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990 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 60, NUMBER 4 (1984) Z's dictionary is not an exhaustive reference work, designed for the specialist; rather, it is addressed to the non-native speaker of English who has learned British usage, but, upon encountering American English, finds himselfconfused by Americanisms. In this sense, Z's book is similar in purpose to P. Streven's 1972 British and American English; but there the similarity ends. Streven's work is a narrative description of some major AE/BE contrasts in pronunciation , grammar, and lexicon, together with some historical explanations and a chapter of advice for ESL teachers; Z's book, by contrast, uses the dictionary format exclusively, and thus focuses almost entirely on the lexicon. The work is successor to a somewhat longer dictionary which Z published in 1973, which dealt with 'words, phrases, meanings, grammar, orthography and pronunciation', a work reviewed favorably in the US. I am uncertain of the reason for the somewhat more restricted scope of the present dictionary; perhaps it is Z's recognition of the limitations of his written sources, which include both literary works and major dictionaries of AE and BE. The dictionary consists of about a thousand entries which resemble the format of the OED, except that pronunciation data are missing. Each entry consists of the AE word, its British counterpart, a definition, and several literary citations —drawn from sources ranging from William Dean Howells, to Erskine Caldwell, to government documents. Entries also include usage labels where appropriate; these include 'colloq .', 'slang', and 'taboo'. About two dozen of the entries describe what Z calls contrasts in 'grammar' ; these mainly involve the choice of prepositions or particles in verbal constructions (accordance to vs. accordance with) and certain direct object verbal nominalizations (AE help + 0infinitive vs. BE help + /o-infinitive; AE help but + 0infinitive vs. BE help + gerund). Z also points out the colloquial contrast in which AE uses the simple past tense where BE uses the present perfect. Z's reliance on literary sources means, of course, that his many slang and taboo entries will seem archaic to American readers; it is also unfortunate that he had no access to examples of spoken AE (one hopes that, when he revises this work, he will be able to consult the Dictionary of American regional English, now in press, as well as the regional linguistic atlases currently appearing). Still, his dictionary is a solid piece of work—one that students of AE will want to consult along with Krapp and Mencken. [Timothy C. Frazer, Western Illinois University.] English dialectology: An introduction. By Lawrence M. Davis. University , AL: University of Alabama Press, 1983. Pp. x, 151. Cloth $19.75, paper $9.95. This text for undergraduate courses in dialectology (also usable as supplementary reading in introductory linguistics courses) is intended 'to survey, critically and objectively, the major work in regional dialectology through 1979 in the United States and in Britain, as well as the basic studies in social dialectology in the United States' (ix). The book contains an introductory chapter covering such basic concepts as standard and non-standard language, accent, and regional and social dialects. Chap. II is a chronological tracing of the growth of dialect geography from its origins in Europe to the most recent American and British linguistic atlases, concluding with a thoughtful appraisal of the criticism the tradition has received since the mid-1950's. Chap. Ill begins with a 15-page section outlining certain statistical techniques (including chi-square and T-test). Davis considers this digression necessary so that students can evaluate some of the major works in social dialectology (i.e. sociolinguistics) described in the remainder of the chapter. Finally, a short chapter chronicles the search for a structural dialectology instigated by U. Weinreich's now-classic 1954 article. The book has a few typographic and related errors. On p. 25, line 18, 'div or dived' should read 'div for dived'. Gary N. Underwood's 'American English dialectology: Alternatives for the Southwest' is correctly dated 1974 in the text, but 1976 in the bibliography. Omitted from the bibliography is Mather & Speitel 1975, given as the reference to a map from the Linguistic Atlas of Scotland. Displayed on p...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 990-991
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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