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658 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 67, NUMBER 3 (1991) to Germanic is investigated; stages in the AngloSaxon spread correspond well to properties of Celtic river names and to present-day bloodgroup distributions. This has little to do with dynamic dialectology, but is an excellent demonstration of the interrelationship of various types of often-neglected evidence. O examines propagation of Scandinavian words; the slow rate indicates demie migration. Blood-group frequencies show some correlation, supporting the demie conclusion. O then studies propagation of French words, finding quick spread despite small Norman numbers, suggesting cultural diffusion . 'The acquisition of phonology' (200-77) regards one child's acquisition as vertical transmission (from parents: cf. genetic inheritance), which is later overtaken by horizontal transmission (from peers and teachers; cf. borrowing /contact). O finds that 'rates of change from a wrong pronunciation to a correct pronunciation in frequent words are greater than those of the infrequent words within the same vowel [and consonant]' (207). More frequent words appear earlier, resulting in an S-curve; sounds emerging early and late are slow in change and sounds emerging at the middle stage are quite rapid. O finds a clear relation between the rates of change of vowels and their historical stability: 'Vowels which change at a slow rate are vulnerable to change . . . while vowels which change at a rapid rate are stable' (224). Similar S-curves are found in lexically-diffused change, such as that still in progress from [u:] to [u] to [?] in English. O concludes with a tantalizing remark extrapolating Jakobson's claim that dissolution mirrors acquisition, predicting an S-curve with dissolution, 'more rapid in the middle stage than at the beginning and end' (227). This book leaves mixed impressions. Some parts are extremely interesting, even exciting. Some parts are elementary and readable, but others difficult and tortuous. O shows considerable statistical sophistication, common sense, and realism as to what statistics can accomplish, yet she sometimes seems blind to potential shortcomings and elementary methodological problems. She has wonderful command of the literature in several disciplines, but she also has gaps right in statistical methods in historical linguistics and dialectology. The volume's otherwise excellent physical quality is marred by a plethora of typographical and other errors, symptomatic of inadequate proofreading by a native speaker of English. Most errors are selfcorrecting , merely producing annoyance (e.g. typos, confusions of singular and plural, incorrect article use, other grammatical errors, lexical errors). The book will not get the attention it deserves, largely because these unevennesses and difficulties are off-putting to all but the most determined reader. [Sheila Embleton, York University. Toronto.] Research issues and problems in United States Spanish. Ed. by Jacob L. Ornstein-Galicia, George K. Green, and Dennis J. BixlerMarquez . Brownsville, TX: Pan American University, 1988. Pp. iii, 321. Most of the issues and problems discussed in this collection are related to the low esteem which both American Anglos and Hispanics in other countries give to Spanish and its speakers in the United States. Appropriately, in the first article Gary D. Keller explores 'The future of Spanish in the United States' by examining two fears—first, that Spanish may disappear altogether under Anglo social pressure, and second, that United States Spanish (hereafter USSp) may evolve, under the influence of nonstandard dialects, into something not recognized by other Hispanics as el español. Lucinda HartGonzalez employs census data to pursue the Spanish maintenance question further, concluding that higher rates of maintenance appear to be found in households of Mexican origin than in those of other countries. The belief that bilingualism causes poverty, touted by right-wingers in the popular press, is challenged by Fernando Peñalosa, who argues instead that poverty (and restricted educational opportunity) may be caused by monolingualism. In countering criticism of bilingual education. Manual Medrano critically examines twenty-two evaluative studies, concluding that in fact bilingual programs have a 'positive impact on student achievement' (104). Negative attitude toward USSp is treated by Benji Wald, who examines the linguistic insecurity of Mexican Americans, and by Rosa Fernandez, who examines attitudes of Mexican nationals living in the interior toward border Mexicans and Mexican Americans. As suggested above, many Hispanics outside the U.S. do not regard...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 658-659
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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