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Review of  Questioning Linguistics


Reviewer: Alexandra Bagasheva
Book Title: Questioning Linguistics
Book Author: Ahmar Mahboob Naomi K Knight
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Linguistic Field(s): Discipline of Linguistics
Book Announcement: 20.2375

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Review:
EDITORS: Mahboob, Ahmar; Knight, Naomi
TITLE: Questioning Linguistics
PUBLISHER: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
YEAR: 2008

Alexandra B. Bagasheva, Department of British and American Studies, Sofia
University ''St. Kliment Ohridski'', Bulgaria

INTRODUCTION
Questioning Linguistics is a collection of ''high quality papers'' which represent
the essence of a conference as yet of a unique nature – the first conference on
''Free Linguistics'', held on October 6-7, 2007 at the University of Sydney. The
book contains 12 papers which have been chosen after a rigorous review process.
The book is organized in two parts with a Preface and an Introductory chapter in
which the editors describe the underlying principles of organizing the chapters
into two distinct sections and identify the contents of each with an emphasis on
the issues that the authors problematize. The unifying motif in all papers is
the breaking down of inter- and cross-disciplinary borders and the undermining
or at least probelmatizing of accepted assumptions and (mis)conceptions of what
language(s) is/are and how linguistic issues may and should be approached.

SUMMARY
The Preface tunes in the reader's expectations for papers which ''question
language and linguistics in unique ways'' and focus on the notion of freedom from
all linguistic subfields and promise to reveal ''an important viewpoint towards
linguistics seen from outside its borders'' (p. 2).

In Chapter One, it becomes clear that Free Linguistics is an initiative of the
staff and students in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney
whose aim is to ''create a space where linguists of all traditions and views ...
can share their descriptions of the _language-elephant_'' (p. 2) thus questioning
linguistics and language and their role in a globalized world. The 'human
language as elephant' metaphor is used to emphasize the observed tendencies for
fragmentary and unsatisfactory probing into the nature of language which is
characteristic of much of contemporary linguistic research. Breaking down all
kinds of borders, including our assumed understanding of what language is, can
bring freedom and open up broader horizons. Leaving out all prejudice and
preference, in this chapter, which successfully performs the function of a
comprehensive introduction, the editors succinctly and with in-depth
understanding summarize the major issues and the suggested interpretations of
each of the included papers. They outline the basic areas of research on which
the separate chapters focus and critically assess the alternative
interpretations provided by the authors of the respective chapters.

Chapters 2 to 8 are grouped into Part I: Issues and Directions. As the editors
inform us in Chapter One, the common undercurrent which unifies the eight papers
is the fact that all of them shed light on ''areas that have been taken for
granted, relatively ignored, or perceived unidimensionally'' (p. 2).

Chapter Two, entitled ''Language-free Linguistics and Linguistics-free
Languages'', written by Alastair Pennycook, questions the foundations of language
and linguistics. The author invites people interested in ''making meanings in
their everyday lives'' to engage in reflections on communicative practices
without relying on pre-conceived misconceptions of what languages are and what
linguistics is. The researcher insists that language should be conceived of in a
wide socio-cultural framework with the focus on ''local language understandings''
so that the imposed definitions and artificial divisions of languages, which
have been introduced in the interest of dominant ideologies, can not only be
problematized but successfully overcome. A first step of counteracting these
''regimes of language'' is the adoption of adequate terminology consistent with
people's perceptions of themselves and their languages and appropriate for
disengaging our linguistic discourses from individuating ''essentialized
language-objects ... founded on notions of territorialization'' (20).
''Transidiomatic practices'' should substitute concepts of bilingualism or even
multilingualism, which, being essentialist in nature, remain fully bound to
segregational linguistics based on an underlying ideology of singularity and
countability. According to the author, there is significant discrepancy between
the number of languages linguists recognize and the number of languages people
believe they are speaking.

The whole paper is cast in the general ambience of integrationalist linguistics
and is aimed at problematizing the still powerful discourses of colonization.
Harris' and Toolan's insistence on eradicating notions of systematicity and
rule-boundedness of language and adopting a more natural, everyday understanding
of language resound through the suggestions and arguments presented by
Pennycook. The message to the readers is that language is enacted in multiple
layers of contextualization – speakers, histories, cultures, ideologies, etc. –
and its study should be likewise multilayered and diverse. This can only be
achieved in the author's view if we draw on ''whatever sheds light on language''
(p. 28). The essential argument is that the study of language should not be left
in the hands of linguists; everybody can have a say in interacting with language
as everyone has a stake in it. Transforming the vertical discourse of linguistic
analysis into a horizontal discourse might actually reveal unsuspected
intricacies of language's being in the mind. Unfortunately, only time can show
whether such a development will have beneficial or detrimental effects.

