Monthly Archives: June 2013

Roots of Afrikaans: Selected writings of Hans den Besten

Roots of Afrikaans: Selected writings of Hans den Besten. Ed. by Ton van der Wouden. (Creole language library 44.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pp. vii, 458. ISBN 9789027252678. $158 (Hb).

Reviewed by David Elton Gay, Bloomington, IN

The late Hans den Besten was one of the most important historical linguists working on the problems of the genesis of Afrikaans. Roots of Afrikaans presents seventeen of his articles on Afrikaans, together with articles in appreciation of his work by Ana Deumert, Paul T. Roberge, and John Holm.

The editor, Ton van der Wouden, has structured the book into three parts. In the first part ‘[t]he structure of Afrikaans as such is the focus’ (4). The articles in this section include studies of the Afrikaans pre-nominal possessive system, the function of the word wat in Afrikaans possessive relatives and in comparison to West Germanic relativization systems, and demonstratives in Afrikaans and Cape Dutch Pidgin.

Part 2 focuses on the origins of Afrikaans. This section begins with the article ‘The Dutch Pidgins of the Old Cape colony’, which has been translated from the Dutch for this book. The following articles include studies of the morphosyntax of Cape Dutch Pidgin, relexification and the origin of Cape Dutch Pidgin, and Khoekhoe syntax and its influence on the development of Afrikaans. The section ends with two studies of the languages of enslaved Asians on the Cape.

Part 3 offers two programmatic articles. In the first of these, ‘A badly harvested field’, den Besten looks at the earliest linguistic research done on Afrikaans and its origins; in the second, ‘Desiderata for Afrikaans historical linguistics’, he proposes a series of problems that need further research. Although den Besten was a generativist, as Roberge notes, he mostly ‘embraced a heavily substratist approach’ in his studies of Afrikaans (396).

The book concludes with three articles in appreciation of den Besten’s work. The first of these, ‘Giving voice: The archive in Afrikaans historical linguistics’, by Deumert, discusses the problems associated with the early sources for the history of Afrikaans. The second, ‘Afrikaans: “Might it be a little more ‘South Africa’?”’, by Roberge, is a critical examination and appreciation of den Besten’s research on Afrikaans historical linguistics and its reception among scholars of Afrikaans. In the third article, Holm’s ‘Partial restructuring: Dutch on the Cape and Portuguese in Brazil’ offers an examination of ‘some of the most salient features on Afrikaans…[and] the corresponding features of vernacular Portuguese to identify syntactic features that are characteristic of partially reconstructed varieties’ of languages (400).

The book includes a bibliography of den Besten’s articles on Afrikaans. Though, as Roberge notes, den Besten’s work has some problems, for instance, that ‘den Besten’s stipulation that a stable Cape Dutch Pidgin (Creole) came into being between 1658 and 1713 has not been confirmed empirically’ (394). There can be no doubt that den Besten was one of the foremost scholars of the history and structure of Afrikaans. His work widened the study of the history of Afrikaans to more fully acknowledge the influence of other languages spoken on the Cape—including African languages, Cape Dutch Pidgin, and other creoles—in the genesis of Afrikaans. This book is an excellent collection of den Besten’s writings.

Language, society and identity in early Iceland

Language, society and identity in early Iceland. By Stephen Pax Leonard. (Publications of the philological society 45.) Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Pp. ix, 188. ISBN 9781118294963. $39.95.

Reviewed by B. A. Thurber, Shimer College

Stephen Pax Leonard sets out to explain how the people who settled Iceland came to speak a unified dialect despite their varied points of origin. The people who settled Iceland in the eighth and ninth centuries came from different parts of Norway and the British Isles, and, therefore, would have spoken different dialects on arrival. Although they were scattered around the perimeter of Iceland, the settlers developed a unified language instead of many local dialects. L examines the social factors that led to this development, focusing on how a common language was important for an Icelandic identity.

The book consists of six chapters, including an introduction and brief conclusion, a list of references, and an index. The introduction (1–23) provides a framework for the book. It includes L’s goals and historical background on the settlement of Iceland. About half the chapter is comprised of a description of the primary sources used. These sources are varied, including historical and religious texts, as well as literature, but the main focus is on legal texts. In Ch. 2, ‘Language and identity: Theoretical considerations’ (24–53), L describes a number of sociolinguistic theories and how they can or cannot be applied to the situation in early Iceland. He emphasizes how Iceland’s isolated situation and its settlement patterns influenced the development of its language.

