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BOOK NOTICES 989 erties when combined with other predicates: That S seems likely is not only grammatical, but also has the properties of likely and its complement , the lower-clause verb. And just what is the subject of seem, if the complement clause is not? Might it be the optionally expressed experiencer NP, as some analyses have claimed? Even though this monograph does not go very deeply into questions which can at best be formulated without obvious answers, it has many of the virtues of a dissertation. It gives a rich survey ofprevious analyses, presented in an orderly and perspicuous fashion. Its array of data is particularly interesting for the detailed comparison which it allows between English and German. But one wishes that the sharply critical eye with which O discusses previous work were also turned with equal force on her own analysis , to point out where the analysis follows naturally from the assumptions and the data, and where things become complex and somewhat arbitrary. There is a great deal in this book, and some of the most interesting parts are hard to find because the main issues and questions have not been sufficiently detached from the background. [Alice Davison, University ofIllinois.] Semantic, pragmatic and syntactic correlates : An analysis of performative verbs based on English data. By John Geoffrey Partridge. Tübingen : Narr, 1982. Pp. 172. P's objective is to investigate various properties of English performative verbs, along with any mutual influence and interactions that might emerge among them. Originally written in German as a dissertation at the University of Regensburg in 1979, this six-chapter study was subsequently rewritten in English for publication . Chap. 1 is a survey of the ferment generated in linguistics by Austin's How to do things with words (1962); it includes references to the contributions of Ross, Sadock, Fraser, Katz, McCawley, Vendler, Lakoff, Leech, Harris, and Searle (among others). Chap. 2 then identifies and discusses the list of verbs at the end of Austin's work as the corpus of performatives which P uses in this study. Chap. 3 proposes a semantic/syntactic analysis of performative verbs in terms of three ordered factors: do (an acting component), explic (an explicitness component), and say (a saying component). P argues that this three-factor analysis reflects pragmatic functions in syntactic form, and that any view of performatives as abstractions should therefore be abandoned. In Chap. 4, he subcategorizes the explic component into iMPos[itives] and iNDic[atives]—using primarily pragmatic/semantic criteria, and referring to syntactic reflexes only as additional supporting evidence. Chap. 5 argues that performatives are not the only force-indicating devices in English; they overlap—pragmatically and semantically—with modal verbs (e.g. must), modal adverbs (frankly, honestly), and other devices. Chap. 6, which compares P's analysis with previous proposals, holds, first, that his study agrees with Ross' 'Pragmantax' only to the extent that, given a common semantic base, the pragmatic factors of individual performatives can be shown to influence syntactic form. Second , P rejects Austin's thesis that an explicit performative exists for every illocutionary act—as well as Ross' proposal that performatives constitute the locus of language behavior, and that syntactic processes depend on them. Furthermore, P claims that Ross' feature [ ± performative] is inadequate, since the three ordered features do/explic/say are needed to account fully for 'performativeness'. P concludes that performative utterances are dependent on language, not vice versa; he adds that the relatively low frequency of performatives in actual speech, and their inaccessibility to young children, support the view that performatives cannot occupy a central, initiating position in pragmatics. There is an unfortunate typo on p. 139, at the end of the study proper; 'Performatives thus represent the point of contact of semantics, pragmatics and semantics as a threefold correlation .' Obviously, the second instance of 'semantics ' in this sentence should read 'syntax'. This aside, P's study, which concludes with footnotes, appendices, and an extensive bibliography , is a most useful and readable contribution to the body of literature on performative verbs. [Marianne Celce-Murcia, UCLA.] Dictionary of contemporary American English, contrasted with British English. By Givi Zviadadze. Tbilisi , Georgian SSR: State University Press; Atlantic Highlands, NJ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
p. 989
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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