Monthly Archives: September 2011

A handbook of lexicography

A handbook of lexicography: The theory and practice of dictionary-making. By Bo Svensén. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. xv, 535. ISBN 9780521708241. $62.

Reviewed by Dimitrios Ntelitheos, United Arab Emirates University

This book contains a comprehensive discussion of lexicographic theory and practice. It provides a systematic survey of lexicographic practices from a linguistic perspective and discusses extensively lexicographic methodology.

Ch. 1 is an introduction to the field of lexicography. The author situates lexicography within the broader field of linguistics, discussing its relation with other fields (such as lexicology), and listing the types of information that can occur in dictionary entries. Ch. 2 discusses the types of dictionaries that are available, distinguishing between them in terms of language use (e.g. native language describing terms in that language), time (e.g. synchronic versus diachronic dictionaries), specialization (e.g. general-purpose versus  specialized dictionaries), and size properties (e.g. pocket versus professional dictionaries). Ch. 3 examines methodological issues by discussing processes of data collection and selection. This includes primary sources such as corpora and the internet as well as secondary sources such as earlier dictionaries, grammars, and specialized studies. Data selection also involves processes of establishing authenticity of selected data, representativeness, and relevance to the needs of dictionary users.

Ch. 4 addresses the internal structure of dictionaries, describing the main components, including structure indicators and other devices of textual condensation. Ch. 5 concentrates on the ‘lemma’, which is the lexical item that forms the dictionary entry. Establishing lemmas involves taking into account such issues as lexical semantics, including homonymy and polysemy, multiword lexical items and idioms, and abbreviations and clippings. Additional issues arising from spelling and word division are considered in Ch. 6, while Ch. 7 turns to issues of pronunciation and its notational representation. Ch. 8 looks at morphological problems such as inflectional and derivational morphemes and how this information should be represented in each dictionary entry. The more serious issue of deciding part-of-speech membership for a lemma is introduced in Ch. 9. The three subsequent chapters are dedicated to specific constructions, collocations, and idioms and other fixed word combinations.

Ch. 13 discusses meaning descriptions in monolingual dictionaries, while Ch. 14 takes on equivalents in bilingual dictionaries. Ch. 15 introduces the notion of examples and how they are used to illustrate meaning. Chs. 16 and 17 examine the inclusion of encyclopedic information and illustration to further accommodate meaning. Ch. 18 discusses the marking of special meanings in a provided context, and Ch. 19 concentrates on etymological issues. Chs. 20, 21, 22, and 23 discuss microstructure (the structure of information in a lemma), macrostructure (the structure of lemma listing), megastructure (the relation between dictionary components), and crossreference structure (a guide to different places in the dictionary).

The final chapters of the book turn the discussion to practical issues. Ch. 24 describes the parameters involved in different dictionary projects; Ch. 25 lists the legal and ethical aspects involved in those projects; and Ch. 26 describes electronic dictionaries. Finally, Ch. 27 discusses dictionary use, and Ch. 28 provides a detailed discussion of criticism directed towards dictionaries, including the examination, analysis, and evaluation of existing dictionaries.

This handbook is written in short but comprehensive sections that cover most issues related directly or indirectly to the creation of a dictionary. Each chapter is accompanied by a literature section that provides references for further reading. The book is a valuable contribution to the field of lexicography and serves as an important reference point for professional and aspiring lexicographers, field-workers that collect lexicographic data, other dictionary workers, language and linguistics students and academics, translators, and anyone else interested in language.

The Haitian Creole language

The Haitian Creole language: History, structure, use and education. Ed. by Arthur K. Spears and Carole M. Berotte Joseph. New York: Lexington Books, 2010. Pp. xxii, 297. ISBN 9780739112366. $75 (Hb).

