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Reviewed by:
  • Katarzyna Dziwirek
Jacek Witkoś and Sylwester Jaworski eds. New insights into Slavic linguistics. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2014. 406 pp. [ Sprach- und Kulturkontakte in Europas Mitte: Studien zur Slawistik und Germanistik, 3.]

The volume is a collection of papers presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Slavic Linguistic Society, Szczecin 2013. The Slavic Linguistics Society is an inclusive scholarly association and the twenty-six papers represent all areas of Slavic linguistics and consider phenomena from most Slavic languages. The volume contains only one diachronic paper, which illustrates how the field of Slavic linguistics has changed. Anton Zimmerling proposes three areal types of the Slavic clitic template (East, West, and South) based on the placement of BE-clitics. He describes the very rich template of Old Czech (12 slots) and examines examples from the 14th century Dalimil Chronicleto show that Old Czech had a discourse marker ti 1‘indeed, really’ which was distinct from the dative clitic ti 2and which occupied a unique slot in the template.

There are four ethnographically oriented papers. Krzysztof Borowski reports on the ethnolinguistic vitality of Molise Slavic, a Slavic micro-language spoken in southern Italy. The Slavs settled in this region in the late 15th century. They came from the Balkan Peninsula, presumably fleeing the Ottoman Turks. Only three of the original 13 communities retain diminishing numbers of Slavic speakers. Borowski is not sanguine about the language’s future, as family life is the only domain in which it is used.

Papers by Grant Lundberg, Alla Nedashkivska, and Agnieszka Krzanowska conclude that different linguistic phenomena in Slavic languages indicate preferences for local language varieties. For example, according to surveys 84% of Slovenes speak a “dialect” at home. In the survey conducted by Lundberg, Slovenes reported good command of their local dialects (90%), preference for usage of regional dialects (51%) over standard language (20%) or the local variety (24%), and strong opinions on where the most beautiful Slovene is spoken (near where the respondents live). Lundberg shows that smaller dialects in [End Page 319]Slovenia are becoming more like regional dialects rather than the standard language and claims that this dialect leveling reflects strong ties to local identity.

Nedashkivska’s paper examines the language choices in tourist discourse in L’viv. Nedashkivska reports that Ukrainian is the language most often used on artifacts (clothing, ceramic items, magnets, and other souvenirs). English (usually alongside Ukrainian) is most commonly found on landscape markers (street signs, menus, and names of restaurants, etc.), while the category of tourist services (brochures, guides, etc.) is most diverse, with Ukrainian, English, Polish, German, and Russian being used to varying degrees. She concludes that the use of Ukrainian in the three categories of tourist discourse performs symbolic, informational, and ‘for profit’ functions, while the use of the L’viv dialect gvarais a marker of uniqueness and local pride.

Krzanowska examines Polish and Russian advertisements and finds many commonalities, such as use of toponyms and adjectives derived from them to indicate where the products originate from. But while Russians associate foreign goods with better quality, Polish ads tend to emphasize the Polishness of products as a matter of national pride.

Constructional studies include Ewa Komorowska’s typology of compliments in Polish and Russian and Alina Israeli’s classification of dative-infinitive быconstructions in Russian. Komorowska classifies Polish and Russian compliments into three main types based on the compliments’ addressee (self, interlocutor, other) and identifies several subtypes. Israeli identifies 15 senses of the dative-infinitive быconstruction and six grammatical variants based on aspect of the infinitive and the presence/absence and position of the negative particle нe. The cross tabulation of the meanings and the variants creates the basis for the argument that this construction cannot be treated uniformly, as both aspect and negation have a bearing on its possible interpretations.

Language acquisition is represented by Jacopo Saturno’s paper, which demonstrates that case errors made by Italian learners of Polish, specifically substitution of nominative for accusative feminine forms, are influenced by various factors. Frequency plays a role: the ending -/a/ on nouns is six times as common as the accusative -/e/, as do lexical transparency (phonological similarity of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0391
Print ISSN
1068-2090
Pages
pp. 319-322
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-14
Open Access
No
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