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180 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 75, NUMBER 1 (1999) variation and its social correlates), then RFS has more the flavor of the sociology or ecology of language. The contents deal with standard language and language reform, with regional languages inside France, with French throughout the world, and with the everinteresting questions of language and gender. French lends itself well to such a compilation: it has a richlydocumented history, distribution and influence, a prominent place in any discussion oflanguage norms and standardization; and its speakers have a continuing and highly-informed preoccupation with any debates concerning these issues. Offord has grouped the articles into four sections, preceded by an eight-page summary presentation, in English, of each contribution. The sections are: (1) "The French language in France today', with eight articles, including official government documents, dealing with standardization, the norm, linguistic legislation , and orthographic reform; (2) 'Linguistic diversity in France', with seven articles including surveys of non-Romance and Romance regional languages and of les langues d'oïl, complemented by specific chapters on Basque, occitan, picard, structural properties of regional varieties, and the language of immigrants; (3) 'French outside France', including a survey of the status of, benefits of, and challenges to, French as a world language, followed by discussion of the position of French in Belgium, Guinea, Quebec, multilingual societies where French has standing as a second language (Luxembourg, Tunisia), and by a survey of French-based creóles; (4) 'French and gender', with five contributions addressing linguistic differentiation along sexual lines (including the accompanying pressures facing women who confront this differentiation), lexical issues involving the feminization of names of professions or the vocabulary used in the presse féminine to designate women, and the relationship, problematic in the Romance languages, between grammatical gender and sex. The collection is interesting, representative of the significant work in the domains targeted, and coherent , although the final section on French and gender seems out of place compared to the preoccupations of the remaining three. It was no doubt included for its topicality. More striking by its absence is any discussion of spoken language, including the vernacular , and of quantitative variationist studies. The interest and influence of such studies, emanating from Quebec in particular but far from unknown in Europe as well, would easily have qualified them for any volume dealing with French sociolinguistics. One final perplexing detail involves the language of presentation : for a volume whose contents are over 90% written in French, an English title and introduction might lead one to believe the contrary. This being said, RFS is a clear and competent presentation of many elements leading to an understanding of the current status of French, and O is to be thanked for making it available in such a useable form. [Douglas C. Walker, University of Calgary.] Constraints on Pulaar phonology. By Mamadou Ousmane Niang. Lanham, MD & London: University Press of America, 1997. Pp. xiv, 156. This book provides a wealth ofdata on the syllabic and metrical structure of Pulaar, a dialect of Fula, and Niang insightfully describes many of the generalizations to be found. However, despite the use of the term 'constraints' in the title of the book and most of its chapters, N's analysis is formulated using rules for syllable building and grid formation. Ch. 1, "Theoretical framework' (1-24). introduces these rule-based models and discusses the classification of Pulaar relative to the language families of the area. The first section, the presentation of the model, is sketchy and can be skipped by phonologists. The section on classification, though interesting, has no connection with the rest of the book. Ch. 2, 'Syllable structure constraints' (25-41), lists examples of each possible type of syllable in Pulaar and provides for their syllabification by rule. Ch. 3, 'Constraints on gemination' (43-71), points out inadequacies in previous accounts of Pulaar gemination and develops a new rule-based account. Unfortunately, some of the perceived inadequacies are due to misunderstandings on N's part, notably in his critique of Carole Paradis (1992. Lexical phonology and morphology: The nominal classes in Fula, New York: Garland). Furthermore , N ultimately provides two rules ofgemination , one leftward spreading and one rightward, without clarifying where each rule...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 180-181
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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