Reviewed by Carolin Patzelt, University of Bochum

This book is the first monograph that discusses Haitian Creole in its linguistic, cultural, historical, and educational context. The book consists of a collection of contributions by various authors, which are grouped into three broad sections: following a general introduction to Haitian Creole by Arthur K. Spears, Part 1 comprises two chapters dealing with the history of Haitian Creole. Georges E. Fouron provides a well-structured, easy-to-follow overview of Haiti’s history, whereas Flore Zéphir presents the different languages of Haiti. In addition to discussing their origin and describing their use and functions, the author also includes the speakers’ attitudes towards French and Haitian Creole.

Part 2 consists of four chapters and focuses on the structure and use of Haitian Creole. It begins with an overview of Haitian Creole ortho­graphy by Nicholas Faraclas, Arthur K. Spears, Elizabeth Barrows, and Mayra Cortes Piñeiro. The chapter focuses on two topics: concrete efforts to establish an official orthography for Haitian Creole and general issues regarding writing systems for creole languages. Albert Valdman discusses regional and social varieties of Haitian Creole, followed by a contribution from Hugues St. Fort presenting types of Creole-English code-switching in New York City and reasons for its use. This section concludes with a contribution by Marie-José Nzengou-Tayo who focuses on the distribution of Creole and French in Haitian literature, showing that the use of Haitian Creole is rather frequent in poetry but that it is rarely used in novels and short stories.

Part 3 comprises six chapters that deal with various topics regarding the position of Haitian Creole in education. Uli Locher gives an overview of the most important issues in primary education since the great school reform of 1982. The central points in his chapter are the relation between socioeconomic status and school attendance, gender and school attendance, and the issue of over-aged children. In his chapter ‘Creole and Education in Haiti’, Yves Dejean discusses reasons for the widespread failure of general education in Haiti and also addresses the question of what Creole should be called (Creole or Haitian). Following these chapters is a case study on the use of Creole in education in Haiti presented by Jocelyne Trouillot-Lévy.

Carole M. Berotte Joseph then deals with Haitians in the United States. After providing an overview of their arrival and settlement, the author focuses mainly on Haitians in New York but also includes other parts of the United States. In the next chapter, Serge Madhere deals with the many challenges faced by educators in Haiti and focuses particularly on ways to improve literacy. The section on education concludes with ‘Orality, Literacy, and Technology’ by Jean Plaisir . The author’s basic hypothesis is that in the Information Age the study of folklore can arouse scholarly interest while also providing valuable insights on how information has been traditionally shared and stored.

Overall, this book provides a valuable introduction to Haitian Creole and is strongly recommended to anyone interested in the Caribbean and its creoles, as well as in creoles in general.

The L1 in L2 learning

The L1 in L2 learning—Teachers’ beliefs and practices. By Yanan Song and Stephen Andrews. (LINCOM studies in language acquisition 24.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2009. Pp. 227. ISBN 9783895865787. $111 (Hb).

Reviewed by Theresa McGarry, East Tennessee State University

Yanan Song and Stephen Andrews address the topic of teachers’ use of the first language (L1) in the classroom by describing a case study of four tertiary-level teachers in China who share an L1 with their students. The authors’ stated aims are to ‘examine the use of the L1 in L2 teaching and learning from the perspective of the practitioner rather than the theorist, and to investigate the beliefs about L1 use that are associated with teachers’ practices’. They use questionnaires, interviews, observation, and stimulated recall to investigate teachers’ attitudes toward L1 use in teaching, their actual use in observed classes, and their perceptions of what influences their own beliefs and behaviors. Reports on student reactions to their teachers’ use of L1 based on interviews with some of each teacher’s students help round out the study.

The introductory chapter makes a case for the importance of language teachers’ beliefs in general, addressing the nature of their beliefs, their relation to teaching context, and the need for a better understanding of language-teacher cognition, particularly with regard to the role of the medium of instruction. The authors then describe the setting of the study and the instructors selected, whom they consider to be representative of teachers of English in China in that they are non-native speakers, and the series of research procedures in which they gather data over longer than one year. The second chapter theoretically situates the issue of teachers’ L1 use by summarizing views of and evidence for negative and positive influence of the L1 on L2 learning, the L1’s role in prevalent teaching approaches, relevant characteristics of methodology in China, theoretical conceptions of the relationship between mental representations of L1 and L2, and what is currently known about code-switching in classrooms.

