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BOOK NOTICES 179 more circumspect, sort. He came to the United States from Germany and Italy in 1939 to teach at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, where he has worked on classical philology, historical linguistics, and the history of linguistics. Hoenigswald makes his views clear on several topics, among them linguistics as 'THE relativistic discipline' (58) and the inseparability of description from explanation. Like Hoenigswald (and S), Robins has published extensively on the history of linguistics. Robins's historical work probably overshadows his contributions to descriptive linguistics and to the discipline as President of the International Committee of Linguists, so it is valuable that the interview also dwells on these topics. Robins may come closest to S's characterization as an evader ofdogmatism: He has an appreciative word for virtually all persons and ideas, seems dispositionally prone to see continuity, and is gracious even as he finds fault, for example, as he laments theoretical narrowness or insists on distinguishing endangered from threatened languages. S's text includes references to the interviewees' publications, three portraits, and an index nominum. [Margaret Thomas, Boston College.] Germanic linguistics: Syntactic and diachronic . Ed. by Rosina L. Lippi-Green and Joseph C. Salmons. (Current issues in linguistic theory, 137.) Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1996. Pp. viii, 192. In 1993, the fourth and last annual MichiganBerkeley Germanic Linguistics Roundtable met in Ann Arbor. Since then, the roundtable has undergone some major transformations and is now organized in conjunction with the Society for Germanic Philology . The new conference will move to a widervariety of universities and aims to include more colleagues. The ten papers here were presented almost five years ago at the last Michigan-Berkeley roundtable. As the editors state in the foreword, most papers deal with classic problems of Germanic linguistics, emphasizing syntax and diachronic linguistics. The collection aims to reflect the direction the study of Germanic linguistics has taken in North America. Topics in this volume include the syntax of Dutch er (Isabella Barbier), the usage of standard pronouns in German and nonstandard pronominal clitics in two German dialects (Werner Abraham), Germanic in early Roman times (Edgar C. Polomé), the attributive genitive in the history of German (Ruth Lunt Lanouette), the development of palatalized consonants in varieties of Eastern Yiddish (Neil G. Jacobs), and the process of Verschärfung, often referred to as Holtzmann's Law (Garry W. Davis and Gregory K. Iverson). In 'The epistemic use ofGerman and English modals ', Sarah M. B. Fagan describes the usage of the German modal verbs dürfen, können, mögen, and müssen and compares them to English can, may, and must. She claims that both English and German speakers favor the usage of Stative infinitives in conjunction with epistemic modals. Although such models can occur with nonstatives, this is frequently avoided since the resulting statements may be ambiguous . Deontic modality is necessarily associated with nonstative predicates since one has to be able to exert control in order to express obligation or permission. Mary Niepokuj's paper, 'Germanic class IV and V preterits', deals with the aberrant Ablaut-pattern of Class IV and V strong verbs in Germanic. Of particular concern is the long vowel ofthe third principal part, which, according to Niepokuj, has not yet been explained in a satisfactory manner. The author lists some theories that were advanced and indicates in what way these are flawed. She then suggests that the split between the singular preterit with a short vowel and the plural preterit with a long vowel be viewed as an archaism rather than an innovation. Using supportive examples from Latin and Old Irish, she argues that reduplication was a widespread process which was not necessarily lost in Germanic. Rather, simplification of an originally reduplicated stem may have occurred in the third principal part of class IV and V verbs, accompanied by compensatory lengthening. Papers generally focus on English, German, Dutch, and Yiddish and include a select bibliography. In a very brief foreword, the authors stressed that the aim of the roundtable was to provide a forum, a place for constructive criticism, and an opportunity to discuss current work. Given this aim, one cannot help but wonder why the editors did not...

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Additional Information

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