LINGUIST List 9.417

Thu Mar 19 1998

Books: General Ling

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  1. Kristen Mitchell, New books in GENERAL LINGUISTICS

Message 1: New books in GENERAL LINGUISTICS

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 12:40:13 -0500
From: Kristen Mitchell <KKMOUP-USA.ORG>
Subject: New books in GENERAL LINGUISTICS

Misunderstand Each Other
Haru Yamada, University of Westminster, UK

With a foreword by Deborah Tannen

Japan and the United States are in closer contact politically and
economically than ever before, yet in many ways our nations are as far
from mutual understanding as ever. Misconceptions and
miscommunications between East and West continue to plague this
important relationship, frustrating the best efforts of both cultures
to work together. Stereotypes abound: Americans see Japanese as
evasive and inscrutable, while Japanese see Americans as pushy and
selfish. What causes these persistent misunderst andings, and what can
be done to avoid them?
 Fluent in both languages and at home in both cultures, Haru Yamada
brings an insiders perspective and a linguists training to this
difficult question, illuminating the many reasons why Americans and
Japanese misunderstand one another. Social organization, she explains,
shapes the way we talk. Because American and Japanese cultures value
different kinds of social relationships, they play different language
games with different sets of rules. In America, for instance, Aesop's
fable about the grasshopper and the ants ends with the ants scorning
the foolhardy grasshopper. In Japan, however, the story has a very
different ending: the ants invite the grasshopper in to share their
winter meal, as they appreciate how his singing spurred them on during
their summer labors. In the difference between these two endings,
argues Yamada, lies an important lesson: Americans, because of their
unique political history, value independence and individuality, while
Japanese value mutual dependency and interconnectedness. The language
of both cultures is designed to display and reinforce these values so
that words, phrases and expressions in one language can have
completely different connotations in another, leading to all manner of
misunderstanding. Yamada provides numerous examples. In Japan, for
instance, silence is valued and halting speech is considered more
honest and thoughtful than fluid speech, while in America forthright,
polished speech is valued. Likewise, the Japanese use word order to
express emphasis, while Americans use vocal stress: a listener unaware
of this difference may easily misunderstand the import of a
sentence. In a lucid and insightful discussion, Yamada outlines the
basic differences between Japanese and American English and analyzes a
number of real-life business and social interactions in which these
differences led to miscommunication. By understanding how and why each
culture speaks in the way that it does, Yamada shows, we can learn to
avoid frustrating and damaging failures of communication.
 Different Games, Different Rules is essential reading for anyone
who travels to or communicates regularly with Japan, whether they are
scientists, scholars, tourists, or business executives. But as Deborah
Tannen notes in her Foreword to the book, even those who will never
travel to Japan, do business with a Japanese company, or talk to a
person from that part of the world, will find the insights of this
book illuminating and helpful, because the greatest benefit that comes
of understanding another culture is a better and deeper understanding
of one's own.

April 1997 192 pp.
0-19-509488-3 $24.00
Oxford University Press

Anatole V. Lyovin, University of Hawaii at Manoa

"The author succeeds in covering a broad range of important and
interesting information, and I am not aware of any other work that
could serve as an all-round textbook for a course on the Languages of
the World."--Bernard Comrie, University of Southern California, author
of The World's Major Languages "...clearly exhibits the author's very
considerable erudition in several language areas."--Joseph Grimes,
Cornell University

The only textbook of its kind, An Introduction to the Languages of the
World is designed to introduce beginning linguistics students, who now
typically start their study with little background in languages, to
the variety of the languages of the world. It is ideal for use in
courses where students have mastered the basic principles of
linguistics but lack background in the broad range of language
phenomena found in the world's languages, such as vowel harmony and
ergative constructions. It offers students an opportunity to explore,
at various levels, structures of very different, highly interesting
languages without necessarily possessing a speaking or reading
knowledge of these languages.
 Lyovin explains the classification of languages, discussing not only
genetic classification but typological and sociolinguistic
classification as well. He follows this with an explication of writing
systems. A chapter is devoted to each of the world's continents, with
in-depth analyses of representative languages of Europe, Asia, Africa,
Oceania, and America, and a separate chapter covers pidgins and
creoles. Helpful features include an appendix of nineteen maps,
student exercises, and suggestions for further reading.

March 1997 512 pp.; 18 linecuts, 19 maps
0-19-508116-1 paper $35.00
Oxford University Press

Rebecca Posner, Oxford University

Rebecca Posner explores the history of the French language in all its
manifestations. Within the framework of modern linguistic theory, she
concentrates on how French acquired its distinctive identity and how
different varieties of French relate to each other. This book richly
illustrates the more technical aspects of linguistic change, and sets
evidence of social history against the way the language has changed
over time.

December 1997 536 pp.; 31 tables
0-19-824036-8 $120.00
Oxford University Press 

K. B. Beaton, University of Sydney

One of the most difficult tasks confronting the English speaker
learning German is that of finding exactly the right German word to
translate an English word in a particular context. Many common
English words have several German equivalents. Thus it is all too
easy to find yourself saying the equivalent of Have you extinguished
the trash? instead of Have you taken out the trash? Bilingual
dictionaries list equivalents, but give little or no information about
their use. The articles in this practical dictionary are much longer
than those to be found in a bilingual dictionary, and the number of
words treated is fewer, with a concentration on those which cause
particular difficulties for speakers of English.