The following four chapters each present the findings regarding one teacher’s attitudes and behavior and how they relate to specific aspects of that teacher’s situation. The final chapter summarizes the comparison among the teachers, addressing variance in the amounts of L1 used for specific purposes, views on its usefulness, amounts of influence on its use from various situational factors, and amounts of interest in the issue as well as important commonalities such as holding experience-based rather than theory-based views. The main implications offered are the needs for teacher education to raise teachers’ awareness of the issue and to emphasize teachers’ reflections on their own relevant behaviors.

The authors see their study as potentially useful in stimulating teachers’ thinking in this area and in contributing to a better theoretical understanding of teacher perception and cognition regarding the medium of instruction. Because of their success in connecting these teachers’ classroom objectives, conceptions of the relationship between L1 and L2, perceptions of and responses to situational factors such as time pressure and proficiency levels, and stated beliefs with their classroom practices, the book does make these two important contributions. It would have been helpful if their methodology had been described more completely. For example, they include their questionnaire in an appendix, but there is no evident indication of how the questions were derived; similarly, they interviewed teachers several times, but there is no evident description of the interview procedure. A more minor problem is also that, although the text is generally easy to read, it at times feels repetitive. However, the strengths far outweigh these considerations. The diversity of the methodology yields a full and interesting picture of the four teachers, explicitly connected to theories and to issues such as the monolingual principle and learning strategies. The importance of the topic and the contribution to its better understanding are clear and convincing.

The Trobriand Islanders' ways of speaking

The Trobriand Islanders’ ways of speaking. By Gunter Senft. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010. Pp. 327. ISBN 9783110227987. $195 (Hb).

Reviewed by David Elton Gay, Bloomington, IN

This book aims to present an anthology of Trobriand Islands narratives organized according to native Trobriand classifications. Gunter Senft builds here, as he himself notes, on a suggestion by Bronislaw Malinowski that the ‘goal [of the ethnographer] is…to grasp the native’s point of view…’ (ix).

S uses the first chapter to examine genre as a concept and places his own work within the ‘ethnography of speaking’ paradigm, and in the second chapter he considers the way that the Trobrianders classify narratives. The following chapter defines what S calls ‘the two “paramount” varieties’ of Trobriand narrative: ‘biga bwena’, ‘good speech’, and ‘biga gaga’, ‘bad speech’, which ‘refers primarily to swear words, obscene speech, and the verbal breaking of taboos’ (17). Most of the chapter is given over to a description of the latter category of speech.

Each chapter that follows is concerned with a specific Trobriand genre. The fourth chapter looks at songs that are associated with the dead and with the harvest; the fifth chapter describes Trobriand magical speech and formulae; and the sixth gives examples of Christian texts and church songs. The seventh chapter addresses greeting and parting formulae, and the eighth offers examples of ‘heavy speech/true speech’, which is the form of speech used for litigation and for narrating myths. In the ninth chapter S provides examples of ‘joking or lying speech’, and in the tenth he gives examples of forms of speech the Trobrianders do not clearly classify in a specific speech genre, which are used to tell stories, make personal speeches or admonish people, or make requests of people. The eleventh and final chapter offers some further remarks about the Trobriand typology of speech forms. Several appendices supplement the material in the chapters. The first is a list of Trobriand terms for speech genres, the second offers ‘an illustrative example of mother-child interaction’, and the third contains a brief outline of Kilivila grammar.

The texts are given with interlinear translations and in most cases with the Kilivila parsed. S sometimes provides summaries of stories or other speech forms following the transcription/interlinear translation, though these are not always necessary. Occasionally, supplementary information is lacking where a reader may need it: for example, S often notes that a text uses archaic forms, but he does not discuss what those forms are or what their meaning is in the context of Trobriand speech. The analysis and classification is thus, at times, in need of expansion.

Despite its minor problems, S’s book is a good beginning towards an anthology intent on describing Trobriand speech genres from an indigenous perspective.

