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BOOK NOTICES 485 Introduction to linguistic field methods. By Bert Vaux and Justin Cooper. (Coursebooks in linguistics 1.) Munich: Lincom Europa, 1999. Pp. 196. Paper DM 72.00, US $48.00. Don't be fooled by its compact size. Designed for an introductory field methods course, this book is impressive in the amount of information it contains. Teachers and students alike will enjoy its entertaining anecdotes about the successes and pitfalls encountered while collecting language data. Although the authors note the traditional rift between theoretical and descriptive approaches to language (5), they are not distracted by it; instead they show again and again how a theoretically informed approach to collecting data yields information that could not otherwise be discovered. Couched within a vaguely generative framework, the text introduces only a few technical terms are introduced (such as c-command), and a section at the end of each chapter suggests further readings. Ch. 1, 'Introduction' (5-25), explains why linguists should do fieldwork, offering such reasons as the personal enrichment gained from exposure to other cultures; the preservation of threatened languages ; and the chance of uncovering novel data. Tips are offered on finding informants and managing the nonlinguistic factors that can promote or hinder a constructive relationship such as food, drink, payment , boredom, priming, and sexual interest. The importance of tape recording sessions is emphasized, as is gathering background information on your consultant . Like all chapters, this one ends with some suggestive exercises which typically lack definitive solutions. An example: 'The only available speaker of the language you are interested in is female, and you are male. Unfortunately, it is not acceptable in her culture for women to speak with foreign males. How might you get around this problem without seriously violating her cultural mores?' (25). Introductory material continues into Ch. 2, 'Transcription' (26-36), which weighs the merits of using the IPA vs. a practical orthography. The actual business of ehcitation and analysis begins with Ch. 3, 'Basic lexicography' (37-49), which warns about polysemy, homophony, loans, and folk etymologies and concludes with lists of common words that might be gathered. Other fields of inquiry are outlined in Chs. 4-10 (50-114): semantics, articulatory and acoustic phonetics, segmental and prosodie phonology, and nominal and verbal morphology. Two chapters on syntax (Chs. 11-12, 115-35) are particularly effective in showing how fieldwork can illuminate theoretical concerns, exploring word order, binding conditions, relative clauses, ergativity, exceptional case marking, null pronominalization, and topicalization. Here and throughout, there are transcriptions of the authors' actual elicitation sessions with a Gujarati speaker, usually illustrating problems that occurred and suggesting ways for the student to avoid them. The balance of the book pays equivalent attention to pragmatics, sociolinguistics and dialectology, historical linguistics, and text collection (Chs. 13-16, 136-92) and concludes with the IPA chart (193) and references (194-96). Vaux and Cooper's experience and expertise, in both linguistics and fieldwork, are obvious in every chapter. Moreover, their presentation style is engaging without being cute, alluding to sources as varied as the Beatles, Chaucer, Dryden, Elmer Fudd, and The Simpsons. Beginning and experienced fieldworkers will find this book practical and entertaining. [Taylor Roberts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology .] Oxford Albanian-English dictionary. Ed. by Leonard Newmark. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, Pp. lxxvii, 978. Cloth $95.00. This monumental Albanian-English dictionary comes to us as a product of eleven years of intensive research, and as Leonard Newmark's fourth major reference volume on the language. It nicely supplements N's previous publications, Spoken Albanian (Ithaca, NY: Spoken Languages Services, 1980), Standard Albanian (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1982), and Structural grammar of Albanian (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Publications, 1957). With the help of various Albanian scholars, most notably Vladimir Dervishi, N has assembled quite an impressive collection of words taken from texts in various dialects of the language. Albanian scholars consulted for this volume include specialists in mushrooms, cinematography, zoology, veterinary science, lexicography, military science, botany, sports, medicine, biology, entomology, geology , ichthyology, ornithology, and the textile industry , to name a few. Three entry types can be found in the dictionary: main entries, phrasal entries, and cross-references, all in bold. Entries in...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 485-486
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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