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BOOK NOTICES 491 production? Most linguists probably see themselves as concerned with the abstract properties oflinguistic knowledge, not with its concrete implementation in neural hardware. At the same time, many of us feel vaguely guilty about our ignorance ofthose linguistic processes that go on inside the skull, as opposed to the mouth, nose, and throat. For such people it is hard to imagine a more suitable introductory book on neurolinguistics than this. The first chapter, 'Neurolinguistics' (1-12), outlines the classic work of Paul Broca and Carl Wernicke and mentions the longstanding debate over the extent to which different aspects of linguistic knowledge are separately 'localized' in the brain. Ch. 2, "The brain' (13-26), provides a painless introduction to neurology. Ch. 3, 'How we know what we know about brain organization for language' (27-36), summarizes the main sources of evidence, from brain damage to modern imaging techniques. Chs. 4 and 5 (37-64) deal with the classification of the various aphasie syndromes and with what underlies them. Ch. 6 (65-77) deals with developmental dysphasia, particularly specific language impairment (SLI) and the situation of wild children such as Genie. Chs. 7-9 (78-121) deal respectively with right-brain damage, the effects of dementias such as Alzheimer's disease, and syndromes that specifically affect reading and writing. In Ch. 10 (122-40) Obler and Gjerlow discuss bilingualism in relation to the brain, including how the different languages of an aphasie patient may be differently affected and the significance of linguistic savants with low general IQ. Ch. 11, 'Language organization' (141-55), addresses the issue of neurological evidence for the 'psychological reality' of linguists' analytical constructs. Ch. 12, "The future ofneurolinguistic study' (156-68), highlights areas that O & G see as most profitable for research in the immediate future, including the relationship between language and cognition, and crosslinguistic comparison of aphasie symptoms. There is also a glossary, and notes for further reading are linked with each chapter. The treatment is thorough (or as thorough as possible in so small a space) and balanced. For the controversy over how directly one should expect grammar to be reflected in performance, Ch. 1 1 is as good an introduction as any I have read. On the central issue of how far Broca' s and Wernicke's areas can be associated with grammar and vocabulary respectively, O & G reject radically antilocalizationist views but at the same time give space to arguments against 'agrammatism' as a single uniform syndrome. My main complaint concerns the picture of the brain at Figure 1.1 on page 6, where Broca's and Wernicke's areas are associated with 'output' and 'comprehension ' respectively. Even granting that the picture is schematic, this risks perpetuating a view that was shown to be oversimplified more than twenty years ago. But that is a small quibble in relation to the book's overall excellence. [Andrew CarstairsMcCarthy , University of Canterbury, New Zealand .] Slavic prosody: Language change and phonological theory. By Christina Y. Bethin. Cambridge, New York & Melbourne : Cambridge University Press, 1998. Pp. 349. Although intended primarily for Slavicists and Indo-Europeanists in general, this book has interest for students of language change, especially prosody, and for those interested in syllable structure and its formal representation. It is a deep and highly detailed treatment of some complicated changes. The book presents diachronic changes in Slavic prosody; for example, it treats how closed syllables became open ones (and later closed in some languages) and intrasyllabic harmony ('synharmony') as to hardness or softness, teasing apart separate phenomena to show how they do and do not interact. The treatment begins with 'Common Slavic' at its separation from IndoEuropean but focuses on Late Common Slavic (ninth-twelfth centuries). The author is extremely well versed in the literature and presents what seems to a non-Slavicist an exhaustive treatment of what is known about changes in Slavic prosody. Furthermore , the reader is presented with a new and original analysis of some general Slavic tendencies as well as provided with some indications as to how the facts would be treated in a constraint-based approach (a still developing form of optimality theory). A short 'Introduction' (1-11) presents the previous treatments and the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
p. 491
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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