Crimean Tatar

Crimean Tatar. By Darya Kavitskaya. (Languages of the world/materials 477). Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2010. Pp. v, 129. ISBN 9783895866906. $82.82.

Reviewed by Mikael Thompson, Bloomington, IN

Drawing on the author’s fieldwork, this book is the first full description in English of Crimean Tatar, a Kipchak Turkic language spoken primarily in Crimea and Uzbekistan. In 1944 Crimean Tatar speakers were forcibly removed from Crimea to several locations in Central Asia and Russia and only allowed to return in the 1990s; Kavitskaya devotes space to the sociolinguistic situation of the three contemporary dialects, which have been influenced by Russian and by other Turkic languages, primarily Uzbek.

The book is organized in the usual fashion, beginning with phonology (4–33, including sections on orthography and phonetics). Lengthy sections on morphology (33–84) and syntax (84–117) are followed by a short discussion of the lexicon primarily devoted to the sources of loanwords in the three dialects (117–19). Three texts (one in each of the dialects, 120–26) and a bibliography (127–29) round out the book. Examples are presented for all points of discussion with full glosses and translations.

On the whole, Crimean Tatar is a typical Turkic language. Like most other Turkic languages, Crimean Tatar has palatal vowel harmony with associated consonantal allophony (whose consistency is obscured somewhat by loanwords), and it has also developed rounding harmony. Notably, however, rounding harmony is restricted to the first two syllables of the word in the central and northern dialects, though preserved in the southern dialect (25–27). Also worthy of note is the development of palatalized consonants that appear to be marginally contrastive with their non-palatalized counterparts in the central and northern dialects, through secondary split caused by the backing of front rounded vowels in some words (14–17). Crimean Tatar morphology and syntax will hold few surprises for a reader who is already familiar with a Turkic language, and K’s exposition is clear and detailed.

There are some lapses on the editorial side. Most significantly, the text refers (3) to a map of the region where Crimean Tatar is spoken that is in fact omitted from the book. Also, two references cited in the text are missing from the bibliography, and conversely a number of works listed in the bibliography do not appear to be cited. There are occasional misspellings, of which inconsistent transcriptions of authors’ names in the bibliography and the text are the most important. However, the data fit in with this reviewer’s experience of other Turkic languages and no obvious errors were found. This book is recommended for all Turkologists and interested linguists.

Turbulent sounds

Turbulent sounds: An interdisciplinary guide. Ed. by Susanne Fuchs, Martine Toda, and Marzena Żygis. (Interface explorations 21.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2010. Pp. xii, 384. ISBN 9783110226577. $150 (Hb).

Reviewed by Mikael Thompson, Bloomington, IN

This book presents ten articles on the phonological consequences of phonetic features of obstruents. Obstruents are characterized by turbulent sound, which makes their acoustic description difficult: the random noise produced by turbulence makes it hard to find invariant spectral features compared to speech sounds produced by laminar air flow.

Three articles treat obstruents crosslinguistically. ‘An overview of the phonology of obstruents’ (1–36) by T.A. Hall and Marzena Żygis discusses the distinctive features used to characterize obstruents versus sonorants and provides a survey of phonological processes affecting obstruents. John J. Ohala and Maria-Josep Solé’s ‘Turbulence and phonology’ (37–101) argues that aerodynamic constraints on obstruents explain many common sound changes and typological patterns involving obstruents. ‘Formant-cavity affiliation in sibilant fricatives’ (343–74) by Martine Toda, Shinji Maeda, and Kiyoshi Honda analyzes the acoustics of sibilants theoretically and compares this with instrumental and MRI studies of Polish sibilants.

Five articles discuss obstruents in specific languages. ‘A phonetic approach to the phonology of v: A case study from Hungarian and Slovak’ (103–42) by Zsuzsanna Bárkányi and Zoltán Kiss presents a production study of the realization of /v/ in various environments in Hungarian and Slovak that confirms predictions from aerodynamic constraints on voiced fricatives. Hyunsoon Kim, Shinji Maeda, Kiyoshi Honda, and Stephane Haas’s ‘The laryngeal characterization of Korean fricatives: Acoustic and aerodynamic data’ (143–66) complements a recent article by the first three authors on a stroboscopic cine-MRI study of the Korean lenis and fortis dental fricatives /s/ and /s’/.

