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126LANGUAGE, VOLUME 75, NUMBER 1 (1999) Grosjean, François. 1982. Life with two languages: An introduction to bilingualism. Cambridge, MA & London: Harvard University Press. Hale, Kenneth. 1974. Some questions about anthropological linguistics: The role of native knowledge. Reinventing anthropology, ed. by Dell Hymes, 382-97. New York: Vintage Books (Random House). Jensen, Frede, and Thomas A. Lathrop. 1973. The syntax of the Old Spanish subjunctive. The Hague and Paris: Mouton. Kany, Charles. 1951. Sintaxis hispanoamericana. Madrid: Editorial Gredos. Krauss, Michael. 1992. The world's languages in crisis. Language, 68.4-10. Pullum, Geoffrey K., and William A. Ladusaw. 1986. Phonetic symbol guide. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. Quilis, Antonio, and Joseph A. Fernández. 1982. Curso de fonética y fonología españolas. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Ramsey. M. M. 1956. A textbook of modern Spanish. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Scott, Sir Walter. 1819/1986. Ivanhoe. London: Penguin Books. Wardhaugh, Ronald. 1992. An introduction to sociolinguistics. 2nd edn. Oxford & Cambridge, MA: Blackwell . University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa Modern Languages Box 870246 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 [rivera@bama.ua.edu] Linguistic ecology: Language change and linguistic imperialism in the Pacific region. By Peter Mühlhäusler. (The politics of language series.) London & New York: Routledge, 1996. Pp. xiv, 396. Cloth $59.95. Reviewed by Paul T. Roberge, University ofNorth Carolina, Chapel Hill The opening chapter, 'The changing linguistic ecology of the Pacific region', lays out the burden of the work under review: 'This book is about linguistic heterogeneity, its decline and the costs of such decline and loss' (1) in the Pacific, Australia, and to a lesser extent the Pacific rim as a consequence of European colonization, Westernization, and industrial development. Mühlhäusler's study is also an exercise in consciousness-raising necessitated by the 'inability of most practising linguists to understand what is happening around them, that their very object of study is disappearing at an alarming rate' (1) as the larger systems in which they function are reshaped. M approaches his subject in terms of a metaphor derived from the study of living organisms, language ecology, which Haugen defined as 'the study of interactions between any given language and its environment. . . . The true environment of a language is the society that uses it as one of its codes' (1972:323). However, M does not adopt the ecology metaphor uncritically. The construct 'given language' is grounded in the postulate that individual languages are natural (or at least discoverable) objects that can be identified and named according to some set of 'objective' criteria. In the Pacific, however, boundaries are far less determinate than in the modem nation-states of Europe and the neo-Europes. No less problematic from M's perspective is the 'independency hypothesis', according to which the rules of language structure can be neatly separated from the rules of language use. The focus shifts from 'given languages' to forms of human communication and from questions of what is happening to languages to what processes have affected a linguistic ecology. M introduces the concept of linguistic imperialism in order to stress the fact that the attenuation of linguistic diversity is the result of human agency. In so doing, he establishes a link with issues in nature posed by habitat destruction. M is chary of placing too much emphasis on themes such as exploitation, malice, and intolerance; more important are 'the sheer ignorance with which the newcomers approached the area' (311) and the accumulation of unintended long-term effects. REVIEWS127 Suffice it to say that in less skilled hands, this subject could have made for a very different kind of book. Ch. 2, 'Language ecology in pre-European days', reconstructs the linguistic situation as it existed in the region prior to large-scale European economic exploitation and colonial expansion during the nineteenth century. Viewed from outside, the most salient properties of the complex Pacific language ecology are its enormous heterogeneity and the very small size of many of its languages. M cites Dixon's (1991:229) estimate that roughly 1,980 languages are spoken in the Pacific and Aboriginal Australia (31), most of them in Melanesia, where some two million people speak nearly one...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 126-128
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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