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728 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 62, NUMBER 3 (1986) tonacan, and Gulf Coast/Tabascan influence in the Mayan Late Classic is discussed. Besides the standard index, which is very complete (over six pages long), there are indices of hieroglyphic texts, hieroglyphic signs and compounds, and linguistic forms cited in the paper. My only criticism is that more illustrated examples should accompany the discussions of hieroglyphs, to help the reader follow the arguments . Otherwise, the monograph is very successful. A carefully constructed methodology has resulted in a real contribution to understanding both the cultural and the linguistic history of Eastern Meso-America. [Bruce Love, UCLA.] Designing a computerized lexicon for linguistic purposes. By Erik Akkerman , Pieter Masereeuw, and Willem Meus. (ASCOT report no. 1; Costerus, n.s., 51.) Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1985. Pp. 80. /25.00 [Distrib . in the US by Humanities Press; $15.00.] The first stage of development of a 'lexical database and analysing system' called Automatic] S[canning system for] Cforpus-] 0[riented] Tfasks], under development at the University of Amsterdam is reported here. ASCOT's purpose is to look up words from an English text in a lexicon, and attach category labels to them. Text which has been analyzed by this method can then serve as input to further syntactic analysis programs. Rather than develop their own special-purpose lexicon and syntactic feature system, the authors have chosen to adapt a commercially available dictionary. The second (and major) section of this report compares the virtues and flaws, from a computational point of view, of two dictionaries: the Longman dictionary of contemporary English and the Oxfordadvanced learner's dictionary. These two were chosen by virtue of being available on computer tape, while providing relatively complete categorial and sub-categorial information about lexical entries . After detailed comparison, it was found that the Longman dictionary is more computationally tractable: its syntactic coding is less erratic, the categories distinguished are more useful, and the structure of the lexical entries is simpler. Further sections of the report discuss problems encountered in the analysis of the Longman tape, the coding system adopted as the output ofthe analyser, and (briefly) the handling of morphology. Appendices contain examples of the Longman and Oxford coding systems. This work should be of interest not only to scholars concerned with adapting commercially available dictionaries for computational purposes —a group which is growing rapidly, because ofthe expense ofconstructing a large special -purpose lexicon from scratch—but also to general lexicographers, whether or not they are ultimately interested in machine applications. This is because the attempt to extract information from a lexicon by computer provides the best possible test of the degree of consistency and rigor with which principles of lexical entry structure and content have been applied. [Susanna Cumming, UCLA.] Psycholinguistics: The experimental study of language. By Gary D. Prideaux . New York: Guilford Press, 1985. Pp. viii, 312. Cloth $35.00, paper $15.95. As the title shows, P's handbook is not just an ordinary introduction to psycholinguistics: the viewpoint is that ofan experimental linguist. Exercises at the end of each chapter, as well as a set often laboratory exercises (211-76) listed after the conclusions, make the book particularly useful for the undergraduate student. An introductory chapter (1-37) quite naturally defines linguistics as an empirical science. However, this may be only part of the truth for readers who, unlike P, accept the existence of both autonomous and causal linguistics. Thus Esa Itkonen has argued (Causality in linguistic theory, 1983; see my review in Studies in language 10:1, 1986) that autonomous linguistics exists, and that it is non-empirical. However, P's intention was to write a book without too many polemics. The introduction is followed by a short exploration (39-69) of the concepts of comprehension , production, and acquisition of language . The bulk of the book is devoted to an outline of recent developments and current issues in the rapidly evolving domains of linguistics and psycholinguistics. Three chapters here deal respectively with morphology, syntax, and semantics. About thirty pages (71-97) consider 'experi- BOOK NOTICES 729 mental morphology'. The discussion of the inflectional and derivational paradigms is very illuminating and includes a number of brilliant surveys. Unfortunately, however...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 728-729
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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