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

844LANGUAGE, VOLUME 68, NUMBER 4 ( 1992) in the text) become central. The highlight is a reanalysis (913) of eight English constructions, from zero anaphora to left-dislocation, into four types with different backward-looking properties—continuation of current topic, return to earlier topic over small gap, retrieval of earlier topic over a longer gap (or a structural divide), and gap-irrelevant devices (involving a range of cognitive strategies). The more abstract sections on language and (general) cognition, such as attention and memory, and short treatments of culture and of face-toface conversation seem rather dry. Ch. 21 begins with a similarly unexciting review of markedness theory, then turns to iconicity (i.e., meaning is directly reflected in form). Large meanings show up as large forms, semantic proximity shows up as surface adjacency. G presents iconicity as the essence of the functional enterprise, in contrast to structuralism in the Saussure-to-Chomsky line. (Other functionalists might argue that the essence of their approach is 'functional binds', as G labels them, which explain why more-or-less universal meanings or functions are expressed in radically different forms, and some functionalists are suspicious of the universalizing reductionism of iconicity theory.) The two-volume textbook, which began with an essay on biology, Wittgenstein, and prototypes, ends similarly with an essay featuring Aristotle, DNA, and barn owls. Department of Linguistics[Received 1 June 1992.] University of Michigan 1076 Frieze Building Ann Arbor, MI 48109 First language attrition. Edited by Herbert W. Seliger and Robert M. Vago. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Pp. xiv, 259. Reviewed by Nancy C. Dorian, Bryn Mawr College Language attrition has thus far been an eclectic subject, attracting the attention of specialists in developmental linguistics, neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics , psycholinguistics, and applied linguistics. Increasingly the phenomenon interests researchers who see possible commonalities among certain reductive processes involved in pidginization, aphasia and dementia, community language obsolescence, and the forgetting of acquired first and second languages , and also between those reductive processes on the one hand and the incremental process of acquisition by children on the other. Most of these interests are represented in the present volume, with pidginization the only absentee. The editors' general organizing principle is the number of cases considered within a paper. 'Survey studies' lead off the volume, followed by 'Group studies ' and 'Case studies'. This proves to be a useful ordering in that the focus moves from the greatest generality to the greatest specificity. By the time the reader reaches the last section of the volume, the fact that one individual is the focus (or two, in one instance), with reference to a relatively limited question , has become a well motivated narrowing of the attrition inquiry. From the REVIEWS845 multiple-case surveys of the opening section, several of them treating more than one form of attrition, the reader can also gain a wide perspective and a theoretical orientation, after which the sample-population studies of the second section and the single-case studies of the final section offer proving grounds for some of the theories. The papers in the three sections of the volume are as follows: Survey studies: 'The study offirst language attrition: An overview' (Herbert W. Seliger & Robert M. Vago, 3-15) 'First language attrition and the parameter setting model' (Michael Sharwood Smith & Paul van Buren, 17-30) 'Recapitulation, regression, and language loss' (Keesde Bot & Bert Weltens, 31-51) 'First language loss: bilingual and polyglot aphasies' (Loraine K. Obler & Nancy R. Mahecha, 53-65) ? crosslinguistic study of language contact and language attrition' (Julianne Mäher, 67-84) Group studies: 'Ll loss in an L2 environment: Dutch immigrants in France' (Keesde Bot, Paul Gommans, & Carola Rossing, 88-98) 'The sociolinguistic and patholinguistic attrition of Breton phonology, morphology, and morphonology ' (Wolfgang U. Dressler, 99-112) 'Language attrition in Boumaa Fijian and Dyirbal' (Annette Schmidt, 113-24) 'Pennsylvania German: Convergence and change as strategies of discourse' (Marion Lois Huffines, 125-37) 'Lexical retrieval difficulties in adult language attrition' (Elite Olshtain & Margaret Barzilay, 139-50) 'Spanish language attrition in a contact situation with English' (Carmen Silva-Corvalán, 151-71) Case Studies: 'Morphological disintegration and reconstruction in first language attrition' (Dorit Kaufman & Mark Aronoff, 175-88) 'Assessing first language vulnerability to attrition' (Evelyn P. Altenberg, 189...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 844-848
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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.