In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews 169 ducted within it. Instead, the author devotes his attention almost exclusively to high intensity action, from a sheep theft (or a story about it) to a bon mot in the coffeehouse. Not only do we know very little about the women of Glendiot but neither do we know about its agriculturalists and anyone else who is not a shepherd. This work may be ethnography, but it is not an ethnography. This emphasis on text to the neglect of context seems to be a natural consequence of the semiotic approach utilized by the author. The book is well produced, with only a few typographical errors . The many photos serve to add some interest, although many are of subjects more or less irrelevant to the text of the book and thus have not been utilized to their best advantage. Rather, they resemble a rather random selection of snapshots, most without specific reference to the analysis into which they have been inserted. This practice is particularly surprising coming from someone as conscious of meaning and message as is Herzfeld. Nevertheless, The Poetics of Manhood is an important book, and not only for those with a specific interest in Greece and the Mediterranean culture area. (The latter will find especially interesting the several significant contrasts of Glendiots with usual Mediterranean patterns; see for example Herzfeld's discussion of honor and shame, p. 233.) Students of gender, discourse, peasants, semiotics, folklore, and—yes—sheep theft, will all find much of interest here. William G. Lockwood University of Michigan Peter Mackridge, The Modern Greek Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1985. Pp. xxiii + 387 £30.00. This book, in Mackridge's words, "is not intended in any way to be a grammar, ' ' nor is there any intention to make a contribution to the study of "either linguistic theory or of linguistic universals" (p. vii). His aim is to provide "an analysis, not without certain generalizations , of a large amount of material." The material is indeed impressive, covering as it does, in addition to numerous citations of individual words and phrases, well over 1,000 complete sentences (in Greek characters and accompanied by English translations). No other such compilation exists in English and students of modern Greek will be grateful to Mackridge for providing a veritable trea- 170 Reviews sure-trove of illustrative material covering all the major components of the linguistic description of the language. Most of his citations are from the speech of people who were unaware that their speech was being studied and who were Athenian-born high-school graduates, although literary sources are sometimes employed. After a concise but lucid introduction dealing with the contributions of demotic and katharevusa to the "Standard Modern Greek" Mackridge aims to describe, there is an excellent chapter on the phonetics and phonology of the language, including its main intonational features. Subsequent chapters deal with (1) gender, case, number and person, (2) voice, aspect, and tense, (3) noun morphology , (4) verb morphology, (5) the noun phrase, prepositions and pronouns, (6) the clause, word order, coordination and negation, (7) subordinating conjunctions, (8) the subjunctive, (9) vocabulary and (10) style and idiom. My only quibble with this most useful work is that some of the generalizations Mackridge does venture to make are sweeping enough to require more support than his data provide. Thus he writes: Partly no doubt because of the innaccuracy and inadequete coverage of lexicography in Greece, and because of the low level of linguistic education , borderlines between concepts in modern Greek often appear relatively blurred to the foreign observer. There is a tendency for Greeks not to feel a necessity to be specific or even accurate when naming concepts (p. 334) In fact it is quite unclear whether Mackridge himself is referring to an inherent vagueness of Greek vocabulary ("blurred"), or to its lack of specific (hyponymous) terms. His evidence is anecdotal: foreigners are sometimes told "flower" when they want to know the name of one and "meat" when they enquire what is on the menu. His comment that when pressed Greeks can be more specific suggests that while we may be faced with an interesting quirk of behavior , there is no reason to suppose that the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 169-171
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.