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BOOK NOTICES 661 male use of the word liberated, P writes, 'Women who allow men to fuck them are liberated ; those who don't, aren't' (171). P's hopeful final chapter, 'Speaking out' (202-36), surveys the growing literature on alternatives to male-dominated language (PUD: Patriarchial Universe of Discourse). These alternatives range from Suzette Haden Elgin's invented language Láadan to feminist dictionaries such as Mary Daly & Jane Caputi's Wickedary, to P's own attempts to teach women that they can escape PUD only by understanding how it controls them. Although it is clear that P's intended audience is female, as a white male academic who is comfortably liberal I was challenged to recognize that my self-righteous two-hour lecture on sexism in English, presented each semester to undergraduate students in introductory linguistics courses, is not enough to effect the most important revolution towards freedom in recorded history. I'm not sure what is enough, but P's thorough and provocative book is a step in the right direction. [Donald E. Hardy, University of North Texas.] Meaning, models and metaphors: A study in lexical semantics in English . By Gunnar Persson. Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell, 1990. Pp. 205. SEK 125.00. This monograph compares various semantic theories in the perspective of actual language use. It is a further development of earlier research on English semantics in a functional perspective conducted by Ulf Magnussen and Persson. Meticulous attention is paid to the taxonomy of lexical description and the construction ofviable anagogic models for word meaning and relations. In the 'Introduction' (1-6) P observes that a 'polarization' exists between introspectionbased and corpus-based studies (4). A perspective which P terms 'functional' would combine these two approaches. Ch. 2, 'Theoretical preliminaries ' (7-28), provides a thorough, though selective, survey of linguistic semantic theory in English and creates a context for the book's eclectic approach. The ontological importance of metaphor in everyday language and in scientific contexts is described and, in fact, forms the backbone of the book. The chapter also discusses theoretical models of the structure of the mental lexicon—'core' models based on analytic semantic features and 'fuzzy' models based on prototype theory. P advocates a functional model which combines features of the two, including both 'categorial concepts' (which bear a strong resemblance to semantic features) and typical attributes which consist of 'standard' connotations and real-world knowledge. Chs. 3-7 focus on various problems of meaning . In each, a particular problem ofword meaning is described and previous theoretical attempts to deal with it are discussed. P then focuses on the way in which his functional model deals with the phenomenon, relying in part on data of actual language use to verify the model's application to various theoretical principles . 'Hyponymy or meaning inclusion' (Ch. 3, 3682 ) discusses how a theoretical model based on discrete categorization of semantic features is unsuitable for functional approaches. A fuzzy hyponymy model based on function is proposed instead. 'Incompatibility or meaning exclusion' (Ch. 4, 83-93) claims that taxonomic opposition between 'binary terms' such as 'dead' and 'alive' (84-86) does not create a theoretically satisfying lexical description, and advocates the use ofpositive definitions with typical attributes instead. Ch. 5, on 'Synonymy' (94-136), looks at lexical synonymy through the tool ofcomponential analysis, which is found to be insensitive to context . Types of synonymy relations are discussed , such as 'connotative variants' (100) and collocation. The functional perspective forces the conclusion that, while the study of partial synonymy is valuable, complete synonymy is only a useful theoretical construct, due to the importance of context in describing synonymous relations. The chapter also includes a brief foray into sentential synonymy and its relation to truth conditions. Ch. 6, 'Ambiguity' (137-64), studies structural , referential, and lexical ambiguity through the functional mirror, and redefines how the meaning relations of each works through P's functional model. Ch. 7, on 'Metaphor' (16574 ), examines traditional approaches to metaphor , mainly what are generally known as the 'comparison' and 'interaction' theories. P claims that a nontraditional version of the comparison theory, based on 'subjectively perceived similarity' (180), provides a sound basis for metaphor. An interesting Gricean analysis bears on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 661-662
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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