In Chapter three, ''Innocence: Realisation, Instantiation and Individuation in a
Botswanan Town'', J. Martin contributes an analysis of four stories from
Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Actually, it
is the same story told by four different characters in the series. The paper and
the Appendices provide a panoramic view of the stories, with their full versions
provided (Appendix A), accompanied by a modality analysis of the stories
(Appendix B), an analysis of the experiencing and acquisition of knowledge and
the linguistic strategies for its strategic projections by one of the central
characters (Appendix C) and a contrast between observable experience and
knowledge constructs and construals of this by different characters (Appendix
D). The analysis is an illustration of a further development of the intricate
mutual dependencies between the two complementary hierarchies - instantiation
and individuation - as they are developed within the framework of Systemic
Functional Linguistics (SFL). The focus of the analysis is on individuation as
the ''relationship between the reservoir of meanings in a culture and the
repertoire a given individual can mobilize'' (p. 35). After a detailed and highly
informative presentation of the major points of SFL and Bernstein's central
ideas of the sociology of knowledge in relation to horizontal discourses, Martin
turns to textual analysis in order to substantiate his claim that the
underestimated and understudied complementary relation between individuation and
realization as the core of the discourse structuring of social solidarity should
be revisited. Martin studies how the different ''forms of consciousness'' of the
separate characters are manifested textually. The basic variables shaping these
discourse-grounded ''forms of consciousness'' are identified as ethnicity and
generation. These in their turn are realized in genre specifics of the story
telling of the different characters and their different utilization of appraisal
resources. In order to trace the complementary construction of identities
through the interplay of individuation and realization, the author studies in
great detail the network of discourse semantic engagement systems, which from
the point of view of lexicogrammar, include modality and projection, concession
and negation and comment adjuncts. After a thorough and exhaustive analysis of
the engagement systems, Martin concludes that an adequate understanding can only
be achieved if we keep all three hierarchies (realization, instantiation and
individuation) simultaneously in mind. Appraisal systems and realization
resources, along with all other involvement systems recognized in the framework
of SFL play a crucial role for identity construction, identity sharing and
readers' alignment. The paper is highly readable and informative. The author
illustrates and further develops his ideas, formulated in other publications, of
the mapping of identity and culture in discourse through genre specifics, the
intricate systems of appraisal and involvement and the interconnected
hierarchies of realization and individuation.

Chapter Four is devoted to the study of twoness of meaning created by the
interplay of meaning-generating modalities in a specific media genre 'image
nuclear news stories'. As Baldry (2000), Kress (2003) and Kress and van Leeuwen
(2001) observe, the multimodal society has been here for some time now. It is
only natural, that in such a society meaning is generated through the
co-deployment of varied semiotic resources. In her attempt to identify the
specific mechanisms of co-deployment in the specific media genre, Helen Caple,
who has entitled her paper ''Reconciling the Co-articulation of Meaning between
Words and Pictures: Exploring Instantiation and Commitment in Image Nuclear News
Stories'', has studied a corpus of 900 multimodal news story instances appearing
in _The Sydney Morning Herald_. She focuses on the different ways in which the
co-construal of complex meanings generated in the intricate interplay between
image and heading is manifested. The analysis makes fruitful use of the tools
offered by the linguistic framework of SFL, more specifically the concepts of
multistratal instantiation and commitment. Relying on the theoretical constructs
of Martin and Rose (2003) and Halliday and Matthiessen (1999) and Matthiessen
(2005), the author illustrates and analyzes how ''the ideational content of the
heading is usually _reflected_ in the ideational content of the image'' (p. 83),
which captured by Martin's (2000) ''coupling'' accounts for the complex meanings
created by the playful relationship of the two instantiations from different
semiotic modes. Caple identifies two principal ways for the manifestation of
couplings: combining the image with recontextualized quotations from movies or
proper names and titles removed from their original appellation context. So when
the source is a movie or a famous speech, the intricate re-wording functions as
a bondicon, a type of rallying resource through which strong interpersonal
attitudes are associated with particular ideational meanings. The playful
relationship is executed either through intertextual references based on the
cultural knowledge we have been apprenticed into or by manipulating common
idiomatic expressions which need to be interpreted literally in the multimodal
coupling in image nuclear news stories. On the basis of convincing and
informative, though conformist, analysis of such news stories, the author makes
far-reaching conclusions concerning this genre's extreme efficacy in ''the
attention economy'' and its suitability as a bonding means which invites a
specified reading audience of people able to engage with the play between the
two modalities. So the coupling in the instantiation means results in couplings
between readers and a broadsheet with well-defined cultural and ideological values.