Ch. 3, ‘Norm-establishment in Iceland’ (54–90), begins with background on the settlers. L describes where they are from and the evidence for dialectal variation in those areas. He then explains how Iceland’s language became homogeneous, including a discussion of the roles of legal texts, the sagas, and skaldic poetry. Ch. 4, ‘Social structures in the lexicon’ (91–115), covers social structures, including the Althing and the role of the law in Icelandic society and how they helped the Icelanders develop their identity on both social and individual levels.

In Ch. 5, ‘Perception and use of language as an identity marker’ (116–43), L examines ways in which the Icelanders considered their language an identity marker. He describes the ways in which Icelanders differentiated themselves from others linguistically, by way of references to foreign languages and the use of pronouns. The chapter ends with a discussion of the grammar of spatial orientation and how it reflects Icelandic identity. L finishes the book with a brief conclusion (144–46), summarizing the results of the study. This is followed by a list of references (147–83) and an index (184–88).

The book should be of interest to anyone studying early Iceland, especially sociohistorical linguists, who will see it as an example of how a common dialect formed under unusual circumstances.

The art of dialectic between dialogue and rhetoric: The Aristotelian tradition

The art of dialectic between dialogue and rhetoric: The Aristotelian tradition. By Marta Spranzi. (Controversies 9.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2011. Pp. xii, 239. ISBN 9789027218896. $158 (Hb).

Reviewed by David Pruett, Austin Community College

Marta Spranzi’s book aims to trace ideas about ‘dialectic’ through several centuries’ worth of philosophical and scholarly texts, from Zeno of Elea, Socratic dissoi logoi, Plato’s Republic, and Aristotle’s Topics, through Cicero and Boethius, to Renaissance philosophers Rudolph Agricola and Agostino Nifo. Dialectic is defined by Aristotle in the Topics as a ‘method by which we shall be able to reason deductively from reputable opinions’ without ‘saying anything self-contradictory’ (14). S argues that Aristotle’s Topics ‘contains the germs’ for two kinds of dialectic (1). The first, disputational, entails a rule-governed question-and-answer debate between two interlocutors. The second, aporetic, is an evaluation of equally persuasive opposing opinions, in order to resolve difficulties; this kind of dialectic may be practiced by an individual.

After tracing the threads of theories about dialectic through ancient and medieval texts, S arrives at the Renaissance, a time when Aristotelian dialectic became an important contributor to evolving epistemologies. S describes the unique maturing of the two kinds of dialectic: disputational as developed by Nifo, and aporetic by Agricola. Then, introducing Renaissance literary theories of Carlo Sigonio, Torquato Tasso, and Sperone Speroni, S discusses the inventive function of disputational dialectic by authors writing inquisitive dialogues. Finally, S links dialectic to rhetorical ‘invention’, particularly when it comes to sorting through opposing, and reputable, opinions.

In Ch. 1 (11–38), S discusses the earliest uses and definitions of the term ‘dialectic’, resting on Aristotle’s Topics and sophistical refutations. Ch. 2 (39–57) surveys essential developments of the idea of dialectic in the Latin tradition, as carried forward by Cicero, Boethius, and the Scholastic philosophers. Ch. 3 (59–63) briefly highlights renewed interest in dialectic in the first half of the sixteenth century. In Ch. 4 (65–98), this renewed interest is seen to produce the ‘new dialectic’ movement, culminating in Agricola’s De inventione dialectica, which first theorized the relation between dialectic and rhetoric and sparked a resurgence of interest in Aristotle’s treatises.

Ch. 5 (99–132) expands on the renewed interest in Aristotle’s treatises, focusing on how the texts were translated and interpreted, especially in light of new translations into Latin of commentaries by Alexander of Aphrodisias and Averroes. In Ch. 6 (133–60), S discusses Renaissance theories of literary dialogue, especially those of Sigonio, Speroni, and Tasso, which argue that Aristotelian disputational dialectic is ‘the art of all dialogical reasoning’ that supports literary dialogues (134). Ch. 7 (161–72) jumps to the twentieth century to show the presence of dialectic in contemporary argumentation theories of Stephen Toulmin, Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Frans van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst, and Douglas Walton.