‘Preaspiration as a correlate of word-final voice in Scottish English fricatives’ (167–207) by Olga B. Gordeeva and James M. Scobbie is an instrumental study of the tendency of speakers of certain dialects of Scottish English to preaspirate voiceless fricatives using a battery of acoustic measures. Two articles, ‘Phonetic characteristics of ejectives—samples from Caucasian languages’ (209–44) by Sven Grawunder, Adrian Simpson, and Madzhid Khalilov and ‘Tongue body and tongue root shape differences in N|uu clicks correlate with phonotactic patterns’ (245–79) by Amanda L. Miller, present interesting data on unusual, less-studied speech sounds.

Finally, two articles discuss sociolinguistic and clinical aspects of obstruents. In ‘Do differences in male versus female /s/ reflect biological or sociophonetic factors?’ (281–302), Susanne Fuchs and Martine Toda conclude from a study of the pronunciation of /s/ by German and English speakers that both biological and sociolinguistic factors are involved. ‘Producing turbulent speech sounds in the context of cleft palate’ (303–41) by Fiona E. Gibbon and Alice Lee provides an overview for clinicians of speech mechanisms for obstruents in individuals with cleft palates.

This book will be of interest to phoneticians and to phonologists interested in the relation of formal analyses of speech sounds to their physical bases, and it is strongly recommended to those readers.

Handbook of pragmatics

Handbook of pragmatics: 2010 installment. Ed. by Jan-Ola Östman and Jef Verschueren. (Handbook of pragmatics 14.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2010. Pp. 520. ISBN 9789027233219. $165.

Reviewed by Kanavillil Rajagopalan, State University at Campinas, Brazil

Produced loose-leaf in a 3-ring binder to accompany the familiar bound manual (originally compiled by Verschueren, Östman, Jan Blommaert, and Chris Bulcaen in 1995), this is the 2010 installment of the Handbook of pragmatics. This work has consistently been a major source of authoritative information on ongoing research in practically all areas concerning linguistic pragmatics. The present installment presents a total of sixteen new entries. Alongside such familiar topics as ‘code switching’, ‘intensional logic’, and ‘language change’ are general topics like ‘cognitive psychology’, ‘philosophy of mind’, and ‘psycholinguistics’. Additionally, there are also interesting (and perhaps overdue) novelties such as ‘deconstruction’, ‘agency and language’, and ‘contextualism’. Entries on J. R. Firth and Ludwig Wittgenstein perhaps fall under the category of yawning gaps in the earlier installments.

The sixteen entries also vary among themselves in size and in breadth and depth of treatment. While the entry on deconstruction runs to nine pages, the chapter on psycholinguistics takes up a whopping ninety-eight pages. (Naturally, the latter reads like a book-length treatment of the topic, while the former seems only a rushed, bare-bones crib.) The entry titled ‘Agency and language’ (twenty-five pages long) introduces this important theme, distinguishing this rather slippery concept from ‘free will’ on the one hand and ‘resistance’ on the other. It also provides important food for thought for more advanced researchers, especially those who see language as a form of social practice, by goading them into academic militancy.

The entry titled ‘Language ideologies – evolving perspectives’ (running into twenty-four pages) succinctly brings out some the intricacies of this overworked and often haphazardly handled concept and underscores the importance of being attentive to its workings in the very act of thinking about language. The entry on J. R. Firth does an enormous good by highlighting the important work of this great British linguist and his impact, not only on succeeding generations of scholars but on the very area of research called ‘Pragmatics’ that, the author reminds us, ‘developed as a reaction against Chomsky’s autonomous view of language’ (20–21). On the other hand, while the entry on Ludwig Wittgenstein details the Austrian thinker’s life, it does little to bring out his relevance to contemporary concerns apart from a rapid comparison to J. L. Austin’s work on speech acts, apparently solely to draw attention to the greater relevance of Wittgenstein’s thought to linguistic anthropology and ethnolinguistics.

