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BOOK NOTICES 209 Indo-European, Nostratic and beyond: Festschrift for Vitalij V. Shevoroshkin. Ed. by Iren Hegedüs, Peter A. Michalove , and Alexis Manaster-Ramer. (Journal of Indo-European Studies monograph, 22.) Washington: Institute for the Study of Man, 1997. Pp. viii, 348. This volume celebrates the work of Vitalij V. Shevoroshkin, one of the leading macro-comparatists , resident in America since 1974, and appropriately opens with a selected list of his publications. The 23 contributions, including papers from a number who have taught with him at the University of Michigan, reflect S's interest in farflung linguistic relations rather than his more specialized research in Anatolian languages. An exception is Vyecheslav Vs. Ivanov' s 'Luwian collective and non-collective neuter nouns in -ar' (155-65). Many ofthe important macro-comparatists or 'lumpers' have contributed papers: There are papers from Joseph Greenberg, Merritt Ruhlen, and Sergei Starostin, and the tenor of the whole collection is one which is not averse to the possibility of deeper genetic relations between languages which have yet to be proven by more conservative heuristic methods. The papers are for the most part historical or comparative and cover a range of languages from Eastern Shina and Albanian to Sumerian and Japanese as well as material from more controversial genetic proposals : two papers on Altaic and three whose primary focus is Nostratic, in addition to Merritt Ruhlen' s discussion of the Eurasiatic affinities of the ProtoAmennd form for 'hand' (320-25), an ambitious paper since it assumes that Proto-Amerind and Eurasiatic exist and that they have been correctly reconstructed . There is something to interest most diachronists in this collection although I suspect that most readers will be especially attracted by the papers dealing with aspects of lumping. Of these, Mark Kaiser's 'Rigor or vigor: Whither distant linguistic comparison?' (183-97) and Ilya Peiros's more guarded, diverse, and data-rich 'Macro families: Can a mistake be detected ?' (265-92) are important programmatic papers which discuss methodological problems and drawbacks of macro-comparison and which should be read by everyone interested in the topic. A discussion of a numeral which has been borrowed widely among languages of Western Eurasia is found in Vaclav Blazek's 'Indo-European "seven" ' (9-29), a careful study which shows it to be one of the greatest early Wanderwörter of the Old World. On a more typological note, Richard Rhodes provides an interesting survey of pronominal systems in the world's languages (293-319), comparing them structurally at several levels and highlighting the importance ofphonological templates in many such systems . There are several interesting papers of a more reduced scope. Eric P. Hamp's ? far-out equation' deals with a surprising origin within Indo-European for certain instances ofAlbanian z- (94-105). Alexis Manaster-Ramer presents a useful position paper on a fraught topic in "The polygenesis of Western Yiddish and the monogenesis of Yiddish' (206-32), while Pramila Hemrajani's 'Three kisses' (116-39) combines biological, historical, and linguistic data in a rewarding study ofthe genesis, diffusion , and differentiation of forms of osculation. As with most Festschriften, the contents of this book are dazzlingly diverse, but diachronists with a taste for languages and a quizzical eye for the bolder comparative efforts will find much to divert them. [Anthony P. Grant, University of St Andrews.] Describing morphosyntax: A guide for field linguists. By Thomas E. Payne. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Pp. xvi, 413. This book is designed to equip descriptive linguists embarking on research on an unfamiliar language with the terminology and tools which will allow them to analyze and organize their findings, and it does so superbly A long-standing SIL member, Payne has extensive experience with Lowland South American languages, and he draws upon numerous examples from such languages as Panare and Yagua in the course of the book, although linguistic data emanating from all continents are presented. As P makes clear in his introduction (1-12), he is also deeply concerned with the need to document endangered languages before they disappear; the brief chapter following (13-19) importantly alerts the student to a sensitivity to ethnographic and sociolinguistic concerns in the speech community under study. Ten...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 209-210
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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