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BOOK NOTICES 471 agreement prefixes. These are all useful, but are largely repeated verbatim from lists presented in various chapters earlier. A comprehensive glossary would have been much more useful than the fragmented word lists, and a subject index would have allowed reference to appropriate chapters without repeating so much material. Appendices aside, there is still too much repetition: the same word is sometimes used to illustrate more than one letter, and in these cases the entire definition including associated cultural commentary and stories is repeated, sometimes several times. Teachings 5, 10, and 15 are quizzes; 4, 9, and 14 are review lessons. Each of the other nine teachings contains a section on pronouncing some group of letters; vocabulary, usually some grammatical drill; and copious explanations of Lakota philosophy. The pronunciation sections are to be practiced with a teacher or with the cassette tapes which can be ordered to accompany the book. (I have not heard the tapes, so they are not included in this review.) Vocabulary generally consists of a small group of semantically related words such as numbers, colors, or question words. Grammar explanations briefly cover conjugation of different types of verbs, male and female sentence endings, and similar topics, with examples and a few matching or fill-in-the-blank exercises. Most of the explanations are admirably clear, but I would have liked to see them supplemented with reading selections, dialogues, and many more (and more interesting) exercises. Most of each chapter is devoted to cultural commentary . Some ofthis comes in the form of extended definitions of the words presented for pronunciation practice; some in stories from the author's life. Some comments seem irrelevant; for instance, W objects repeatedly to the English term 'Black Hills' because 'they aren't hills, they are mountains' (82, 198). Some are downright bizarre; for instance, the definition of maku 'chest,' repeated on pp. 42, 192, and 203, includes an extended story of a police officer misunderstanding an injured man's reference to his chest (maku ki 'the chest') as 'my cookies.' Explanation is frequently directed toward pointing out slang meanings of words 'so if people laugh or grin when this word is used you will know why' (194) or toward clarifying the original meaning of words which have taken on undesirable connotations, often having to do with alcohol. For example, otehi 'hard times' refers in 'reservation language' to 'a hangover and no resources for another drink' (21, 216). Much of this material is fascinating, and it is all charmingly presented . W's wry wit is sure to appeal to his intended audience (reservation youth, not linguists) but it is not clear to me how these stories will teach anyone to actually speak or write Lakota. The orthography used in this book, a recently developed one, uses an array ofdiacritics to show aspiration and glottalization of stops and Greek eta for nasal vowels. Aside from its typographical complexity and overdifferentiation (two different diacritics used for velar and laryngeal aspiration, which are nonphonemic) this is not abad alphabet. But it unfortunately adds yet another contender to the already crowded field of competing Siouan orthographies. One of the best features of the book is Appendix B, a comparison chart of all the commonly used Lakota spelling systems. Reading this book one gains considerable insight into the society in which W grew up—and a little knowledge of the Lakota language as well. In spite ofits flaws Reading and writing the Lakota language is a welcome addition to the few resources available for teaching Siouan languages. [Catherine Rudin, Wayne State College.] Prolegomena k dejinám Prazské skoly jazykovëdné [Prolegomena to the history of the Prague Linguistic School]. By Josef Vachek. Jinocany, Czech Republic : H & H, 1999. Pp. 137. Prolegomena was completed by Vachek soon after the appearance ofhis memoirs in 1994 (see my book notice in Language 70:847) but was not published until 1999, three years after his death. Although the author stated in the introduction that this work was only a very modest contribution to the history of linguistic studies stimulated by the Prague School, V was active in it almost from its beginning in 1926 (his first lecture was in February...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 471-472
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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