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BOOK NOTICES Die Morphologie des urgermanischen Nomens. By Alfred Bammesberger . (Untersuchungen zur vergleichenden Grammatik der germanischen Sprachen, 2. Band.) Heidelberg : Winter, 1990. Pp. 290. DM 34.00. The book under review is the second volume of B's projected five-volume comparative Germanic grammar, following by four years Der Aufbau des germanischen Verbalsystems (Heidelberg : Winter. 1986). After a brief introduction (9-10). an overview of the nominal system of Germanic (1 1-7), and a chapter dealing with the characteristic features of the Indo-European noun (18-34), B canvasses the stem-classes of Germanic in a sequence of seven chapters, followed by a chapter on the adjective. In each instance B presents inflectional paradigms from the old Germanic dialects, reconstructs the PlE and PGmc. forms of the various case endings, and discusses their general historical developments . This is followed in each chapter by a listing of Germanic nouns (or adjectives) belonging to the stem-class in question, together with a short discussion of each. It is this feature that gives B's book its unique value. B frequently ventures analyses that carry us back to PlE, taking into consideration recent work on the PIE noun. The book is therefore an important new scholarly tool in Germanic linguistics. I will limit the following discussion to a few points that may be considered controversial. B states (38) that eight cases are to be postulated for PGmc. This seems questionable to me, particularly with regard to the ablative. Although it is true that the many Germanic adverbs in *-<5 (e.g. Goth, sniumundo, OS, OHG sniumo 'quickly' ; ON giarna 'gladly'. OE geara 'formerly') may be derived from PIE ablatives in *-oad, the fact that such forms are already on the PGmc. It vel relexicalized suggests that the ablative did not exist as such in PGmc. At a later point B himself notes (43) that as a proper case form the ablative was in PGmc. 'kaum mehr lebendig' . On p. 36 B somewhat awkwardly lists Goth, dat. sg. daga as an instrumental. True, this form may provide an exact counterpart to OS dagu and OHG tagu, both instrumentais, but it may also be derived from a PIE locative in *-oi (cf. Gk. oíkoi, Lith. namië 'at home', OCS grade 'in the city'). B seems to support such a derivation , at least as a possibility (42), although at a later point (103) he supports derivation from an instrumental. B is inconsistent in his treatment of PGmc. long vowels resulting from contraction of two vowels, sometimes reconstructing them with circumflex intonation (trimoricity) and sometimes not. Thus, the PGmc. dat. sg. of /-stems is presented as *-ai (125), but the corresponding»-stem form is given as *-aii (151), despite the morphological parallelism of the two stem classes. The «-stem genitive plural ending is reconstructed variously as *-ö" (154, ?. 257) and *-on (154). Apropos of //-stems. B derives the voc. sg. in au of Gothic from an extended-grade *-ew (151-2). But extended grade in a vocative hardly imposes itself, and such forms as Skt. vaso 'good one (voc.)', OCS synu 'son (voc.)', and Lith. siinaii 'id.' all point to simple *-eu or *-«//. At the same time. OCS synovii 'sons (gen.)', Gk. péheôn 'forearms (gen.)', and Lat. cornuum 'horns (gen.)' provide much better combined evidence for the //-stem gen. pi. than does Skt. bâhùnâm 'harms (gen.)' (157). Much of B's discussion involves etymological considerations. A good etymology involves both a formal and a semantic side; and I find the treatment of the latter to be somewhat weak in a number of instances. For example, B treats *daig-ijön- 'female breadmaker' (OE deege) (181-82) as a Weiterbildung to *daigi. itself a feminine built to *daigaz 'dough' on the pattern familiar from Skt. devás 'god': devi 'goddess'. But why should a kneader be called '(feminine dough)-er'? Rather, *daig-ijon- is a direct feminine agentive formed to *daigaz like *fisk-ijan- 'fisherman', the masculine agentive to *fiskaz 'fish'. The meaning is therefore 'dougher (fern.)'. In closing, 1 wish to emphasize the importance and usefulness of this book. Its rich detail and informed discussion are deserving of careful and critical reading by scholars interested in the Indo-European basis of the Germanic noun. (Jared S. Klein, The University of Georgia.] The uses of linguistics. Ed. by Edward H. Bendix. (Annals of the New 645 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
p. 645
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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