Chapter Five presents a three-pronged approach to the analysis of evaluation and
emotion in American pop culture in a corpus of the TV series _Gilmore Girls_.
The paper has two major merits: it offers a convenient way of combining three
different analytical procedures into a single approach and promotes as a
valuable object of linguistic investigation an underrepresented genre, TV
dialogue. In '''What the Hell is wrong with you?' A Corpus Perspective On
Evaluation And Emotion In Contemporary American Pop Culture'', Monika Bednarek
offers the combination of a large-scale quantitative corpus analysis, a small
scale corpus analysis and a qualitative discourse analysis (case study) of the
''linguistics of emotion and evaluation'' (p. 105). The author provides solid
argumentation for choosing a TV series as object of analysis in view of the
well-established ''parasocial interaction'' through which TV personae can become
part of our everyday lives and of the subtle linguistic influence TV dialogue
has on our linguistic habits as one of the most common genres of pop culture.
Emotional phrases like ''Oh my God' and ''What the hell'' are read as
''conventionalized realizations of emotionality'' (p. 95) and analyzed as implicit
cues to characterization in TV dialogue. After presenting a sample large scale
corpus analysis of a 1.5 million word corpus and justifying the non-inclusion in
the paper of the promised small scale corpus analysis, the author carries out a
case study of one of the Appraisal systems as defined by Martin (1995) -
Attitude. A detailed analysis is presented of the logogenesis and social context
of a dialogue between a mother and a daughter, which on the basis of modulation,
irony and the whole hoard of lexicogrammatical means for realizing the members
of the Appraisal system, is classified as conflict talk.

The paper's most positive feature is the illustration of the inability of a
single theoretical framework or analytical procedure, irrespective of its
individual flexibility and richness, to exhaust the wealth of interactional
meaning generated in actual or simulated dialogue in any genre it is
contextualized. The paper questions the application of monomethodologies, but is
itself an illustration of the successive application of such. The three (two)
views into the corpus material undeniably present a panoramic, informative and
exhaustive analysis of the linguistics of emotion and evaluation in the TV
series Gilmore Girls as a prototypical example of contemporary American pop
culture.

In Chapter Six Alan Reed Libert explores the degree of fixity of word order in
artificial languages and discusses the sources of perceived fixity, attributing
some such impressions to inadequate descriptions of artificial language
designers. The paper entitled ''Free Word Order in Artificial Languages''
introduces the reader to a number of artificial languages, both a posteriori and
a priori ones, as well as mixed, and acquaints the audience with the
descriptions of word order patterns in the respective languages as provided
either by the designers themselves, or by analysts or by non-academic users of
these languages. The author is convinced that artificial languages have much to
reveal about the language faculty, as they function as an illustration of the
constraints this faculty imposes on the activity of language creation. Language
designers presumably have absolute freedom to give any form to the language of
their own creation but detailed analysis might reveal that these languages still
conform to recognized language universals of which the designers are not aware,
at least consciously. The properties of word order systems of artificial
languages are contrasted with languages such as English, Hungarian and Dyirbal.
The systems of word order include not only ordering of basic clausal
constituents but also the positioning of adpositions and modifying elements.
Restrictions are reported at all levels. After discussing features of Guosa,
Esperanto, Europal, Myrana, Sotos Ochando's language, Kosmos, Esperantido,
Lingua Komun, Idiom Neutral, aUI, Interglossa and INTAL and how these have been
presented by their designers or by analysts, Libert seeks the causes for
apparent word order restrictions in artificial languages. The inheritance
relation between a natural source language and an artificial one based on it is
defined as one of the inevitable causes. As other prominent causes the author
proposes considerations of ease of learning and use, the designer's conviction
in the cost effectiveness of having free or fixed word order, and the subtle
influence of language universals. The author admits that careful analysis of
artificial languages is needed before we can draw shattering conclusions about
the language faculty as most descriptions of their features are inadequate for
some reason or another. Libret contends that most designers consider free word
order a liability and this underlies the prevalence of intended fixed word order
in artificial languages.

Despite the purported or actual constraints on word order systems in artificial
languages, they are worth studying as they reveal a lot about human cognitive
capacities and the intricate relations between creativity, the role language
plays in it and how these reflect on language creations. Unfortunately such a
line of questioning linguistics has not been followed in the highly informative
paper.

