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BOOK NOTICES 727 longing to five different sub-branches: Aramaic, Ammonite, Canaanite, Mideanite and Gileadite; and Ammonite, in turn, as Canaanite or Arabic. G attempts to identify all dialectal differences of phonology (Ch. 2, pp. 23-78), morphology (Ch. 3, 79-166), and syntax (Ch. 4, 167-204). He admits that lexico-semantic isoglosses are 'potentially valid', and believes in using the Swadesh list for the comparisons; however, few of the Swadesh items actually occur in NWS inscriptions. Feasibility thus may depend on choosing alternative vocabulary items. For example , C. A. Ferguson (Lg. 35.616-30, 1959) used the verb ?a/ 'see' in colloquial Arabic dialects (among other items) to postulate descent from a hypothetical Arabic koine—as opposed to the classical language, which used the common Semitic verb ra'ä. Such differences may contribute a great deal to dialect geography, as well as to the hows and whys of language change. Ch. 5 (215-40), 'The dialectical continuum of Syria-Palestine', presents G's results of the entire investigation; e.g., the lsg. pronoun groups Phoenician, Sam'alian, and Moabite together, as opposed to Old Aramaic and Hebrew. G is unsure (217) as to whether phonological or morphological features offer a better basis for classification , but affirms (216) that syntax is most unreliable. He further concludes (229) that Phoenician and Aramaic represent the extremes ofNWS 'dialects'; Ammonite is the closest relative to Phoenician, and Deir 'Alia to Aramaic. The bibliography is extensive (241-60); but there was no need to repeat so much of the bibliographic information in the notes following the chapters. [Alan S. Kaye, California State University , Fullerton.] The foreign impact on Lowland Mayan language and script. By John S. Justeson, William M. Norman, Lyle Campbell, and Terrence Kaufman. (Middle American Research Institute, Publication 53.) New Orleans: Tulane University, 1985. Pp. vii, 97. This monograph is an important demonstration of the rewards of studying the interface between linguistics and archaeology in the reconstruction of culture history. The use ofpast and present linguistic boundaries to define ethnic boundaries is traditional in archaeology. Questions of cultural diffusion, migration, abandonment of areas etc., have always been addressed in terms of language groups—e.g. the on-going question over the archaeological evidence for the 'Numic expansion' in the American Great Basin. Areas of shared culture are seen as areas ofshared language. For Eastern Meso-America, however, there has been an unfortunate lack of communication between linguists and the archaeologists . Culture history in this area has been reconstructed on the basis of material remains and ethnohistorical sources, with little attention to historical linguistics. This volume is thus a welcome bridge between the disciplines. The goal of the work is clearly stated in the opening paragraph of the introduction: it is 'to identify evidence for the impact of foreign groups on the spoken and written languages of the Lowland Maya and to determine what this evidence indicates about social interaction between the ancient Lowland Maya and foreign peoples'. Part I presents the authors' current understanding of language history—specifically , of lexical diffusion—in the Lowland Mayan language area. The area is defined, linguistic chronology is discussed, and sources of lexical borrowing are reviewed, including Zapotecan , Mixe-Zoquean, Nahua, and Totonacan . Part II deals with foreign influences on the Mayan hieroglyphic writing. After clarifying which features ofwriting systems are indicative ofhistorical relationships and which are not, the authors argue persuasively for an Olmec origin for Meso-American writing; this then branched into a Oaxacan group to the west, and a Southeastern group which eventually led to the Classic Mayan script. Part III discusses several important conclusions drawn from the preceding parts. The linguistic chronology of Lowland Mayan and neighboring Mayan groups is refined. Absolute dates for linguistic divergence, based on evidence presented in the Parts I—II, are compared with glottochronological estimates for the same splits. The results are surprisingly consistent , giving strong support to glottochronology as a method of estimating language diversification . Social implications of diffusion between both spoken and written vocabularies are discussed ; and extensive interaction between Greater Izapan and Lowland Mayan people in the Preclassic Period is suggested. The linguistic identification ofTeotihuacán is proposed as To- 728 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 62...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 727-728
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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