On the whole, however, the 2010 installment is a useful addition to the Handbook and is destined to be a publishing success.

An introduction to English phonetics

An introduction to English phonetics. By Richard Ogden. (Edinburgh textbooks on the English language.) Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009. Pp. xiv, 194. ISBN 9780748625413. $24.23.

Reviewed by Mikael Thompson, Bloomington, IN

Richard Ogden’s textbook introduces phonetics on a level appropriate to advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students using examples drawn exclusively from varieties of English. ‘It is not a complete description of any one variety; rather, my intention has been to try to provide enough of a descriptive phonetic framework so that readers can describe their own variety in reasonable detail’ (xi). While providing a thorough survey of English segmental phonetics, prosodic features are largely excluded.

After a brief introductory chapter, Ch. 2, ‘Overview of the human speech mechanism’ (7–19), introduces the anatomy of speech production, including voice production and the manner and place of articulation of consonants. Ch. 3, ‘Representing the sounds of speech’ (20–38), discusses phonetic transcription and sound spectrographs. Detailed discussion of the sounds of speech begins in Ch. 4, ‘The larynx, voicing and voice quality’ (40–55), which covers voicing, fundamental frequency, intonation, and voice quality.

The remainder of the book discusses the major classes of sounds: vowels (Ch. 5, 56–77), approximants (Ch. 6, 78–95), plosives (Ch. 7, 96–117), fricatives (Ch. 8, 118–37), nasals (Ch. 9, 138–53), and finally glottalic and velaric consonants (Ch. 10, 154–69); affricates are discussed in both Chs. 7 and 8. Following a short conclusion are a glossary and discussion of the exercises. Although the chapters are relatively short, they contain a great amount of information presented clearly and thoroughly.

This book does not cover the physics of speech production or many important details of instrumental phonetics: e.g. the ‘velar pinch’ is only briefly touched upon in a discussion of [ŋ] (143) and representative release-burst frequencies of plosives are only mentioned in a discussion of clicks (156–57). Moreover, instructors will need to correct a handful of errors: the caption to Fig. 3.6 is wrong (35), pitch contours are mislabeled in two examples (46), and a discussion of dialectal variation in the pronunciation of ‘finger’ vs. ‘singer’ is marred by transcribing [ŋg] throughout (146).

However, these are minor faults weighed against many virtues of the book. O’s discussions of degrees of broadness in transcription and the principles of the international phonetic alphabet (IPA), a detailed summary of vowel variation in five major English dialects, secondary articulations in liquids and plosives, and correlates of voicing in fricatives are especially noteworthy. The sociolinguistic discussions of particular points (e.g. certain intonation patterns, voice quality, glottalization, and ejectives) are handled well and are welcome in an introductory phonetics textbook. There are relatively few exercises, but they are well-chosen. This is a superb textbook that could be used equally well in introductory phonetics classes or classes on the varieties of English.

Interpersonal pragmatics

Interpersonal pragmatics. Ed. by Miriam A. Locher and Sage L. Graham. (Handbooks of pragmatics 6.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010. Pp. xii, 497. ISBN 9783110214321. $299 (Hb).

Reviewed by Kanavillil Rajagopalan, State University at Campinas, Brazil

This is the sixth in the nine-volume series, Handbooks of pragmatics. In their series introduction, Wolfram Bublitz, Andreas H. Jucker, and Klaus P. Schneider note that the volume is unified by an interactional perspective on pragmatics common to the contributors. Although the term pragmatics was put into circulation by semioticians like C. S. Peirce and C. Morris, it was only by the late 1960s and early 1970s that linguists ‘took note of the term and began referring to performance phenomena and, subsequently, to ideas developed and advanced by Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin and other ordinary language philosophers’ (v).

In their introduction Locher and Graham highlight divergent interests within pragmatics and some uncertainty in its core concerns. They follow Jef Verschueren, for whom pragmatics has to do with ‘[a] general functional perspective on (any aspect of) language, i.e. as an approach to language which takes into account the full complexity of its cognitive, social, and cultural (i.e. meaningful) functioning in the lives of human beings’ (1).