January 1997 944 pp.
0-19-824002-3 $153.00
Oxford University Press

John Roberts, University of Reading

(An Arnold Publication)

This book is an introduction to the training and development of
language teachers. The author provides an overview of the theories of
how trainees learn to teach, supported by case studies of various
training programs and discussions of the fundamental issues involved.

1998 (paper 1997) 352 pp.
0-340-64625-X paper $19.95
0-340-64626-8 cloth $70.00
Oxford University Press

R. L. Trask, University of Sussex

(An Arnold Publication)

"Its coverage of the terminology of linguistics as a mature academic
discipline is thorough and informative. A field that, although it
deals with a phenomenon all of us enagage in daily has developed a
vocabulary as abstract as the vocabulary used to describe fine wines
or beautiful music, needs good dictionaries. It has another in Trask's
Student's Dictionary ."--Rettig on Reference

The terminology used in linguistics can be confusing for those
encountering the subject for the first time. This dictionary provides
accessible and authoritative explanations of the terms and concepts
currently in use in all the major areas of language and linguistics,
(pronunciation, word structure, sentence structure, meaning) as well
as in the study of the social, anthropological, psychological and
neurological aspects of language.

1997 256 pp.
0-340-65266-7 paper $16.95
0-340-65267-5 cloth $60.00
Oxford University Press

P. H. Matthews, Cambridge University

(Oxford Paperback Reference)

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics is the most authoritative
and up-to-date dictionary of linguistics available. Written by
distinguished and highly respected scholar Peter Matthews, this handy
reference contains over 3,000 concise and informative entries on
everything from phonetics to formal semantics.
 Including world-wide coverage of languages and language families,
the Concise provides grammatical terms in English as well as
grammatical categories in other languages. Matthews also offers
extensive coverage of the theory of language, language history, and
important ideas and figures in linguistics. A directory of symbols is
included for quick and easy reference.
 With entries ranging from epiglottal and morpheme to Austronesian
and Navajo, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics is the ideal
reference for anyone with an interest in language and its study.

January 1998 432 pp.
0-19-280008-6 paper $13.95
Oxford University Press

LEXICOGRAPHY AND PHYSICKE: The Record of Sixteenth-Century English
Medical Terminology
R. W. McConchie, University of Helsinki

(Oxford Studies in Lexicography and Lexicology)

Medical practitioners of the sixteenth century had their own body of
special terms, just like the doctors of this century. McConchie here
examines medical terminology used in a selection of thirteen medical
works published between 1530 and 1612, and compares it with the
treatment of these words in the OED and other dictionaries of
today. His study reveals errors, omissions, and biases that raise
important questions for lexicograp hical tools in general.

December 1997 464 pp.
0-19-823630-1 $100.00
Oxford University Press

Oswald J. L. SzemerE9nyi, University of Freiburg

This translation of the German edition first published in 1970,
introduces the standard text on the comparative-historical method to
an English-speaki ng audience. After surveying the general principles
of diachronic-comparati ve linguistics, the book uses these principles
to analyze the phonological and morphological structure of the
Indo-European language group. Each section of the book has a detailed
bibliography, so readers can progress from the general overview to a
more in-depth examination of particular topics.

April 1997 390 pp.
0-19-824015-5 $98.00
Oxford University Press
Vivian J. Cook

(An Arnold Publication)

What makes human language unique? How did language begin? This book is
a wide-ranging and stimulating introduction to language which students
and general readers alike will read for enjoyment as well as
instruction. It explores the most intriguing questions about the
nature of human language, drawing on basic insights that have been
developed by linguistics this century.

1997 304 pp.
0-340-60761-0 paper $22.95
0-340-69'0-7 cloth $70.00
Oxford University Press

Language Description
Gabriele Stein

(Oxford Studies in Lexicography and Lexicology)

When Henry VIII charged John Palsgrave with teaching his sister
French, there were no dictionaries or grammars of either French or
English. In Lesclarcissement de la langue francoyse, a vast work of
over 1000 pages, this brilliant priest and linguist, with a
dramatist's eye for contempora ry life and an ear for colloquial
idiom, provided the first bilingual dictionary and contrastive grammar
of the two languages. Stein presents a detailed study of his

October 1997 528 pp.
0-19-823505-4 $145.00
Oxford University Press

PRINCIPLES AND PARAMETERS: An Introduction to Syntactic Theory
Peter W. Culicover, Ohio State University

(Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics)

This authoritative new survey shows readers how specific
methodological assumptions underlie the core analyses on which
syntactic theory is based. The author, an internationally respected
figure in the field, gives extensive treatment of Government and
Binding (GB) theory, and summarizes the major proposals and results of
Case theory, Theta theory, X' theory, Binding theory, the theory of
A-and A' movement, locality conditions, and the theory of Logical Form
(LF). He also provides an up-to-date introduction to a number of more
recent proposals, including Chomsky's Minminalist Program, Larsonian
Shells, and Kaynes's Antisymmetry theory. The most coherent and
organized account of syntactic theory currently available, this volume
is further enhanced by carefully selected and extensive sets of
exercises, annotated suggestions for further reading at the end of
each chapter, and a comprehensive glossary of technical terms.

February 1997 464 pp.
0-19-870014-8 paper $28.95
Oxford University Press


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1998 Contributors

  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • Oxford University Press
  • Routledge
  • Walter de Gruyter