Chapter Seven written by Hyeran Lee and entitled ''Syntactic encoding of Topic
and Focus in Korean'' examines topicalization, focalization and scrambling in
Korean with the aim to elucidate the articulated structure of the Complementizer
Phrase. Cast in formal syntactic terms, the detailed analysis, abundant in
quotations and references to previous formal interpretations of these or similar
phenomena, presents an exhaustive picture of three types of foci in Korean, as
well as the phenomena of topicalization and scrambling. After a highly technical
discussion, the author concludes that ''discourse information is encoded in the
syntactic positions at the left periphery in Korean'' (p. 160). In contrast to
Rizzi's claims (2004), Lee believes that multiple focus phrases are possible in
Korean. The –nun marker is used to achieve both topic reading and contrastive
focus reading depending on its position in the Complementizer Phrase. The author
draws two further important conclusions relating to scrambling. In her view,
long-distance preposing always brings some semantic effects – topicalization and
focalization – where scopal vacuity does not lead to semantic vacuity. However,
clause internal preposing leads to ambiguous interpretations and PF scrambling
does not have semantic import. The paper questions certain understandings of the
syntactic representation of discourse-information features in Korean in the
terms of the generative grammar paradigm. Thus, although it raises important
questions concerning the discourse-syntax interface, the paper remains firmly
embedded in one already traditional school of interpreting syntactic phenomena.

Chapter Eight, ''Syndromes of Meaning: Exploring Patterned Coupling in a NSW
Youth Justice Conference'' by Michele Zappavigna, Paul Dwyer and J R Martin, is
an application of one of the current approaches in the research agenda of SFL –
modeling instantiation in larger textual patterns. The authors analyze the
specificity of the social context and the genre of the linguistic material – (a
transcript of a) New South Wales Youth Justice Conference as broadcast on the
ABC Radio National. Three central ideas make the paper a coherent contribution
to ongoing debates in SFL. First, the ideas of one of the authors (Martin) of
''coupling'' as a grouping of related meanings in texts and ''syndromes'' as
''patterns of coupling'' are expounded, then the idea ''that meanings coupled along
the cline of instantiation may be involved in larger textual patterns is
introduced'' (p. 164) and finally a qualitative analysis is offered of the
transcript of a youth justice conference. The central focus of analysis is the
talk of the mothers of two offenders in which these ladies construct their
attitude, experience and responsibility in relation to the offences committed by
their sons. On the basis of detailed analysis of the syndromes (''as recurrent
co-instantiation of patterns of linguistic potential'' p. 175) of ambivalence
about their responsibility for their sons' behavior, instantiated in various
couplings: speculating about offender's thoughts and feelings, positive
evaluation of the son, negative effect, etc., the authors conclude that through
the coupling of AFFECT and RELATIONAL PROCESS along the instantiation cline and
through drawing from the legions of resources of the three evaluative systems
Attitude, Graduation and Engagement, the mothers construct a discourse in which
a balance is achieved between mothers' understanding their sons' deeds and
ambivalent sense of guilt for failing to act up to their responsibility. On a
larger scale, the authors conclude that despite their analytical power system
networks are not sufficient for the analysis of the involved co-instantiations
of syndromes. There are patterned textual relations both between systems and
within systems. Syndromes figure as a useful analytical tool for capturing these
clusters in large textual patterns. The analysis is consistent and logical, the
conclusions highly relevant. The paper is a valuable contribution to Systemic
Functional research.

Chapters Nine to Thirteen are grouped into Part II: Applications and Variation

Chapter Nine is devoted to the demythologizing of Communicative Language
Teaching. In her paper, entitled ''Demythologising CLT: Wanted – A Reorientation
For Teachers in the 21st Century'', Anne Burns critically addresses the
wide-spread practice and uncritical adoption of Communicative Language Teaching,
which in her view lacks detailed articulation of everyday practices and is
characterized by vagueness and ineffective level of generality. Presenting
research of the teaching practices in Australian adult English language
classrooms as localized environments, the author concludes that despite being
generally associated with the language of learning, rather than the language of
education, Communicative language Teaching fails to provide clear classroom
practice guidelines and needs immediate revision. In her view, the time is ripe
for a general reorientation of the focus ''on to effective teaching that will
serve language learners productively in localized contexts'' (p. 203). She sides
with Widdowson in his claims that despite invigorated communicative activities,
learners are unable to readily read off the grammar they need as resource from
their engagement in communicative exchanges. Burns advocates the preservation of
a balanced authoritative teacher's role, accompanied with an understanding of
communicative activities not as a value themselves, but as sources of knowledge
which has to be learned, not inferred.

