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BOOK NOTICES 715 the standardization of American English', where G joins the critics of Webster III in deploring what he sees as its editors' rejection of the true function of the dictionary as an authoritative agency in controlling the flexibility and maintaining the stability ofthe standard. He closes the discussion by finding the American Heritage Dictionary (1969) a better fulfilment of the public's assumption that a dictionary 'is indeed the outstanding exponent and guardian of the standard language' (176). This book is primarily interesting for the discussion of the requisite qualities and attributes of a standard language; for this, G is heavily indebted to predecessors, especially Mathiot and Garvin. His application of the theory to American English is perhaps less successful, though it contains many interesting insights. It must be said in conclusion that the book is atrociously printed. There is at least one typographical or other error per page, and some pages have as many as six. Apparently it was set up in Chile by a compositor with little or no knowledge ofEnglish, and was never proofread. [W. Nelson Francis, Brown University.] Die Ableitung der denominalen Verben mit Nullsuffigierung im Englischen. By Ilse Karius. (Linguistische Arbeiten , 159.) Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1985. Pp. x, 264. DM 92.00. Although interest in the puzzles of 'zero derived ' denominal verbs in English dates back 75 years, it was not until the publication of E. V. Clark & H. H. Clark's provocative article (Lg. 55.767-811, 1979) and M. Aronoffs response (Lg. 56.744-58, 1980) that they received prominence . K's position is that 'denominal null-suffixed verbs in topical sentences always have a very specific meaning which regular "structure reducing" word formation processes or the application of generative semantic structures with case concepts referring to pragmatic conventions cannot capture' (43). K begins with a semantically complex lexical entry in the form of simple propositions derived from 'common knowledge' (Alltagswissen), which she distinguishes from encyclopedic knowledge. The entry itself must occupy one argument position. The lexical entry for hammer would include propositional structures like 'X fix Y in Z with hammer' or 'X pound Y with hammer' . The propositional verbs in small capitals are defined by redundancy conditions as having subcategorizations identical with those of the phonologically corresponding lexical items, e.g. fix, pound; this allows them to provide the correct subcategorization for the derived verb. Rather than propose an independent lexical rule in the mode of M. Aronoff or R. Lieber, K argues for a slight, highly constrained adjustment to the category selection constraints on lexical insertion. This permits just those nouns with propositional structure to be inserted into V nodes, thus controlling the range of nouns subject to this type of insertion. Given the strictly defined constraints which K provides, semantic interpretation rules do the rest. Although her monograph refers only to null-suffixed derivation, her solution is actually the most restrictively defined notion of directional conversion to date. The book concludes with a detailed semantic classification of all denominal null-suffixed verbs, and a discussion of the problems of lexicalization in terms of these classes. An interesting innovation here is the distinction of 'meaning specialization' vs. 'lexicalization' ; the latter is restricted to those denominal verbs which have lost their denominal character. K explores the logical implications of her propositional semantics; however, further investigation ofthe role ofmetaphorin connection with the use ofthese derivations should not only remove even more putative lexicalized exceptions like to house in one room or to ship goods by rail from the corpus, but also provide fewer idiomatic propositions in lexical entries. Normal metaphorical usage ofdenominal verbs needs no explanation at all in a theory of lexical competence. K has opened a rich vein of research which leads to many interesting questions. What, for instance, is the relation of null-marked verbs to those with affixes, e.g. to house/institutionalize/ imprison, or to type/classify/categorize! My own experience suggests that no derivational difference between 'null-suffixed' and phonologically suffixed denominal verbs will be found; this implies a definition of null morphology as omission of 'real' markers in paradigms where they otherwise occur (cf. Saussure, Bally, Jakobson ). This suggests that null-marked verbs might be...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 715-716
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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