Sprache beschreiben und erklären: Akten des 16. Linguistischen Kolloquiums, Kiel, 1981, vol. 1 Ed. by Klaus Detering et al., and: Sprache erkennen und verstehen: Akten des 16. Linguistischen Kolloquiums, Kiel, 1981, vol. 2 Ed. by Klaus Detering et al. (review)
- Linguistic Society of America
- Volume 60, Number 4, December 1984
- pp. 983-984
- View Citation
- Additional Information
BOOK NOTICES Sprache beschreiben und erklären: Akten des 16. Linguistischen Kolloquiums , Kiel, 1981, vol. 1. Ed. by Klaus Detering et al. (Linguistische Arbeiten, 118.) Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1982. Pp. x, 287. DM 78.00. Sprache erkennen und verstehen: Akten des 16. Linguistischen Kolloquiums , Kiel, 1981, vol. 2. Ed. by Klaus Detering et al. (Linguistische Arbeiten, 119.) Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1982. Pp. x, 307. DM 82.00. The first of these volumes contains 24 conference papers, all but four in German, arranged in four parts. Section I, 'Theory of science and history of linguistics', is a not very appropriately entitled potpourri of seven articles. Here the lack of standardized linguistic terminology (K. Detering), the lexeme (H. Eckert), and linguistic units (H. Liidtke) are discussed, and the basis and goals of etymology are provocatively set forth (E. Hörner). In an interesting but very speculative sketch, D. Maxwell outlines the hypothetical development of transitive verbs from intransitives. P. Schmitter and K. Adamzik classify types and functions of metacommunication ; they conclude that it has no uniform or even primary purpose such as the securing of understanding, as has previously been claimed. Section II, 'Morphology and lexicology', contains five papers, dealing inter alia with the relative syncategorematicity ofpetit and grand (J. Bloemen), French acronyms (K. Gebhardt) and the form of bilingual lexical entries (J. Fran- çois). A noteworthy contribution here is by I. Karius—who, in a study of English denominal verbs, argues that lexicalization is the result of semantic specialization ( = the presence of additional semantic features), which from the outset characterizes derived verbs. In Section III, 'Syntax', only afew papers are ofgeneral interest. H. Richter interprets the occurrence ofGerman regional constructions such as Was ich gesagt haben wollte or Er war (den Brief) am Schreiben, and similar forms in Portugese , as an incipient binary aspectual category (perfective/imperfective)—which, he claims, correlates with the tendency for verbal and nominal categories to merge. However, the argumentation and discussion are inconclusive at best. F. Duteil analyses various types ofFrench verbal periphrasis, and distinguishes modal auxiliaries (e.g. devoir, pouvoir) from actional (aspectual ) auxiliaries like venir de, faillir. Her claim that the infinitive modifies the former, but is modified by the latter, will surely be of interest to those who argue that infinitive and auxiliary exhibit an invariant operator/operand relation . Finally, in criticizing J. Levi's derivation of predicatively used nominal adjectives from attributive constructions, via ellipsis ofthe head noun, G. Rohdenburg points out a number of syntactic and semantic differences between the two types; he argues that they should be treated and derived separately. The final section, 'Psychology and language acquisition' , results at least in part from the Kiel project on language acquisition headed by Henning Wode. Prior to his brief remarks on problems in the acquisition of English modals by bilingual "children, J. Bahns introduces two key concepts ofWode's framework: the learner cognitively processes the complex linguistic input, selecting some features and temporarily disregarding others ('decomposition of target structures ')—a fact which is reflected in the ordered chronological stages of the linguistic output ('developmental sequence'). Continuing these ideas, B. Kielhöfer traces the developmental sequences in the acquisition of the French tense system; he finds two clearly differentiated stages, one for 'discussing' texts, which is finished by age 5/6, and another for narrative texts, which is not completed until age 13/14. Wode himself programmatically advocates a research program combining work on language acquisition , creóle and pidgin languages, language universals , and brain research, in order to offer non-trivial explanations for typological universals . Natural languages, he argues, are structured as they are for psycholinguistic reasons: universal restrictions on language, which set limits for change and are reflected in linguistic universals, result from the structure of human cognitive systems and general learning capacities . With some exceptions, this is a rather lackluster collection; one hopes that it does not indicate the full range of current research in the 983 984 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 60, NUMBER 4 (1984) north German universities from which nearly all the contributors come. Historical linguistics is, as usual, ignored; core fields of synchronic linguistics —phonetics, phonology, morphology— are neglected or barely touched upon; and there is a frequent...