By limiting her analysis to a small set of writers and texts, S effectively illuminates the ways philosophers and scholars use and re-envision the concept of dialectic as it re-appears in the history of ideas down through the centuries.

Éléments de grammaire mongole (dialecte Ordoss)

Éléments de grammaire mongole (dialecte Ordoss). By M. G. Soulié. (LINCOM gramatica 131.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2012. Pp. vii, 87. ISBN 9783862885084. $51.

 Reviewed by Mikael Thompson, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Ordos is the dialect of Mongolian spoken in the Ordos Loop of the Yellow River (containing parts of Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, and Gansu). This book, published in 1903, was the first major study of Ordos. A young French translator of Chinese in Beijing, Georges Soulié, who later produced several works in Chinese studies (including the first major Western study of Chinese acupuncture), studied Ordos under the direction of Monsignor Alfons Bermijn, after most of the language materials collected by his mission had been destroyed in the Boxer Rebellion (iii–vi). Ironically, however, the institutions that allowed him to produce this book eventually rendered it obsolete. The ablest Western Mongolist of the twentieth century, Father Antoine Mostaert, began his work in Ordos three years later, and his publications are the starting point for any study of Ordos.

This book was written after several months of study of written Mongolian, with Ordos pronunciations given by a non-native speaker, and is prey to all of the possibilities of error that this would suggest. In the chapter on pronunciation and orthography (9–18), the written forms are given along with a French-based transcription of the pronunciation; some pronunciations given are literary readings, not Ordos forms. Now, written Mongolian has a highly ambiguous script, and Ordos has undergone extensive sound change that the orthography does not always conceal, and S’s far too brief treatment is marred by extensive errors: ambiguities in written Mongolian show up in the pronunciation (e.g. gem ‘flaw’ and kem ‘limit’, spelled identically in written Mongolian but misspelled here as ‹gim›, are both given as gem), and the written forms are poorly edited and often crudely misspelled (e.g. *‹čiil› for ‹jil› ‘year’, *‹sibke› ‘dung’ for ‹sibege› ‘rampart’); worse, in several examples the pronunciation of a misspelled written form has been given in place of the actual Ordos (e.g. *ölčii for ölǰii ‘good fortune’). The book’s failings are symbolized by one pair of words meant to show how velar letters are used to distinguish the vowel harmony of words: ǰarlig ‘decree’ and ǰerlig ‘wild’ are identically misspelled as ‹yrliγ› with the back-vowel velar (13).

The grammatical sections are paradigm-based and discuss irrelevant European categories like gender at too great a length. The facts of vowel harmony are included implicitly but not properly emphasized; the discussion of the verb is a resume of the French verb with the corresponding Ordos forms inserted, without the benefits of a treatment based on Ordos agglutinative morphology. However, the forms given do appear to be accurate enough.

This book cannot be recommended to anyone besides Mongolists interested in the history of their field. Sadly, despite S’s admirable enthusiasm for his task and his deserved fame as a pioneering translator of Chinese and Japanese classics, this book is riddled with inaccuracies and should not have been reprinted.

Expecting the unexpected: Exceptions in grammar

Expecting the unexpected: Exceptions in grammar. Ed. by Horst J. Simon and Heike Wiese. (Trends in linguistics: Studies and monographs 216.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2011. Pp. vii, 450. ISBN 9783110219081. $140 (Hb).

 Reviewed by Natalie Operstein, California State University, Fullerton

This book takes a systematic look at one of the most thorny problems in linguistics—that of exceptions to observed structural regularities. The book contains both invited papers and contributions to a 2005 workshop on exceptions in grammars from the 27th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Linguistics. Divided into four parts, it consists of a preface, two introductory chapters, and ten thematic chapters, which are supplemented by an invited critical commentary and, in all cases but one, a response from the original author(s).

In the first introductory chapter, Horst J. Simon and Heike Wiese discuss the relationship between exceptions and rules, existing approaches to dealing with exceptions, the historical development and disappearance of exceptions, and the role of exceptions in linguistic theory. The second introductory chapter, by Edith Moravcsik, identifies general approaches to the problem of exceptions, drawing examples from syntax.