The body of the volume is made up of seventeen chapters divided into three parts: ‘Theoretical approaches to interpersonal pragmatics’, ‘Linguistic strategies for interpersonal effects’, and ‘Interpersonal issues in different contexts’. Part 1 in turn presents its chapters under the headings ‘Approaches to politeness and impoliteness’ (4), ‘Approaches to interpersonal interpretation drawn from communication studies and social cognitive linguistics’ (2), and ‘Identity and gender’ (2). Parts 2 and 3 comprise four and five chapters each.

Politeness is a central concern of this volume. Maria Sifianou, Richard Watts, and Deek Bousfield look at the broader questions of the foundations of the theory of politeness, definitional issues, and future directions of research in their separate contributions, while Shigeko Okamoto zeroes in on aspects of politeness in East Asia. Robert Arundale’s chapter ‘Relating’ and Andreas Langlotz’s ‘Social cognition’ make up the second section, and Anna De Fina’s ‘The negotiation of identities’ and Louise Mullany’s ‘Gender and interpersonal pragmatics’ constitute the third.

The four chapters of Part 2 are ‘Mitigation’, ‘Respect and deference’, ‘Swearing’, and ‘Humour’. Finally, Part 3 is comprised of five chapters dealing with interpersonal issues in the workplace, courts of law, medical settings, political discourse, and dating advertisements.

The volume offers the reader a broad spectrum of work by scholars currently working in interpersonal pragmatics. But the authors also provide an in-depth treatment of the topics sure to stimulate further research.

Languages in the integrating world

Languages in the integrating world. Ed. by Marie Krčmová. (LINCOM studies in communication 5.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2010. Pp. vi, 278. ISBN 9783862902002. $176.82 (Hb).

Reviewed by Kanavillil Rajagopalan, State University at Campinas, Brazil

There is much more than straightforward lexical borrowing taking place in languages across the world as a result of ongoing interlingual and intercultural contact. One also witnesses ‘tendencies in construction of texts inspired by a process of creating a larger communicative sphere than is one language and culture’ (v). Curiously though, writes Krčmová, integration and disintegration are but two sides of the same coin. Even with clear tendencies to homogenization, one should not ignore the equally clear signs of a yearning for self-affirmation.

However, the title promises a good deal more than the book actually delivers. Most of the articles deal with the linguistic reality of Europe, with a heavy emphasis on Eastern Europe. The aim of ‘integrating the world’ is too grand for a book that passes over in silence the continents of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. This may be due to the fact that the present volume is an updated version of a Czech volume published in Prague shortly before. The editor notes that for the revised edition ‘other co-authors [were invited], not only from the Czech Republic, but from Slovakia, Germany, England, Italy and Spain’ (vi).

The articles that make up this volume appear in two sections of unequal sizes. The first, ‘Languages and their fates’, consists of six articles, the second, ‘Integration in language and communication’, twice that. The articles in the first section present some interesting case studies, like that of integration and disintegration in a Brno sociolect, the problems faced by minority languages such as Sorbs/Wends in Germany, and the Friulian language in Italy, as well as challenges to identity encountered by Bulgarian Pomaks and Galician speakers in Spain.

The articles of the second section predominantly take a broad-brush view of such topics as intralanguage and interlanguage integration, integration from the perspective of areal linguistics, stylistic analysis of film reviews, aspects of integration in languages and linguistic concepts, matchmaking advertisements and societal values, and the history of language contact over the past millennium. But there are also a few articles that take an in-depth look at e.g. discourse markers in Czech and English, differences in tobacco product health warnings between the two languages, and contacts between Slavic and Arab cultures.

On the whole, the articles are of a high standard and contain impressive insights, which in a sense makes up for the exaggerated claim in the title of the volume. There are important lessons to be learned from each of the case studies as well as the broad brush overviews, which, as the readers will verify for themselves, have significant similarities to linguistic realities elsewhere in the world.