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188 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 75, NUMBER 1 (1999) lau (174-86) studies the so-called impersonal form in the Gurage dialects of Caha and Ennemor. Takamitsu Muraoka (206-15) comments on three points of morphology of the Aramaic of the Ahiqar Proverbs: the masculine plural emphatic morpheme ; the infinitive of derived conjugations; and the object suffix -yh for 3rd person masculine plural. Some of these features may be placed in the wider context of internal Aramaic dialectology and the position of Aramaic within Semitic (see John Huehnergard . 1995. Palmyra and the Arameans. Aram 7.261-82). Jan Retsö (268-82) deals with the relation between state (status) and plural markers in Semitic morphology and addresses some essential issues in Semitic studies: the allegedly conservative morphological system of the Î Arabiyya; the origins of the external plural markers; the tanwîn; etc. In Retsö's interesting article, as complete as it is, one misses a mention of Vermondo Brugnatelli's treatment of the feminine plurals in Old Aramaic (1991. The 'feminine ' plurals in Old Aramaic: New light from Tell Fekherye. Proceedings of the fifth international Hamito-Semitic congress, ed. by Hans G. Mukarovsky , 196-84. Vienna: Institute für Afrikanistik und Ägyptologie). Furthermore, an analysis of similar morphemes in other Afroasiatic branches can shed light on the evolution of their functions. For instance, Chadic languages (especially Hausa) have a formative t marking feminine, singulative, and diminutive; an agreement pattern in the deictic system which exhibits ? formasculine, tfor feminine, and? for plural; noun plurals marked with both a suffix -n and an infix -a-; etc.; (see Paul Newman. 1987. Hausa and Chadic languages. The world's major languages, ed. by Bernard Comrie, 705-23. Oxford: Oxford University Press). The distribution of the different systems of external and internal plurality represents a productive diagnostic for Semitic and Afroasiatic subclassification, as Robert R. Ratcliffe has shown in his recent article on broken plurals (1998. Defining morphological isoglosses: The 'broken' plural and Semitic subclassification. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 57.81-123). [Gonzalo Rubio, Johns Hopkins University.] Essays on language function and language type dedicated to T. Givón. Ed. by Joan Bybee, John Haiman, and Sandra Thompson. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1997. Pp. vi, 478. This festschrift comprises twenty articles on various topics in functional/typological linguistics. The book opens with a picture of Givón playing a fiddle, followed by encouraging letters and personal anecdotes about the man of honor by twelve ofhis friends and colleagues and a rather impressive bibliography of Givón's publications in linguistics from 1966-1995. As the title may suggest, the volume is a rather eclectic selection of works which offers something ofinterest to everyone with an interest intypological/ functional issues. Joan Bybee's article, 'Semantic aspects of morphological typology', starts off the volume, relating morphological typology to grammaticization patterns. Bybee puts out a new hypothesis on why Chinese did not evolve to develop obligatory grammatical categories noting that Chinese 'speakers avoid redundancy, and hearers maintain an open set ofinferencing options; in particular they do not elevate grammatical cues over those provided by the lexical semantics and the context' (35). Colette Grinevald offers an interesting linguistic autobiography about growing up trilingual in her article, 'Living in three languages'. Of particular interest to ergativity enthusiasts will be Spike Gildea's article, 'Introducing ergative word order via reanalysis', where he illustrates word order configurations in Cariban and traces the absolutive-verb bond as a historical derivative of a possessor-possessed bond. Matthew S. Dryer's article, 'Are grammatical relations universal', explains that similarities among languages should be attributed to functional and cognitive principles, not formal constructs . R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Aikhenvald distinguish four basic types of syntactic derivations relating to predicate arguments in their article, ? typology of argument-determined constructions'. Marianne Mithun exemplifies lexicalization and grammaticization patterns in Native American languages in 'Lexical affixes and grammatical typology .' In 'On zero anaphora', Charles Li presents data from Late Archaic Chinese, where he shows that referents are not expressed twice unless there is a syntactic or discourse reason to do so. Ofparticular interest to Austronesianists and voice enthusiasts would be Thomas Payne and Thomas Laskowske's article 'Voice in Seko Padang...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 188-189
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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