Part 1 opens with an article by Barış Kabak and Irene Vogel, who examine exceptions to vowel harmony and stress assignment in Turkish and propose lexical pre-specification of the exceptional forms as an alternative to previous analyses. Greville G. Corbett looks at the interaction of exceptional phenomena in the area of inflectional morphology, and Damaris Nübling examines irregularities in the diachronic development of the Germanic verbs have, become, give, take, come, and say.

Part 2 opens with an article by Thomas Wasow, T. Florian Jaeger, and David Orr, who use a quantitative approach to correlate both exceptionally high and exceptionally low uses of relativizers in certain relative clauses in English with the lexical choices of determiner, noun, and adjective in the head NP. Jóhannes Gísli Jónsson and Thórhallur Eythórsson use the diachronic development of case selection in Icelandic and Faroese to argue for a dichotomy between two kinds of exceptions: those that are semantically related and partially productive, and those that are semantically unrelated and cannot be extended to new lexical items.

Part 3 opens with an article by Frederick J. Newmeyer, who argues that exceptions to typological generalizations in syntax are best handled by extra-syntactic approaches. Sam Featherston uses selected syntactic phenomena from German and English to argue that many perceived exceptions turn out to be systematic and rule-governed. Ralf Vogel argues that, on the basis of variation in speaker acceptability of certain free relative constructions in German, a distinction needs to be made between exceptions and systematic variation in speech communities. Frederik Fouvry presents a computational linguistics view of ‘extra-grammaticalities’, proposing a method for dealing with exceptional structures.

The main article in Part 4 is by Michael Cysouw, who uses the World atlas of language structures to explore the global distribution of rare traits in the world languages.

This book provides an interesting overview of exceptionality in grammars. A useful feature of some of the articles entails discussions of existing approaches to exceptionality and a healthy critique of idealizations current in linguistic work. Although the selection of the articles is heavily tilted towards syntax, the book as a whole may be of interest to a wider range of linguists interested in exceptionality.

Cognitive pragmatics

Cognitive pragmatics. Ed. by Hans-Jörg Schmid. (Handbooks of pragmatics 4.) Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2012. Pp. xii, 648. ISBN 9783110214208. $279 (Hb).

 Reviewed by Zhen-qiang Fan, Zhejiang Gongshang University

This book contains twenty-one peer-reviewed articles dealing with a wide variety of topics and research paradigms in cognitive pragmatics (CP). The aim of the collection is to ‘identify the general cognitive-pragmatic principles and processes that underline and determine the construal of meaning in context’ (4). The book is organized into five sections, the first of which presents the editor’s introduction, analyzing the ingredients of CP, and also contextualizing and setting the scene for the articles that follow.

Adopting an off-line perspective, Part 2 is concerned with entrenched cognitive routines of pragmatic interpretation, containing topics of relevance (Yan Huang), implicature, and explicature (Robyn Carston and Alison Hall), inferencing (Murray Singer and R. Brooke Lea), conceptual principles (Małgorzata Fabiszak), salience (John Taylor), and encyclopedic knowledge (Istvan Kecskes). From an online perspective, Part 3 addresses issues that pertain to the processing of pragmatic information (Ted J. M. Sanders and Anneloes Canestrelli), the role of salient meanings (Rachel Giora), the acquisition of pragmatic ability (Daniela O’Neill), pragmatics disorders (Louise Cummings), autism (Anne Reboul, Sabine Manificat, and Nadège Foudon), and aphasia (Suzanne Beeke).

Part 4 explores the cognitive processes involved in the interpretation of non-explicit and non-literal meaning-in-context, respectively. The former addresses issues such as shared knowledge and meaning negotiation (William S. Horton), and conversational and conventional implicatures (Jacques Moeschler); the latter touches upon figurative language in discourse (Alice Deignan), and humor and irony (Geert Brône). Part 5 discusses how the cognitive-pragmatic processes are entrenched and conventionalized, in addition to the ways they contribute to the emergence of grammar. Of the four contributions included, some are more theoretical (e.g. Peter Harder’s explication of a usage-based model of grammar), while others adopts a diachronic perspective (e.g. the explanation of grammaticalization, lexicalization, and constructionalization by Graeme Trousdale). Still others broaden the scope by adding a social dimension (e.g. the socio-pragmatics of language change by Terttu Nevalainen), and others offer a semantic analysis of pragmatic expression (e.g. Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen’s contribution).

