In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

198 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 66, NUMBER 1 (1990) Wicklung (Tübingen, 1960-62) as well as many shorter studies of English. The volume contains 17 papers, all but one in English. Nine of the authors are from Austria, seven from Germany, and one from Switzerland. Most of the papers carry on the tradition of philological study of English and thus are an appropriate tribute to Brunner, who was one of the group of distinguished Anglists who worked in that tradition in the first half of this century. There is not space here to discuss all of the papers. Instead, a few of more general interest may be given notice. ManfredGorlach begins the book with a discussion of 'Variation and linguistic change' (1-18). Taking his cue from the seminal article of Weinreich. Labov, & Herzog ('Empirical foundations for a theory oflanguage change', in Directions for historical linguistics, ed. by W. P. Lehmann & Yakov Malkiel, 1968), Görlach gives examples of various kinds of change arising from inherent variability in many aspects of English, including orthography as well as phonology, morphology, and syntax. He concludes with a point made by Suzanne Romaine —that while 'change implies preceding variability ... variability can well be stable over centuries' (16). J. Wallmannsberger follows with a discussion of 'The "creóle hypothesis" in the history of English' (19-36), in which he develops the idea that extensive changes in Middle English can be attributed to creolization, first with the Scandinavian language brought by Danes and Norsemen, and later with Norman French. In the course of the paper he deals briefly with broader theoretical views of creolization as an important diachronic process. Udo Fries contributes a comprehensive survey of 'The use of computers in English linguistics ' (45-62). He concludes with some comments on the application of computational study to historical linguistics, especially in the diachronic corpus compiled at Helsinki by Ihalainen and the corpus of English letters from the 14th to the late 17th centuries compiled at Innsbruck , the home university of Karl Brunner. Other papers on rather general themes are those by B. Diensberg (140-52) and N. Ritt (153-66) on the lengthening of vowels in open syllables in early Middle English, and a rather discursive description and categorization of compounding in Middle English by G. Sauer (186-209). All the papers, whether on relatively trivial subjects (e.g. a single OE etymology) or more general, such as those discussed above, are marked by careful scholarship, and each has a full bibliography. This is a belated Festschrift which Karl Brunner would have been pleased to receive. [W. N. Francis, Brown University.] Modelli e misure ritmiche: La durata vocálica in italiano, by Giovanna Marotta. Bologna: Zanichelli, 1985. Pp. vii, 188. L 19,000. Marotta, in her Introduction, paves the way for the presentation and discussion of a series of experiments and acoustic analyses that she conducted to investigate the relationship between timing and other aspects of language, including syntax and prosodie constituents. She discusses several speech production models that have been proposed to account for timing, as well as several methodological considerations pertaining both to the experimental paradigm in general and to certain characteristics of Italian. The first two chapters provide most of the empirical basis of the work. Ch. 1 focuses on the interaction between the word and the metrical foot. On the basis of duration measurements of stressed and unstressed vowels in different positions in words and phrases, M advances the hypothesis that a kind of temporal balance is maintained at various levels. That is, the duration of a particular vowel is sensitive to the length of the rest of the word as well as to the length of the sentence it is in. The second chapter addresses the question of why certain timing patterns in Italian differ from those of other languages. Are the differences due to the material analyzed or to inherent characteristics of the various languages? To resolve this matter, M carried out experiments on Swedish , observing the same criteria as the ones used for Italian. Under these conditions, the Swedish results were quite similar to the Italian ones, indicating that the nature of the materials (sentences as opposed to isolated words...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 198-199
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.