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474 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 76, NUMBER 2 (2000) sented today only by Chuvash in the Volga region (21). It is not clear when these two major types (Chuvash -type Lir-Turkic in the east and Non-Chuvashtype Shaz-Turkic in the Seven Rivers area) are assumed by D to have actually diverged, given the late date posited for the final breakup ofCommon Turkic. On a deeper genetic level, D assumes Proto-T. to be genetically related to Mongolian, Tungus-Manchu, and more distantly to Tapanese and Korean, though exploration of these connections lies outside the scope of the book. In addition to the introduction, with its discussion ofgenetic and sociolinguistic considerations (7-22), the book consists of several concise sections dealing with Proto-T. phonetics and phonology (23-36), morphology and word classes (37-74), syntax (75-77), semantics (79-88), and vocabulary (89-92), including subsections on loan words, onomatopoeia , and propernouns. Particularly interesting are the lists of semantic word groups identifying reconstructed Proto-T. plant names (79-80), terms relating to equine culture (80-82), hydraulic concepts (82), nonequine animal products (83), language and spiritual culture (83-84), warfare (84-85), and metallurgy (85). Much of the data draws heavily from Gerard Clauson's Etymological dictionary of prethirteenth -century Turkish (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972) and Annemarie Gabain's Alttürkische grammatik (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1974). The second half of the book consists of an extensive Proto-T.-English (93-171) and English-Proto-T. dictionary (172-214). Although frequent typing errors and other infelicities in the English are at times distracting, this book can prove a handy reference for the non-Turkologist in need of a succinct, accessible description of Common Turkic phonology, grammar, and vocabulary. [Edward T. Vajda, Western Washington University.] Few people, many tongues: The languages of Namibia. By Jouni F. Maho. Windhoek: Gamsburg Macmillan, 1998. Pp. x, 222. This is a good basic introduction to the complex overlay of Bantu, Khoisan, and Indo-European languages currently spoken in Namibia. Maho's focus is twofold. He devotes much space to sociolinguistic data such as the number and location of speakers, the existence and description of written standards, language usage in primary and secondary education, and the often convoluted issue of which name should be used when referring to each language or ethnic group. Dataon Namibian political, ethnic, and demographic history are included to provide the adequate background information required for this discussion, and numerous maps show the precise location of all the languages and peoples described. M's second goal is to compile basic structural descriptions of the salient phonological, morphological, and syntactic features of each individual language, keeping the main focus on comparative typology without attempting to provide a thorough structural description ofeach individual language. Issues of genetic classification are likewise given cursory attention, with areas of dispute merely noted in passing. One of the best features of the book for the serious scholar is its extensive bibliography (199-217), which assembles for the first time virtually all of the varied and often obscure sources on Namibia's linguistic past and present. In addition to the bibliography, the book contains six chapters, the first two ofwhich deal with sociolinguistic and methodological preliminaries. Ch. 3 describes Namibia's five major Bantu groups (Owambo, Ovaherero, Kavango, Caprivian, and Batswana ) and the languages and dialects spoken by each, with particular comparative emphasis on their phonology, system of noun-class concord prefixes, and verbal tense and aspect suffixes (the description of which is limited to the indicative mood). Ch. 4 is devoted to the Khoisan (Khoesaan for M) phylum, which contains some of the world's most intriguing as well as most incompletely described languages. Problems of Khoisan origins and their sharp territorial and demographic decline during the colonial era receive considerable attention. Comparative data are provided on the phonology and grammarofsurviving Khoisan languages, with particular detail on !Kung (Northern Khoisan) and Khoekhoegowab, the language of the Nama and Damara (Central Khoisan). M's phonological description of clicks and lexical tones, both ofwhichplay a phonemic role in all Khoisan languages, will be of special interest to typologists . Comparative notes on selectaspects ofKhoisan grammarwill alsoprove ofvalue to the general typologist since...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
p. 474
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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