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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, the phonological renderings are quite faulty; moreover, the shirt/skirt example (86) has nothing to do with morphology. The experiments in which P himselftook part are, strangely, the least clearly explained. The treatment of the acquisition of the English plural morpheme is a nice opportunity to discuss the non-uniqueness problem. The chapter on syntax (99-158) offers a historical survey of the evidence adduced against Chomsky's derivational theory of complexity. Attention is also paid to the question of how a transformational grammar is acquired (cf. R. Brown's cumulative theory of language acquisition ). Finally, P investigates which strategies are used by subjects in order to process language . He defends the idea of parallel processing , and criticizes J. Kimball's approach— which is based on parsing strategies and serial processing. The idea that words 'possess' meaning, no matter how they are used, is considered a prejudice : instead, 'it is people who mean'. In his chapter devoted to semantics (159-95), P does not seem to consider the third alternative, that words have a meaning which depends on how speakers use them. This last position should be granted by all those who speak (as P does!) about the 'meaning of words'. P directs attention toward lexical, sentential, and discourse semantics . Truth-conditional semantics is not considered . In all chapters, but particularly in this one, research by European scholars seems to be carefully ignored. Does this not lead, e.g. for semantic or lexical field theory, to an unauthorized 'rewriting ofthe history oflinguistics'? D. S. Palermo's objections against the feature theory of meaning are given full support: this may not be totally accurate. The concluding chapter (197-209) is much more than a summary of the book. It deals with such important issues as interaction between theory and experimentation, and the choice of an appropriate grammatical model. P's evidence that syntax and grammar must be neatly distinguished from one another is not elaborate enough, and hence remains unconvincing. P has deliberately ignored some important but less 'central' issues: there is no information on experimental phonetics and phonology, reading , language pathology, or L2 acquisition. Nevertheless, Psycholinguistics is to be warmly welcomed. It is intended for undergraduate students , but it may just as well prove useful for other readers, including specialists. Unfortunately , a relatively high number of printing errors are present, which closer proofreading would surely have reduced. [Bert Peeters, Aarschot, Belgium.] Into the mother tongue: A case study in early language development. By Clare Painter. London, England, & Dover, NH:. Frances Pinter, 1984. Pp. xii, 271. $20.00. A diary-based case study of the development of language by P's son from 9 to 24 months, this book is cast in a Hallidayan 'systemic' framework . It forms a valuable elaboration of and sequel to Learning how to mean, Halliday's classic case study (1975) of his own son's early language development. The initial chapter is a short review of literature on the semantics of the oneword stage; P makes a number of cogent criticisms here, claiming that all work in this area suffers from the lack of a sufficiently constrained analytic framework. For P, such a framework is provided by systemic theory. Since most potential readers—even those who have followed Halliday's work in child language —have little knowledge ofhis general theory , she devotes the second chapter ofthe book to presentation and some critical discussion of his approach, which treats linguistic (including pragmatic) structure in terms of configurations of underlying paradigmatic choices. Such chapters are obligatory miseries in any book utilizing a theory outside those covered by the average comprehensive examination in linguistics, since they must be compressed to a point just short of total incomprehensibility. P's effort here more or less permits one to understand the rest of her book; but researchers who wish to use the systemic approach for dealing with their own data would undoubtedly need to read Halliday and others who have contributed to the development of systemic theory. After a good description (and defense) of her diary-study...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 729-730
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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