This is a high-quality book that deserves the attention of any scholar interested in the cognitive aspects of meaning-in-context. Each contribution in this book is of very high scientific quality, both in content and in form. The CP research in this book enjoys more empirical evidence than philosophy-rooted pragmatics, has wider theoretical scope than psycholinguistics, and pays greater attention to online processing than cognitive linguistics. The book not only raises a wide range of new questions but also points to a variety of directions in which to explore these issues, and also exemplifies an equally wide range of methodologies (e.g. theoretical, experimental, and corpus-based studies).

As usual with a book collection, the contributions might seem quite heterogeneous at first blush, but many of them complement each other nicely, either because they present further empirical evidence for a theoretical claim (e.g. Horton’s paper provides psycholinguistic evidence for other contributions on inference and encyclopedic knowledge, especially Carston and Hall’s and Kecskes’s), or because they discuss different aspects of the same question (e.g. the issue of semantics-pragmatics continuum is approached from the perspectives of pragmatics in Carston and Hall, psycholinguistics in Giora, and usage-based cognitive semantics in Taylor).

The handbook of historical sociolinguistics

The handbook of historical sociolinguistics. Ed. by Juan Manuel Hernández-Campoy and Juan Camilo Conde-Silvestre. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. Pp. 674. ISBN 9781405190688. $199.95 (Hb).

 Reviewed by David Elton Gay, Bloomington, IN

As the jacket copy suggests, The handbook of historical sociolinguistics offers ‘an up-to-date, in-depth representation of the extent to which sociolinguistic theoretical models, methods, findings, and expertise can be applied to the process of reconstructing a language’s past in order to account for diachronic linguistic changes and processes’.

The thirty-five articles in the book are arranged into five broad subject areas. The articles in Part 1, ‘Origins and theoretical assumptions’, examine broad issues in historical sociolinguistics, such as the emergence of diachrony and synchrony as categories for research, the origins and methods of historical sociolinguistics, and the relationship between social history and the sociology of language.

The articles in Part 2, ‘Methods for the sociolinguistic study of the history of languages methodological issues’, turn to more specific methodological concerns, with articles on topics such as the generalizability principle, the uniformitarian principle, the use of linguistic corpora for studying linguistic variation and change, the editing of medieval manuscripts in their social context, and the use of various kinds of documents (e.g. medical, official, and monastic documents, private letters and diaries, literary sources, and early advertising and newspapers) in sociohistorical linguistic research.

Part 3, ‘Linguistic and socio-demographic variables’, then turns to the role of orthographic, phonological, grammatical, lexical-semantic, and pragmatic variables in sociohistorical linguistics. Issues of class, age, and gender in historical sociolinguistic research are also examined in this section, as are the roles of social networks, social mobility, race, ethnicity, religion, and castes in research.

Part 4, ‘Historical dialectology, language contact, change and diffusion’, offers a series of articles on a broad range of topics, including functional and non-functional explanations for language variation and change, internally and externally motivated language change, lexical diffusion, the role of space in reconstructing regional dialects, and the role of linguistic atlases in research.

Part 5, ‘Attitudes to language’, concludes the book with articles on language ideologies, language myths, linguistic purism, reconstructing prestige language, and reconstructing written vernaculars in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

This book is a wide-ranging and useful anthology of articles on historical sociolinguistics. As is common in books of this type, the articles vary somewhat in the level of linguistic sophistication they assume; some are introductory, while others assume a more advanced knowledge of linguistics. On the whole, however, they are accessibly written, each with a list of suggested readings, and give the reader a good, if brief, orientation to the various topics and guidance for further reading on the topics. The handbook of historical sociolinguistics would, in fact, be a good place for someone unfamiliar with historical sociolinguistics to turn for an introduction to this branch of linguistics, or for a more experienced person to find guidance concerning the current state of the field.

New frontiers in human-robot interaction

New frontiers in human-robot interaction. Ed. by Kerstin Dautenhahn and Joe Saunders. (Advances in interaction studies 2.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins , 2011. Pp. vi, 332. ISBN 9789027204554. $149 (Hb).

Reviewed by Remi van Trijp, Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris

One of the most unfortunate facts about the field of linguistics is that the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics has been erased from the field’s collective memory, even though many ideas in contemporary linguistics were directly inspired by the work of AI researchers such as Ron Kaplan, Roger Schank, Eric Wanner, Terry Winograd, and William Woods.

