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REVIEWS169 I do not think this one anomalous passage seriously compromises the overall findings or typifies the corpus compilation. The findings are preliminary at any rate, and the movement from blank verse to later drama's more conversational dramatic dialogue certainly demonstrates the trend toward the spoken language that the three-stage model predicts. However, the slip does remind corpus builders to use the human eye and ear and literary history along with tagging algorithms. Ch. 9, 'Registers and text types in English and Somali' (314-58), explores in greater depth the important distinction between 'register', a construct referring to situation and purpose, and 'text type', a construct based upon linguistic features. Rather than testing how different registers fall along specific dimensions such as abstract/nonabstract, the inquiry here concerns how the texts of B's English and Somali corpora cluster into eight text types according to linguistic criteria and what values they exhibit for the five most salient dimensions in each language. The discussion is very helpful in showing that linguistically defined text types can be composed of texts which, categorized by situation and function, belong to different registers. The chapter ends with a cross-linguistic comparison of the English and Somali text types. From this preliminary exploration, B concludes, the data suggest 'the possibility of a universal text typology that will hold cross-linguistically' so that the same text type across languages may be more similar (in functions and co-occurring forms) than different text types within a language (358). A short tenth chapter, 'Towards cross-linguistic universals of register variation' (359-63), ends the study by offering a summary of cross-linguistic similarities. It stresses the possible value of the MD approach not only in the specific areas covered in the book but also in several other areas. Since this book was published, B has continued his research (B and Finegan 1997; B, Conrad, and Reppen 1998). One hopes that he will persevere and that others will join the ranks of those using the MD approach to pursue further the important research questions he raises. REFERENCES Biber, Douglas. 1986. Spoken and written textual dimensions in English: Resolving the contradictory findings. Language 62.384-414. -----. 1988. Variation across speech and writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. -----, and Edward Finegan. 1989. Drift and the evolution of English style: A history of three genres. Language 65.487-517. -----, -----. 1997. Diachronic relations among speech-based and written registers in English. To explain the present: Studies in the changing English language in honour of Matti Rissanen, ed. by Terttu Nevalainen and Leena Kahlas-Tarkka, 252-75. Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki LII. -----; Susan Conrad; and Randi Reppen. 1998. Corpus linguistics: Investigating language structure. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. Finegan, Edward, and Douglas Biber. 1994. Register variation and social dialects: Toward an integrated view. Sociolinguistic perspectives on register, ed. by Douglas Biber and Edward Finegan, 315-47. New York: Oxford University Press. Home, John. 1980[1756]. Douglas. The plays of John Home, ed. by James Malek. New York: Garland. Department of English Auburn University, AL 36849-5203 [nunnath@mail.auburn.edu] Mobilian jargon: Linguistic and sociohistorical aspects of a Native American pidgin. By Emanuel J. Drechsel. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997. Pp. xix, 392. Cloth $59.00. Reviewed by Robin Sabino, Auburn University This is a detailed case study of the structure, functions, and history of Mobilian Jargon (MJ), the primary contact variety in what is now the Southeastern United States. Especially well done 170LANGUAGE, VOLUME 75, NUMBER 1 (1999) are Drechsel's extensive treatment ofMJ's communicative functions and the compelling argument that he builds for the pidgin's pre-Columbian origin. The book has four parts: 'Introduction' (Chs. 1-3), 'Linguistic aspects' (Chs. 4-8), 'Sociohistorical aspects' (Chs. 9-11), and 'Mobilian Jargon in a broader perspective' (Chs. 12-13). Ch. 1 (1-9) provides an overview of Native Americans in the Southeastern U.S. and sketches D's plan of study. Ch. 2 (10-33) discusses the dearth of research on language contact in the Americas and wams that the historical record is 'deceptive' regarding linguistic identity (12). Reviewing the literature on pidginization, D notes both that the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 169-172
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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