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BOOK NOTICES 717 It is well known that most sentences, alongside their 'prepositional meaning', have, when uttered, a certain illocutionary force. It may be less obvious that all sentences, when uttered, contain an 'epistemic meaning'—which reflects , among other things, the speaker's attitude toward the propositional meaning: it is impossible for a human being to talk without taking a position concerning the truth of the communicated message. Doherty assumes that epistemic meaning is expressed partly by the elements which are used to render the propositional meaning, and partly by other elements. The latter group includes two basic categories: (a) sentential adverbs and the positive or negative form of an utterance specify attitudes, while (b) the syntactic, lexical , and phonological forms of statements, questions, and clauses specify attitudinal moods. Some expressions mark both attitude and attitudinal mood, e.g. the so-called German 'Einstellungspartikeln'; and D's study concentrates on the epistemic meaning conveyed by the particles doch, etwa, denn, ja, and wohl. Only in the past few years have German scholars become increasingly aware of the importance of particles in their language. This might sound a little surprising. The abundant use of particles is one of the most salient features of German and Dutch, as opposed to English . A few decades ago, A. Reichling drew attention to the importance of particles in Dutch. His work, however, has not been translated into English, and has never obtained the success it deserves. D's book includes 24 chapters, in three main parts. Chs. 1-10 deal with the basic elements required for the description ofthe particles studied . The description proper occupies Chs. 1118 . The remaining chapters explore some ofthe relevant epistemic contexts for 'Einstellungspartikeln '. D argues that each particle has a single invariant meaning, which is then differentiated in terms of context. This is a highly attractive view: new evidence is offered, however indirectly, for the assumption that the entire lexicon (and notjust categories like nouns, adjectives, and verbs) is articulated in so-called semantic or lexical fields. In the early 40's, a similar assumption was put forward by K. Reuning , whose work too is little known, although it was written in English. The original text, a 1981 Berlin dissertation from the Humboldt-Universität, has been thoroughly revised, but no effort has been made to update the bibliography. This is unfortunate, since recent attempts to approach the study of particles in terms of 'lexical fields' are not considered (cf. H. Weydt's 'Partikelanalyse und Wortfeldmethode: Doch, immerhin, jedenfalls, schließlich, wenigstens', published in a volume edited by Weydt: Die Partikeln der deutschen Sprache, 395-413, 1979). D's original contribution to the study of German particles is a highly interesting work. It will, if one believes D, 'meet with opposition as it trespasses into semantic areas which have, so far, been excluded from all logically stricter models' (160). But is that not a guarantee for the progress of linguistics as a whole? It is to be hoped that D's apprehension will become true! [Bert Peeters, Aarschot, Belgium.] Le Tavole Iguvine. By Aldo ProsdociMi . (Lingue e iscrizioni delPItalia antica, 4.) Firenze: Olschki, 1984. Pp. 239, with a separate album of photos. The Iguvine Tables are among the most important ritual resources of the classical world. Discovered in 1444 at Gubbio in north central Italy, the seven bronze tablets are preserved there in the Palazzo dei Consoli. They represent the most significant extant monuments of Umbrian. Since many editions of the Tables exist, one might ask why Prosdocimi has undertaken the task of producing yet another. The answer is apparent when P's stunningly clear and detailed account is viewed in comparison with earlier modern editions such as those by G. Devoto, G. Bottiglioni, and J. Poultney, as well as older ones by such scholars as M. Bréal, R. S. Conway , C. D. Buck, and R. von Planta. The special feature of P's account among modern editions lies primarily in the fact that it does not attempt to be a grammar of Umbrian based on the Tables : rather, it is a historical/epigraphical/philological treatise, full ofdetailed discussion of the physical characteristics of the Tables and their interpretation...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 717-718
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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