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BOOK NOTICES 481 Grammatical relations: A functionalist perspective. Ed. by Talmy Givón. (Typological studies in language, 35.) Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1997. Pp. viii, 349. This is a volume of eight papers bound together by an introduction from Givón. G argues that it is necessary to study grammatical relations from a functionalist perspective and introduces some typological phenomena 'that have frustrated relational analysis over the years' (vii) such as ergativity, serial verbs, and clause union. In the introduction, as well as in most ofthe following studies, Keenan's work on subject and object properties is relied upon heavily and overtly; yet G does ask whether these properties cannot be ordered in such a way that more universal properties of a grammatical role outrank those less likely to determine the category of the grammatical role—and he does indeed provide a ranking (with functional 'reference-and-topicality' properties and behavior and control properties outranking all others ). In line with much of G's other work, the importance of such notions as grammaticalization and topicality is stressed (although, whether for better or worse, without any actual definition of topicality). In 'Ergativity and grammatical relations in Karao', Sherri Brainard sets out to establish the grammatical relations and examine the control properties of this 'unmistakably morphologically ergative' (85) Northern Philippines language. She tests coding properties, relation-changing processes, and coreferential deletion processes and concludes that Karao has the two grammatical relations of subject and object and that it shows a mixed pattern of syntactic control. While Brainard's paper examines grammatical relations in a purely synchronic frame (without reference to what G terms a nominative to ergative shift in Philippine languages), the next paper in the volume, 'Evolution of grammatical relations in Cariban : How functional motivation precedes syntactic change' by Spike Gildea, draws upon ideas of grammaticahzation theory in an investigation ofthe verbal morphology of six Cariban languages. A Proto-Cariban verbal adjective, Gildea argues, has undergone a chain of changes among these languages, developing variously into a passive incombination with acopula, into inverse voice, and ultimately into past or completive tense. The conclusion to this study reinforces the conviction that an analysis of grammatical relations based on simple syntactic grounds, in this sphere as well as others, would give an inadequate description of the facts. This conviction is echoed by Marleen Haboud's 'Grammaticalization, clause union and grammatical relations in Ecuadorian Highland Spanish', which presents a highly grammaticized innovation in this variety of Spanish. What would be read in Standard Spanish (SS) as a main verb followed by a gerundive verb has, for certain SS main verbs, come to be interpreted in Ecuadorian Highland Spanish as an auxiliary verb followed by a main verb. 'Serial verbs and grammatical relations in Akan' by E. K. Osam gives a fuller exploration of a topic broached in G's introduction. Osam employs Keenan 's tests for grammatical subjects and objects and concludes that there may be more than one direct object (each contained within a separate verb phrase) in an Akan clause. Bambang Kaswanti Purwo's "The direct object in bi-transitive clauses in Indonesian ' is also concerned with issues ofobjecthood, and with the clustering of grammatical properties more generally, in providing an analysis of dative-shifting patterns in Indonesian. Similar issues are examined, but for the American Indian language Sahaptin, in 'Dative shifting and double objects in Sahaptin' by Noel Rude. Finally, 'Zero anaphora and grammatical relations in Mandarin' by Ming-Ming Pu takes a slightly different tack by employing discourse-pragmatic principles to account for patterns of zero anaphora in Mandarin (in opposition to some earlier government and binding accounts of this phenomenon). This is an interesting set of studies which coheres well with the issues of relevance as set out in G's introduction. [Melanie Owens, University of Canterbury , New Zealand.] Direct reference, indexicality, and propositional attitudes. Ed. by Wolfgang Künne, Albert Newen, and Martin Anduschus. Stanford: CSLI, 1997. Pp. x, 402. The idea of direct reference has its roots in quantification in intensional contexts presupposing a nondescriptive identification across possible worlds. When analyzing the notion of reference, identification criteria are argued to be 'direct' in that free singular terms...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
p. 481
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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