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BOOK NOTICES 207 allows himself to stray into those distracting ad hominem arguments that seem to be the bane of linguistic philosophers.) In this seventh essay, though, Pateman finally grapples with his real problem: how can language be reproduced by individuals so that we can be sure it is language ? The answer, as he argues earlier, can only be discovered if we intertwine linguistic theory with philosophical theory. In order, the essays deal with the following topics: ( 1) the argument over whether linguistics is a science (Pateman thinks that, among other things, linguistics is a science); (2) the philosophy of science as an aid in understanding historical linguistics; (3) defining concepts of language —something natural, something abstract, a name given to something that native speakers say is theirs, a social set of conventions that are linguistic facts, or a social set of conventions that are not linguistic facts (Pateman thinks the last is closest to being true); (4) using 'realism' to integrate nativist linguistic theories (Chomsky ) with sociolinguistic theories; (5) allowing psychologists to be included in this whole language quest; (6) setting up the behaviorists against the cognitivists (in spite of the title, 'Wittgensteinians and Chomskyans', P presents a well-balanced argument with little name-calling .); and (7) a detailed account of the concept of 'conventions' in language—as in 'language is a set of conventions'. [Scott Baird, Trinity University.] Vokalquantität und qualität im Deutschen. By Karl Heinz Ramers . (Linguistische Arbeiten, 213.) Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1988. Pp. ix, 251. DM93.00. In this book, his 1987 Cologne dissertation, Ramers's goal is to answer the following two poorly-conceived questions: What is the nature of the qualitative difference between (the members of) the seven vowel pairs exemplified in the German word pairs bieten-.bitten, Hüte: Hütte, Beef.Bett, Höhle.Hölle, Mus -.muß, wohne.Wonne, and Bahn.Bannl And which sound feature, quantity or quality, is the relevant or distinctive feature in the vowel system of German? Seemingly groping for the structuralist 's phonetic vs. phonemic features, R pursues answers to his questions by surveying prior phonological literature and analyzing the results of his own experiments at Cologne's Institute for Phonetics. After posing the questions (1-6), R devotes the rest of the introductory first chapter to a survey of literature on the depiction of vowel systems (7-50). The second chapter examines literature on the 'distinctive feature in the German vowel system' (51-158), and the third presents R's 'auditory or acoustic' analysis of the results of his own phonetic experiments in German vowel realization (159-216). The fourth and last chapter contains his conclusions (217-28). Some seven appendices (229-40) and a bibliography (241-51) follow the body of the dissertation. Germanists will know that the best structural answers to R's questions concerning the German vowel system can be derived from William G. Moulton's The sounds of English and German (1962): one difference between the members of the seven German vowel pairs lies in the phonetic feature 'centrality' (my term). Another difference, distinctive for the German vowel system, lies in the phonemic feature 'tension' (again my term). R rejects structural answers to his questions, but is unable to give satisfactory new answers of his own. By the time he comes to his concluding chapter, he has embraced a contorted vocalic system underlying a phonetic representation of eight long and short vowel pairs, three of which have a step-up tongue height (Beet -.bitten, Höhle: Hütte, wohne: muß)—an absurd contortion whose wrongheadedness Ramers all but concedes. [B. J. Koekkoek, State University ofNew York at Buffalo.] Interpretationen aus dem Rigveda. By Hans Schmeja. (Innsbrücker Beitr äge zur Kulturwissenschaft, Sonderheft 61.) Innsbruck: AMOE, 1987. Pp. 45 + 4 foldout tables. öS 210. This little book, which belongs more in the realm of literary analysis than linguistics per se, consists of the author's interpretations of three Rigvedic hymns: 1.1 (to Agni), 1.32 (to Indra), and X. 119 (a monologue of one exhilarated by Soma). In the first instance, the author considers German translations by Karl Geldner, Klaus Mylius, and Paul Thieme, concluding that Thieme's rendition...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
p. 207
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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