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472 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 76, NUMBER 2 (2000) members. Of particular interest are Vs biographical sketches of the circle's most important members —Vilém Mathesius, N. S. Trubetzkoy, Roman Takobson. Bohuslav Havránek, and Bohumil Trnka. As always, Vsjudgments are balanced, modest, and kind, even when they concern those who for political reasons chose at times to criticize some of the circle' s founders and their contributions to a 'functionally structural method' of linguistic research. [Zdenek Salzmann, Northern Arizona University.] Verbal periphrases in Romance: Aspect , actionality, and grammaticalization . By Mario Squartini. (Empirical approaches to language typology 21.) Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1998. Pp. xii, 370. Periphrastic temporal constructions in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese are the primary focus of this book. By comparison to these three standard languages , temporal (including aspectuo-temporal) periphrases in French, Catalan, Galician, and Occitan, as well as Latin American varieties of Spanish (Mexican foremost) and Portuguese (Brazilian), receive modest attention. Reference is periodically made to Provençal, Judeo-Spanish, and Sardinian, not to mention a few Spanish and Italian dialects. RhaetoRomansch and Romanian barely receive any attention at all. The verbal periphrases of main concern to Squartini are those generally considered most salient (i.e. language-specific) in several of the contemporary Romance languages: progressive, durative, and/or iterative temporal constructions in Spanish and Italian, the perfect tense in Portuguese. These include Spanish estarlirlandarlvenirlllevar + gerund, Italian stare/andare/venire + gerund, and Portuguese ter + past participle (particularly to the extent that the temporal semantics ofthe Portuguese périphrase differ from those of Spanish haber or tener + past participle); for contrastive purposes, the French progressive periphrases être en train de/être (après) à + infinitive and the French passé surcomposé are briefly reviewed as well. Analytic future-tense forms (e.g. Spanish ira + infinitive, French aller + infinitive ) are thus mentioned only in passing (30), while the Romanian future tense—encoded by no fewer than four different periphrases whose auxiliaries are either reflexes orlater phonological reductions ofthe Latin etyma vâdo 'go', habeO 'have', and volo 'want'—is ignored entirely. Throughout his book, S considers the interplay between aspect and actionality—in other words, the interaction between grammatical aspect (to the extent that it is encoded by the temporal morphology of the Romance languages) and lexical aspect (or 'aspectuality'). The latter is represented by the classification of verbs as verbs of state, activity, accomplishment , or achievement, but it includes such properties as durativity and iterativity as well. S views morphosyntactic constraints on the instantiation of various verbal periphrases as evidence of the degree and course of their grammaticalization. In the second of five chapters (35-70), for example , S considers the aspectuo-temporal semantics of the Spanish perfective progressive, a periphrastic tense ofthe type estuvo hablando 'he/she was speaking '. The périphrase is ofinterest because, according to S, it combines two opposing aspectual values: The Spanishpreterite,representedby the auxiliary estuvo, is aspectually perfective, while the gerund hablando is an aspectually imperfective verb form. S considers the opposition between the Spanish preterite (estuvo) and imperfect (estaba) tenses to be an aspectual one, comparable to the aspectual opposition that exists between Bulgarian aorist- and imperfect-tense forms. Bulgarian exhibits notonly perfective but also imperfective aorists (e.g. izpja vspja 'he/she sang') which, in a sense, combine both imperfective and perfective morphology. S therefore believes that the Spanish perfective progressive is more or less functionally equivalent to the Bulgarian imperfective aorist, a verb form that, simply put, denotes a single completion or conclusion of a continuous action (state or activity). The book is written in English; despite an occasional lack of idiomaticity or grammaticality, it is easy to read. All textual examples from Romance languages (by my count, 913, excluding those in the endnotes) are provided with English glosses, which are sometimes too literal. S has translated almost all progressive periphrases into English as mere progressive -tense forms; however, many of these (particularly the Spanish in Ch. 5) would have been better translated as English periphrases of the type keep + presentparticiple andgo on + presentparticiple (e.g. he kept talking, he went on talking, etc.). Ultimately, it is likely that S's work will be appreciated more for the abundance of...

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Additional Information

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