This book is a good place to start for making amends. In the introductory chapter, the editors explain the major challenges of human-robot interaction (HRI). Not only does HRI require an ‘embodied agent’ that can perceive and act intelligently in a real-world environment, the field also needs to understand how communication with and learning from an often unpredictable human interlocutor is possible. Linguists will thus find operational solutions to hard problems, such as how to achieve joint attention and how to make use of contextual information for communication.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part, ‘The human in the loop’, focuses on how HRI is possible in everyday situations with non-expert human ‘users’. Apart from their technical significance, these chapters also provide important insights to linguists interested in dialogue. For instance, Ch. 1 ‘Helping robots imitate’, by Aris Alissandrakis, Dag S. Syrdal, and Yoshihiro Miyake, shows the importance of appropriate feedback to achieve more natural communication. Manja Lohse’s chapter, ‘The role of expectations and situations in human-robot interaction’, demonstrates how successful communication requires the capacity to predict the behavior of the other interlocutor. The remaining chapters touch upon subjects such as the human interlocutor’s attitudes and sociality.

The second part of the book, ‘Joint action, collaboration and communication’, handles social learning, collaborative activities, and language acquisition, and is most relevant for linguists working from a constructivist perspective. The most notable chapter is Ch. 10 ‘The acquisition of word semantics by a humanoid robot via interaction with a human tutor’, in which Joe Saunders, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, and Caroline Lyon show that the linguistic behavior of human tutors resembles child-directed speech, and that a robot can use the tutor’s input to acquire words for referring to objects in its environment.

The final part, ‘Robots in therapy, safety and communication’, discusses how robots open up exciting new possibilities in a.o. healthcare and is, therefore, of interest to linguists who are seeking new ways to investigate and treat speech and language impairments. In Ch. 14 ‘Rehabilitation robots’, Farshid Amirabdollahian surveys how robots can be employed for the rehabilitation of humans who suffer from brain injury or spinal cord injuries. Similar work has been performed by one of the book’s editors, Kerstin Dautenhahn, on using robots as a tool for education and therapy for children with autism, which is sadly missing from the current book.

In sum, this book does not contain much of what one might classify as ‘traditional linguistics’, but it offers a wealth of fully operational studies and methods that may push the state-of-the-art in linguistics. The contributions never become too technical and should appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience.

Functional heads: The cartography of syntactic structures

Functional heads: The cartography of syntactic structures. Vol. 7. Ed. by Laura Brugé, Anna Cardinaletti, Giuliana Giusti, Nicola Munaro, and Cecilia Poletto Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. 432. ISBN 9780199746736. $49.95.

 Reviewed by Dimitrios Ntelitheos, United Arab Emirates University

This book is a collection of articles providing a broad picture of the consequences of the cartographic approach to the general theory of syntax. After a brief introduction by the editors, the first section starts with a study of the German interrogative marker den by Josef Bayer. Paola Bennincà discusses wh-pronouns in headless relative clauses in Italo-Romance and early English varieties, while Alessandra Giorgi proposes a novel theory of indexicality. Günther Grewendorf presents an analysis of wh-movement as topic movement.

In the following chapter, Jacqueline Guèron and Liliane Haegeman discuss the distribution and interpretation of the neuter pronoun tet in West Flemish. Elizabeth Pearce studies the presence of a number projection within the DP in three Southern Oceanic languages, and Gemma Rigau describes the properties of the Catalan particle pla. Giampaolo Salvi studies the nature of the V2 system in Medieval Romance, and Maria Luisa Zubizarreta closes the first section with a discussion of the domain between T and negation in Romance.

The second section begins with an application of the smuggling approach to the movement of verbal strings in the low clausal functional field, by Adriana Belleti, and Luigi Rizzi. Ignacio Bosque and M. Carme Picallo argue that the clitic-like element preceding a numeral in partitive constructions in Old Catalan is not a determiner but a pronoun, followed by Richard S. Kayne and Jean-Yves Pollock’s exploration of hyper-complex inversion in French. Hilda Koopman treats Samoan ergatives as derived through a double-passivization process, while Jaklin Kornfilt discusses suspended affixation in nominal and verbal coordination in Turkish. Christer Platzack argues that the lack of backward binding in V2 languages is due to the lack of a SubjP projection because of the V2 condition.

