthropology, social and cultural background, contacts with the wider world, and the archaeological evidence for the pre-historical migrations that spread Austronesian languages. Ch. 2, ‘A bird’s eye view of the Austronesian language family’ (29–117), provides an overview of the language family. The chapter is divided into sections covering the internal structure of the family, the complicated problem of delineating language from dialect, national languages and lingua francas, language distribution by geographical area, language size, and selected typological features.

Ch. 3, ‘Language in society’ (118–61), deals with speech register and language contact (borrowing, linguistic areas, code-switching, pidginization and creolization, and determinates of language size). Of cultural and sociological interest is the summary of various systems of socially-based speech levels and respect vocabulary. In addition to the well-known case of Javanese, similar socially-based phenomena are discussed in Pohnpeian (Micronesian) and in the Polynesian languages Samoan and Tongan (118–29). Ch. 4, ‘Sound systems’ (162–266), presents selected phoneme inventories organized by geographical area. The following subsections deal with ‘morpheme structures (phonotactics)’ and ‘phonological processes’.

Ch. 5, ‘The lexicon’ (267–342), is a wide-ranging treatment of word classes, semantics, and semantic change. Numeral systems, color terms, and pronoun systems are summarized in detail for various languages and subgroups. Ch. 6, ‘Morphology’ (342–430), includes such features as affixation and reduplication in selected languages. B points out that the complex patterns of verbal affixation in many Austronesian languages (especially in ‘Philippine-type’ languages) cannot be easily separated from syntactic issues such as participant roles and tense and aspect.

Ch. 7, ‘Syntax’ (431–505), attempts to present some of the broad range of typologically varied syntactic patterns. A problem that B raises here is how to present as neutrally as possible the results of research based on different theoretical approaches. His solution is generally to ignore syntactic issues where ‘theory-bound work’ has been prominent, including ‘complex sentences, relativisation, extraction, and clitics, to name a few’ (431). Other topics, however, are dealt with in some detail: voice systems, case marking, word order, negation, possession, word classes, directionals, imperatives, and questions.

Ch. 8, ‘Reconstruction’ (506–93), presents an overview of work in reconstructing the proto-language and the establishment of a phoneme system that accounts for subsequent developments in the family and its subgroups. Ch. 9, ‘Sound change’ (594–680), covers the range of sound changes in language and their presence in the various languages of the family. It is of course impossible to give more than a cursory coverage of the histories of individual languages, so instead the chapter is organized around  such topics as ‘internal sound change,’ ‘normal sound change,’ ‘bizarre sound change,’ ‘quantitative aspects of sound change,’ ‘the Regularity Hypothesis,’ and ‘drift.’

Ch. 10, ‘Classification’ (681–746), deals with the general issue of establishing genetic relationships between languages, various proposals of genetic relationships of Austronesian with other language families, subgroupings within Austronesian, and  the relationship of internal genetic relationships to proposed migration histories. Ch. 11, ‘The world of Austronesian scholarship’ (747–63), discusses the large scholarly community involved with the study of the Austronesian family, major research centers, conferences over the past few decades, leading periodicals, and major bibliographies. There is a brief discussion of fifteen other language families in comparison with Austronesian, with notes on the most important scholarship associated with each family. The volume concludes with an extensive bibliography and a sparse index of subjects with virtually no languages listed.

New perspectives on Latin historical syntax

New perspectives on Latin historical syntax, vol. 3: Constituent syntax: Quantification, numerals, possession, anaphora. Ed. by Philip Baldi and Pierluigi Cuzzolin. (Trends in linguistics. Studies and monographs.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010. Pp. xxi, 529. ISBN 9783110207545. $195 (Hb).

Reviewed by David Elton Gay, Bloomington, IN

New perspectives in Latin historical syntax, vol. 3 begins with an introduction by Baldi and Cuzzolin giving a survey of the theoretical approach used in the book : they refer to it as a ‘functional-typological approach,’ though anyone with a sound command of traditional Latin grammar should be able to follow the essays with no problem. The introduction indicates the audiences the book is intended for: the ‘first of these,’ they write, ‘is the community of linguists…’; the second group ‘is Classicists, especially Latinists, who are interested in the syntax and semantics of Latin poetic and prose texts’; and the last group is ‘Indo-Europeanists, who have an abiding interest in the syntactic history of a principal Indo-European language, and whose concerns for the syntax of the protolanguage will be directly addressed by the contents and approach of this project’ (13). Although not included, a group that should be are Latin teachers. Though most of what is in these essays would be over the head of my Latin students, they nonetheless draw attention to important aspects of Latin syntax and to nuances in the language that I can easily transfer to my teaching of Latin.

