LINGUIST List 13.1993

Sat Jul 27 2002

Review: Typology/Lang Description: Circum Baltic

Editor for this issue: Dina Kapetangianni <dinalinguistlist.org>


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  1. Mark Chamberlin, Dahl & Koptjevskaja-Tamm (2001) Typology/Lang Description: Circum-Baltic Languages, Vol. 2

Message 1: Dahl & Koptjevskaja-Tamm (2001) Typology/Lang Description: Circum-Baltic Languages, Vol. 2

Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 14:52:34 +0000
From: Mark Chamberlin <malichiimail.com>
Subject: Dahl & Koptjevskaja-Tamm (2001) Typology/Lang Description: Circum-Baltic Languages, Vol. 2

Dahl �sten and Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, ed. (2001) Circum-Baltic
Languages, Volume 2: Grammar and Typology. John Benjamins, xx, 423
pp., hardback, ISBN 1-58811-042-7,USD 127.00, EUR 140.00
Studies in Language Companion Series, 55
 

Book Announcement on Linguist:
http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=3441 


Mark L. Chamberlin, Acting Director, Center for Interactive
Interdisciplinary Information, Tartu, Estonia


Part 4. Selected topics in the grammar of the Circum-Baltic Languages 
(part numbering is continued from Volume 1)


Impersonals and passives -- Holvoet

The impact of West Finnic along the Lithuanian and Latvian contact
zones is detailed on the basis of nominative in various forms. Some
chronological data is provided and a map displays six phrases and
their overlapping areas (the last of these symbols did not print but
seems to be triangles on the map). The data seems to support both of
the hypotheses discussed and is taken to indicate that both were
active at different, though unspecified, times.


On the Development of the nominative object in East Baltic -- V. Ambrazas

The impact of West Finnic along the Lithuanian and Latvian contact
zones is detailed on the basis of nominative in various forms. Some
chronological data is provided and a map displays six phrases and
their overlapping areas (the last of these symbols did not print but
seems to be triangles on the map). The data seems to support both of
the hypotheses discussed and is taken to indicate that both were
active at different, though unspecified, times.


Lexical evidence for the parallel development of the Latvian and
Livonian verb particles -- B. Wálchli Concentrates on the center of
the contact zone and refers to wider areas and times but a map would
help as would some detail of temporal relations. Demonstrates a set
of tools for further analysis which is described as necessary because
of the complexity of the interactions.


On the developments of the Estonian aspect: The verbal particle 'ára
' -- Helle Metslang Tracks one particle across the societal and
linguistic timescapes of Estonia to produce an interesting examination
of the subjugations and coming of age of the culture.


Case systems and syntax in Latvian and Estonian --
B. Metuzále-Kangere and K. Boiko 
This article distinguishes case and structural forms with only a
slight comparison to French and Indo-European languages. Broader
comparisons within Baltic, Fennic and the wider CB world are left to
the Synthesis of Part 6.


Genitive positions in Baltic and Finnic languages -- S. Christen
A continuum from multiple usage of attributive genitive structures in
Lithuanian and a more restrictive Latvian to a limit of two in the
Finnic languages is presented. The word order restrictions this
imposes on the former are contrasted with the more diverse patterns of
the latter.


Part 5. Typological perspectives
"A piece of the cake" and "a cup of tea": Partitive and
pseudo-partitive nominal constructions in the Circum-Baltic languages
-- M.Kaptjevskaja-Tamm Quantifiers and related 'partitive' phrases are
used to figuratively and graphically map the relationships between
languages and their families in the region and its surrounds. It is
the most comprehensive of these articles in its effort to deal with
areal connections within its narrow band-width.


Non-verbal predication in the Circum-Baltic languages -- L.Stassen
A typological analysis which identifies linguistic boundary conditions
but could do more to establish their significance.


On Circum-Baltic instrumentals and comitatives: To and fro coherence
-- T.Stolz
Division of the Baltic region into Coherent and Incoherent languages
based on Comitative and Instrumental functions. Posits IE and FU as
originally coherent with submembers losing and gaining coherent forms
over time. Relational chart-maps of pre-conquest, early literary, and
20th Century portray Germanic contact effects moving Latvian, Estonian
and Sami to current coherent patterns. Lithuanian is seen as being in
transition and an interesting example of a way language change may
occur. Most Slavic and FU languages are presented as incoherent.


Part 6 Synthesis
The Circum-Baltic languages: An areal-typological approach --
M.Kaptjevskaja-Tamm and B.Wálchli
This paper constitutes nearly one fifth of the page count of the two
volumes and is a more effective introduction to the work than the bits
scattered about in the articles. It would not have done to have put it
at the first but there should have been a more prominent notice of its
usefulness at the outset.


>From the note at the end of the Introduction to each of the volumes of
this work, this paper was the product of a six-year typology study
begun in 1991, and seems to form a report of the project as a
whole. It includes very good notes on regional linguistic, historical,
archaeological and genetic findings in the articles and other sources.


For quick access to the work, go to Table 24 on page 729 of this
synthesis, the 6 tables of the Appendices in volume 2, and the three
indexes (same in both volumes).


This two-volume set scratched many of my itching interests, only a few
deeper than I needed, but missed a few spots at the lower left along
Polish, German and Danish coastal areas and a curiosity about the
impact of Russian courtly French on its neighbors and on society in
general. It would be -- to use a bit of residual 'lingua Franca' --
'elegant' (Fr. et-les-gants = 'with gloves on' meaning 'fully
dressed').


The Appendices and three following indexes provide an extremely
valuable assist in accessing the details of the several articles.
Appendix 1. Language contacts referred to in the volumes 65 cases


Appendix 2. Linguistic phenomena mentioned in the volumes for the
origin of which contact induced changes have been evoked

1. Lexical loans/borrowings, etc. 32 cases
2. Phonetics/phonology/prosody 19 cases
3. Word-formation, grammar 
3.1 Verb boundaries . . . 5 cases
3.2 Case . . . 5 cases
3.3 Gender 3 cases
3.4 Verbal categories 7 cases
3.5 Other structural phenomena 7 cases
4. Code switching/shifting 3 cases


Indexes are duplicated at the end of each volume
Name index 7 pages
Language index 6 pages
Subject index 7 pages


ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Mark L. Chamberlin is Acting Director, The Center of Interactive
Interdisciplinary Information <www.ciiigeo.ut.ee>, Tartu, Estonia,
which lets researchers view colleagues' work, collaborate with them
online, and share findings with the world. He is a media librarian and
specialist in related computer work with a continuing interest in
Ethnography.
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