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

176 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 75, NUMBER 1 (1999) In his very elaborate paper, 'Adjects and hierarchical semantic structure in Danish' , Ole Nedergaard Thomsen adapts the adject theory to his own approach to clause structure. For Herslund and S0rensen the study suggests that they are basically right, but that some of their analyses are not delicate enough. Lars Heltoft, in 'On the alleged universality of the adject', calls Herslund and S0rensen's adject theory the only one which really deserves the name of a theory among the approaches to syntax available that call themselves valency theones, because it is the only one that answers the fundamental theoretical question for a valency theory: Can the manifold valency schemata of individual languages be derived from a set of basic combinatorial elements and principles ? However, since the adject is fundamentally a generalization of a local argument, the theory stands or fails by the cross-linguistic applicability of a localistic analysis, but in Helton's opinion this does not even work for Danish, where possession should be kept apart from localization. Herslund and S0rensen reply that they treat possession and location as instances of a more general locational pattern. Ole Togeby, in 'The locative argument', says that he has nothing against the idea of an 'adject' but would prefer it to be called 'locative argument' because it is not on the same level of abstraction as 'subject' and 'object', but on the same level—in his own 'theory of the relational structure of the predicational kernel'—as ??-argument' and 'BE-argument' . Herslund and S0rensen do not find that Togeby's Loc-argument can do the work they claim their concept of adject can do. In short, this book gives vivid illustration that the study of valency/argument structure is very much alive in Denmark today. [Dirk Noël, University of Gent.] Beyond translation: Essays toward a modern philology. By Alton L. Becker. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995. Pp. xii, 438. Cloth $52.50. This collection of 24 essays covers almost three decades committed to the study of such Southeast Asian languages as Javanese, Burmese, and Malay. Besides the introduction and a postface, it presents six parts devoted, respectively, to aspects of Javanese , Burmese, and Malay; the translation of Emerson into Old Javanese, the relationship between music and language; and the defense of a place for particularity in the study of languages. Becker's concern is what he calls, after Schleiermacher (1838, not cited in any of the references), secondary philology or 'the art of understanding rightly another man's language, particularly his written language' (137), and not textual criticism or primary philology. The parameters for this kind of philology are two axioms on the exuberance and deficiency of languages proposed by Ortega y Gasset ('The difficulty of reading', Diogenes 28, 1959): Each utterance is deficient since it says less than it wishes to say, but, concomitantly, each utterance is exuberant since it conveys more than it plans. Like stories and frames in a Javanese wayang, in essay after essay both axioms are repeated and deepened, constituting the axis of the book: an apologia for particularity against a universalist attitude towards the study of languages. Quoting Ortega y Gasset, according to B each language 'represents a different equation between manifestations and silences' (6, 287, 293). This is why translation is such a hard task. The sum of a grammar and a dictionary is an outsider 's oretic view; only with great effort is it possible to make a bridge to an emic view, with content and context. Hence the difference drawn between language and languaging. Rules of grammar and a lexicon are only language, a timeless code (288) whose silences are filled with the experience in our native language The prior text, or the memories in that language , are missing. Languaging has not been achieved. Without that knowledge it is not possible to perceive what is new or old in every utterance. 'If lions could talk' , and B cites a Wittgensteinian paradox (27), 'we couldn't understand them'. This strong assertion reminds us immediately of the experience with Washoe, recently related in Roger Fouts et al.'s Next of kin: What chimpanzees have taught me...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 176-177
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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.