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178 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 75, NUMBER 1 (1999) deal with acquisition of case, agreement, negation, questions; its applicability to morphologically-rich languages; and its explanatory adequacy. From the full-competence camp, an ambitious paper by Nina Hyams derives a common source for children's null subjects, optional infinitives, and determinerless DPs in the underspecification of FCs. On the other hand, Harald Clahsen, Sonja Eisenbeiss, and Martina Penke claim that learning the lexicon drives growth of syntactic knowledge: For example, acquisition of verbal inflection leads children to develop the phrase structure underlying German V2 facts. Zvi Penner and Jürgen Weissenborn counter with data from Swiss versus Standard German. They find no correlation between acquisition ofinflection and ofthe properties of DPs, instead attributing the two dialects' different acquisitional paths to canonical versus noncanonical triggers for parameter setting. Jürgen M. Meisel and Maria-Jose Ezeizabarrena report that in Basque acquisition of subject agreement precedes thatofobject agreement. This challenges the assumption that the order of acquisition of FCs reflects phrase-structural position since AGR(S) dominates AGR(O). Maria Teresa Guasti shows that unlike children learning English, children learning Italian produce adult-like negative questions, which fact she identifies with different features of CP in the two languages. A paper by Liliane Haegeman similarly brings acquisitional data to bear on cross-linguistic differences. She claims that object clitics appear in early child French but not Dutch because of their different landing sites in the two languages. The topic of clitics is carried forward in two more papers. Cornelia Hamann, Luigi Rizzi, and Uli H. Frauenfelder find that French-learning children place clitics correctly, though subject clitics are acquired before object clitics and rarely appear with untensed verbs. Lydia White demonstrates that English -speaking children learning French as a second language both distinguish clitics from pronouns and distribute them appropriately despite the presumed lack of a native-language model for their phrase structure. Two additional papers wrestle with the application of the minimalist program to studies of acquisition: Christer Platzack conceptualizes acquisition as a process of recognizing which features of FCs are strong and so must be checked before spell-out, testing his proposal against various data including some on acquisition of Swedish. Thomas Roeper speculates about how merger theory may make sense of diverse empirical facts, assuming that children create unique maximal projections both in the sense that they are unlike those in adult grammar and they are specific to particular lexical items. The editor gives the last word to Martin Atkinson , who closes the text with a feisty attack on several theoretical, methodological, and data-interpretive assumptions running through the other papers . Atkinson's objections deserve attention, and raising them only strengthens the volume, as to end on this critical note is a tribute to the self-confidence of generative perspectives on language acquisition. [Margaret Thomas, Boston College.] Language and linguistics: Aims, perspectives , and duties of linguistics. Ed. by Pierre Swiggers. Leuven: Peeters, 1997. Pp. xvii, 90. This intriguing book consists of transcriptions of three interviews conducted in 1993-96 by the Belgian linguist Pierre Swiggers. All three interviews appeared in the journal Orbis but are assembled here with a preface in English and French. The interviewees are André-Georges Haudricourt (1911-96), Henry M. Hoenigswald (b. 1915), and Robert H. Robins (b. 1921). S's aim is to record the personal experiences and professional opinions ofthree 'privileged witnesses of the development of linguistics in the past half-century' (x). In justifying the choice of interviewees , S cites as common threads in their work regard for linguistic data, systematicity of approach, and concern for basic disciplinary issues. Granted that linguists (should) generally share these virtues, Haudricourt, Hoenigswald, and Robins are further distinguished in that each has worked on both familiar European and 'exotic' languages (Haudricourt in the Far East, Hoenigswald with Etruscan, and Robins with Yurok and Sundanese). S also attributes to each a leading role in modern linguistics and 'outright refusal of all kinds of dogmatism' (vii)—though perhaps the accuracy of the latter claim should be left to the reader's judgment. What one could add to the list of shared characteristics is that all three men, in conversation with...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 178-179
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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