Andrew Radford and Michèle Vincent discuss the feature composition of participal light verbs in French, containing the auxiliary avoir, while Henk van Riemsdijk proposes an inherent incompatibility of uninflected pronominal forms with the dative case in German. Alain Rouveret explains three idiosyncratic properties of the Portuguese verbal syntax. Ur Shlonsky explores wh-in-situ in French, while Dominique Sportiche discusses the properties of the adverbial particle re in the same language. Tarald Taraldsen closes the second section, proposing that a structural object position is available in the nominal.

In the final section, Werner Abraham discusses double definiteness in Old and Modern Scandinavian, followed by Peter Cole and Gabriella Hermon’s investigation of the order of verbal affixes and functional structure in Imbabura Quechua. Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin treats number as a feature, followed by Joseph Emonds’s article in which he argues for QP as the highest functional projection above NP. M. Rita Manzini and Leonard M. Savoia explore clitic and adverbial negations in Romance. Ian Roberts supports a cartographic approach to grammaticalization, while Halldór Ármann Sigurđsson and Joan Maling look at the nature of silent and overt marking of certain categories. The book ends with a discussion of postnominal adjectives in Greek indefinite noun phrases by Melita Stavrou.

This book is essential reading to anyone interested in cartographic approach within linguistic theory. Its numerous articles open new possibilities in current cutting-edge research of the morphosyntactic component of grammar.

Textual choices in discourse: A view from cognitive linguistics

Textual choices in discourse: A view from cognitive linguistics. Ed. by Barbara Dancygier, José Sanders, and Lieven Vandelanotte. (Benjamins current topics 40.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2012. Pp. v, 198. ISBN 9789027202598. $128 (Hb).

Reviewed by Zhen-qiang Fan, Zhejiang Gongshang University

The book contains papers which were originally published in the journal English text construction 3:2 (2010). In this collection, various models from cognitive linguistics (CL) are drawn upon to explain the cognitive mechanism of the stylistic choices in a variety of genres such as literature, journalistic prose, lectures, and radio interviews. The aim is to demonstrate ‘how recent research in CL has started expanding the range of facts to be explained and reaching beyond the traditionally conceived boundaries of linguistic inquiry’ (1).

The book includes an introduction, eight articles, acknowledgements, and an index. The editors’ introductory remarks introduce the background and the organization of the whole book. On the basis of frame semantics, fictive motion, and conceptual blending, Mike Borkent proposes a new framework to show how embodied knowledge is utilized for understanding visual poems and other multimodal texts. Barbara Dancygier discusses the use of alternativity and stance in dramatic and poetic discourse, revealing mechanisms such as frame-evocating, counterfactuality, causation, and blending. The concept of joint attention is introduced by Vera Tobin to appreciate the texts of literary modernism. José Sanders, using the mental space model, aims to explain how the intertwining of voices is represented by linguistic form in journalistic texts.

Elena Semino’s chapter illustrates the power of blending theory in accounting for the rhetorical use of ‘unrealistic’ scenarios in expository and argumentative texts involving metaphorical creativity. Also relying on blending theory, Elżbieta Górska scrutinizes novel multimodal metaphors used in BBC lectures, and the use of ‘verbo-musical’ metaphors in particular. Carol Lynn Moder, by integrating blending theory and a usage-based approach to grammatical constructions, investigates metaphorical expressions in their discourse context (i.e. American radio news magazines). The book ends with the editors’ conclusion, which evaluates all of the contributions in the book and suggests possibilities for future research.

This collection succeeds in achieving its goal of offering ‘a better understanding of genre differences’ and ‘a clearer appreciation of the applicability of the cognitive framework now in use’ (185). On the one hand, it opens a new window to discourse genres from the perspective of CL, either by proposing a unified model (e.g. Mike Borkent’s article), or by borrowing notions that are considered to belong to a broadly conceived CL (e.g. joint attention). On the other hand, it contributes to CL by ‘expanding the range of facts to be explained’ and making CL reach ‘beyond the traditionally conceived boundaries of linguistic inquiry’ (1). Moreover, some researchers pose new challenges for CL. For instance, Dancygier argues that poetic discourse challenges some claims of constructional grammar (40), and Semino warns that blending theory needs to pay greater attention to interpretative variability and genre differences (112).

Overall, this book shows the cross-fertilization between CL and discourse analysis, and is a great resource for anyone interested in these areas.