The articles cover four areas. In the first article, Alessandra Bertocchi, Mirka Maraldi, and Anna Orlandini ‘provide an analysis of indefinite items [such as] quis, aliquis, [and] quispiam’ (13). Jesús de la Villa then takes up Latin numerals in their various forms and the development of the indefinite article. Philip Baldi and Andrea Nuti describe ‘the evolution and use of predicative possession’ (14); Finally, Silvia Pieroni examines anaphora and deixis.

Though the writing is often less clear than it might be, each of the articles offers an intriguing look at important issues in Latin syntax and semantics. In fact, semantics plays such an important role in these essays it is surprising that it was not included in the title of the book. The descriptions in each subject area are much fuller than is usually found in Latin grammars: each of the authors at some point echoes Jesús de la Villa’s accurate comment that ‘what we find in [Latin] grammars and monographs is a partial description, mainly focused on morphology…’ (175).

A small complaint is that the book rarely indicates the dates of Latin authors. This would be helpful for the non-Latinist reading the book. A fuller explanation of the periodization of Latin would have been useful for the same reason.

The volumes of New perspectives on Latin historical syntax fill a definite need for studies of Latin syntax and semantics that are both historical and descriptive, and may perhaps make Latin more of interest to the wider linguistic community.

Cardinal numerals in Old English

Cardinal numerals: Old English from a cross-linguistic perspective. By Ferdinand von Mengden. (Topics in English linguistics 67.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010. Pp. xiii, 329. ISBN 9783110220346. $150 (Hb).

Reviewed by Peter Freeouf, Chiang Mai University

While there is a one-to-one semantic equivalence in numerals across languages, there is considerable diversity in their morphosyntactic features, even in languages as similar to English as Danish and French. Cardinal numerals are lexically unique in that each numeral in a language generally has an exact equivalent in other languages. This contrasts with other semantic fields (e.g. kinship and color terms).

This study of Old English (OE) cardinal numerals is an attempt to formulate a coherent descriptive framework for language-specific analyses of numeral systems. The morphosyntactic features of numerals are the focus of the book. In the introduction the author sets out the study of numerals, not as individual lexical items but as a series or sequence of items in an interrelated system or ‘independent lexical class’ (9).

Ch. 1 (12–71) establishes rigorous definitions and terminology for the linguistic analysis of cardinal numerals. An important issue is the relationship between the concepts ‘number’ and ‘numeral’. Regular and idiosyncratic formations are discussed in detail, with examples from many languages, mainly Indo-European. Terms introduced here include ‘atoms’ for the basic numerals (‘one’ through ‘nine’), ‘bases’ (e.g. ‘ten,’ ‘hundred’, ‘thousand’), and multiples of ‘bases’. A rather complex terminology is employed but each term is carefully and exactly defined.

Ch. 2 (72–128) gives a detailed account of the morphology of OE numerals up to ‘thousand’. One section treats the historical development of OE numerals from proto-Indo-European through proto-Germanic, and the concluding part deals with the OE ordinal numerals.

Ch. 3 (129–77) deals with the internal syntactic structure of complex numeral expressions and their position in quantified NPs. An important feature of this chapter is the establishment of criteria for determining to what extent the numeral systems of OE and other languages are decimal systems. The author concludes that the Germanic languages and Lithuanian employ decimal systems, and that supposed duodecimal and vigesimal influence can be explained in decimal terms. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how OE expressed numbers higher than 999,999.

Ch. 4 (178–247) focuses on the syntactic relationship between numeral expressions and other clause constituents. The chapter surveys previous syntactic studies of OE numerals (180–89) and proposes five types of ‘quantificational constructions’ (189–247). Ch. 5 (248–85) considers how to best classify cardinal numerals as a part of speech and proposes that cardinal numerals form an independent word ‘class of their own’ (249) rather than subclasses of nouns or adjectives. An extensive bibliography is provided of primary OE texts and collections as well as secondary linguistic studies of numerals.

This intellectually demanding work presents an exhaustive coverage of the numeral system of a relatively well-attested older language and develops an analytical framework applicable to other languages. It is a solid treatment of the complex topic of cardinal numerals in language.