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BOOK NOTICES 997 casual listening to films etc., is open to the objection that F could have listened selectively. However, F's evidence is presented not as an end in itself, but merely as exemplary of his larger point about discourse: even when his elicitation format does not permit a fully realistic response, or his own (limited) English changes a surface form, his argument can stand unaffected . It is on the basis of his theoretical claims that we must judge his work. Unfortunately, the focus of these articles is so diffuse as to limit our ability to appreciate F's argument. Although there is an index, it is, in F's own words, 'aussi partiel que l'ouvrage' (147). He might have added that the format of the index is not consistent: although it includes many of the phrases, it omits many others, and still others are indexed in a format which precludes ready accessibility. This is especially unfortunate in a work ofthis nature, which F maintains was initially visualized as a 'dictionnaire des phrases en situation' (123). Although the book makes a plea for a re-assessment of our linguistic models, and for an expansion to allow for interpretation of the material which F presents , he has not presented a model. Though his material, qua data, may be interesting, his analysis qua thesis is inadequate. Nonetheless, as in any of F's books, we find buried nuggets of information. Who knew that the first linguist to assume the situation as the point of departure for the turn at talk was Philip Wegener? The fact that the reference is given in the text as 1886, but in the bibliography as 1885, is a trivial point, but unfortunately is typical of the host of details which mar our understanding of F's text. In sum, while F does not do what he apparently set out to do, the reader can follow up individual lines of thought, if he has the leisure and the perseverance to do so. [Malcah Yaeger-Dror, Ben Gurion University.] Wine and conversation. By Adrienne Lehrer. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983. Pp. xii, 240. Cloth $25.00, paper $17.50. In this volume, L turns to her hobby—wine tasting—for a corpus of words for semantic study. The results are interesting in parts, somewhat confusing in others. In the first section, L discusses the semantics ofwine words (dry, robust etc.) After proposing a semantic taxonomy for a large corpus of terms, she shows how the wine vocabulary enlarges by morphological derivation and by semantic extension. L suggests that most wine words have (or could have) denotative, natural meaning, though relationships among words are conventional. Within a given context (light for a burgundy is not the same as for a chablis), there are empirical criteria for the appropriate use of a term—criteria which have been, or could be, established by experts. Even evaluative terms like good and metaphorical ones like honest can, in the wine context, be empirically defined. However, not everyone who talks about wine is an expert; and in Section 2, L describes experiments designed to test whether people talking about wine in fact use wine words in mutually consistent ways, and to what extent they manage to communicate with them. The experiments are interesting, though not very rigorous, and are presented in a confusingly discursive way. With two groups of sophisticated but nonprofessional wine tasters, L discovered very little consensus on the meanings of wine words; stable norms for the application of the terms did not develop over time. Subjects were not able to describe wines so that others could reliably pick them out of an unlabeled set. A third group of subjects were enologists; they were better able to agree on descriptions of wines, but also performed poorly on matching tests. The third section of the book is about the communicative functions of wine talk. L summarizes a number of ways ofclassifying the uses of language (speech-act theory, Jakobsonian functions); but she makes little use of these in the ensuing discussions of scientific, 'precise' language and of 'critical communication', the goal of which is to create 'sameness of vision' (168). L claims...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 997-998
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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