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694LANGUAGE, VOLUME 62, NUMBER 3 (1986) merits of Chinese characters is not merely an academic exercise, but has momentous consequences in shaping policy decisions affecting one-quarter of mankind; hence, in Wang's words (1978:269), 'the responsibility is with the linguist to make sure that the linguistic input to this decision is the best that the field can offer.' REFERENCES Chomsky, Noam, and Morris Halle. 1968. The sound pattern of English. New York: Harper & Row. Hooper, Joan B. 1976. An introduction to Natural Generative Phonology. New York: Academic Press. Kennedy, George A. 1964. Selected works. Ed. by Tien-yi Li. New Haven: Yale University Press. Lyu, Shu-xiang. 1963. Xiandai hanyu danshuang yinjie wenti chutan [A preliminary inquiry into the mono-/poly-syllabicity of contemporary Chinese]. Zhongguo Yuwen 1.10-22. Tzeng, Ovid; Linda Garro; and Daisy Hung. 1977. Research on Chinese characters: A call for interdisciplinary endeavor. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 5.349-54. ------, and Daisy Hung. 1980. Reading in a non-alphabetic writing system: Some experimental studies. Orthography, reading, and dyslexia, ed. by James E. Kavanagh & Richard L. Venezky, 211-26. Baltimore: University Park Press. ------; ------; and William S-Y. Wang. 1977. Speech recoding in reading Chinese characters . Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory 3.621-30. ------; ------; and Linda Garro. 1978. Reading the Chinese characters: An informationprocessing view. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 6.287-305. ------, and William S.-Y. Wang. 1983. The first two R's. American Scientist 71.23843 . Wang, William S-Y. 1978. Chinese characters. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 6.268-71. ------. 1980. Review of Language and linguistics in the People's Republic of China, ed. by Winfred P. Lehmann. Lg. 56.197-202. [Received 20 December 1985.] Phoneticism in Mayan hieroglyphic writing. Edited by John S. Justeson and Lyle Campbell. (Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, publication 9.) Albany : State University of New York, 1984. Pp. xiv, 389. $27.00. Reviewed by Victoria R. Bricker, Tulane University In the spring of 1979, a group of Mayan linguists and epigraphers met at SUNY Albany to discuss phoneticism in Mayan hieroglyphic writing. That conference marked a turning point in the history of Mayan epigraphy, for it was the first time that the phonetic basis of the script was taken for granted. Not a single paper in the volume that has resulted from that meeting mentions the acrimonious debate between J. Eric S. Thompson and Yurij Knorozov over the nature ofMayan hieroglyphic writing—a dispute that had retarded progress in decipherment for several decades. It seems that, by the end of the 1970's, Mayan epigraphers had reached a consensus rejecting much of Thompson's REVIEWS695 position, and were eager to get on with the task of assigning phonetic values to individual signs. Lyle Campbell, 'Some implications of Mayan historical linguistics for glyphic research' (116 ), considers the question of what language or languages are represented by the pre-Columbian Mayan script. It is clear from the classification and geographical distribution of the colonial and modern Mayan languages that the most likely candidates are Cholan, Yucatecan, and Tzeltalan. The head variants of several numbers, the signs for eight months ofthe 365-day year, and the glyph for the day called Manik all point to the development of the script among Cholan speakers. However , Campbell's claim that 'the language ofthe Dresden and Madrid codices is clearly Yucatecan' has yet to be demonstrated. Only pp. 25-8 of the Dresden Codex use the Yucatecan notation for numbers above 20, and p. 61 refers to 'twenty' by a cognate of Pocomchi winaq, instead of Yucatecan kal. It is therefore possible that more than one Mayan language is represented in a single codex. Of special interest is Campbell's attempt to relate apparent gaps in the syllabary to sound changes in relevant Mayan languages. He shows that the inventory of known syllabic signs corresponds closely to phonemic contrasts found in the Greater Lowland Mayan languages. Terrence Kaufman & William Norman, 'An outline ofProto-Cholan phonology, morphology and vocabulary' (77-166), present basic information on the Cholan languages in a form useful to epigraphers. The comparative analysis of verb morphology has some interesting implications for deciphering the hieroglyphic script: thus K&N's distinction between roots and lexical...

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ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 694-697
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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