Her voice is not an isolated one. Ana Maria Morais (2006) also appeals for the
adoption of more balanced or mixed pedagogies, in which the potentialities of a
totally invisible pedagogy characterized by weak classifications and framings
should be slightly subdued, so that a balance can be achieved between discovery
learning and receptive learning. The balance in the views of both the author of
the reviewed paper and Ana Morais has to be fixed after careful calculation of
the cost effectiveness of progressive pedagogies in the conditions of localized
contexts. Burns presents the findings of the study of Australian English
language classroom practices in terms of methodology, educational policy,
curriculum design, negotiability of contents between educators and learners and
effective teaching practices as analyzed in terms of framing, individual
enhancement, pedagogic devices and classification. The well researched paper
opens up pertinent questions for classroom practices in English language
teaching which besides their localized focus in the paper have far-reaching
consequences.

Chapter Ten is focused on possible ways for providing authentic contexts for
learners of English to practice their fine-tuning abilities in discourse. In
''Fine-tuning Discourse in Thai EFL Academic and Electronic Bulletin Board
Writing'', Montri Tangpijaikul discusses the misbalance between linguistic and
pragmatic competences of Thai learners of English stemming from the lack of
adequate contexts for the development of fine-tuning pragmatic competence in the
appropriate manipulation of interpersonal meanings in English. The author
studies the use of modality in the writings of Thai learners of English in two
different genres. One of the genres is academic writing, characterized with a
preference for more neutral presence of interpersonal meanings, and the other is
''bulletin board writing'', defined as asynchronous free style writing which
provides more space for students to practice their use of the system of modality
for fine-tuning their attitudes in discourse. The paper reports the findings of
research of 39 second year undergraduate students majoring in English at
Kasetsart University in Bangkok. The students produced a piece of writing in the
academic writing genre, which was discussed by posting similar topics on the
website. By applying the Halliday and Matthiessen' framework of modality, the
author analyzes ''three dimensions where modal and intensifying elements in
English can be viewed together in grammatical, functional and semantic
categories'' (p. 209). The dimensions are hedging, boosting, committal and
inclination. After commenting on the findings of the study, which imply that
Thai students of English lack sufficient pragmatic competence in using
fine-tuning devices in English due to the little opportunity they have to
interact in English in their daily lives, the author concludes that educators
should be searching for new contexts of interaction in which in authentic
interaction, without guidance, students will naturally resort to using
fine-tuning devices in their written interaction.

The paper is clearly written and well structured. It reveals yet another local
context which imposes idiosyncrasies on teaching approaches and practices. It
proposes one alternative channel of interaction which is easy to implement and
is obviously effective as a physical and discourse space provided for students
to develop their competence in interpersonal (in the terms of SFL) interaction.

Chapter Eleven is devoted to a diachronic tracing of the semantics of graduation
in the ideolects of 19 Japanese high school students. Caroline Lipovsky and
Ahmar Mahboob in their paper, ''The Semantics of Graduation; Examining ESL
Learners' Use of Graduation over Time'', apply the framework of additional
language acquisition and the methodology of SFL for analyzing appraisal systems
to monitor how the ability of learners of English to use the Graduation system
evolves over time. After conducting a study of the expansion of the graduation
resources exploited by 19 Japanese learners of English, the authors conclude
that additional language acquisition can be fruitfully applied to examine
learners' ''ability to appropriate tools available in the cultural reservoir of
the learned language potential'' and make ''it part of their linguistic
repertoire'' (p. 227). The design of the study is based on the study of a
diagnostic piece of writing at the beginning of a year-long study abroad program
in the USA and another composed at the end of the program on the same topic –
comparing the abilities of native language teachers and non-native language
teachers. After analyzing the 19 learners' uses of force and focus, the two
authors outline several hypotheses concerning the appropriation of the appraisal
system in a longitudinal perspective. It is hypothesized that in acquiring the
Graduation system beginning additional language learners favor syntactically
simple system choices; they extend a choice in one system to other systems; show
a preference for grammatical over lexical realizations; and tend to rely more on
less figurative realizations. As the authors admit, these tentative hypotheses
need further support. Yet, the merit of the paper, in the authors' own view, is
that ''Given that no prior research is available in this area'', it develops ''an
initial understanding of learners' use of Graduation'' (p. 239). With its local
focus, the paper is yet another straightforward application of the Systemic
Functional Framework. It hardly questions linguistics, or linguists' practices,
rather it invites linguists to apply a certain methodology to other local contexts.

In Chapter Twelve, ''Analysis of Japanese Spoken by Elderly Taiwanese: Word
Usage, Particle Usage, and Predicate Forms'', Masumi Kai analyzes the deviations
in speaking Japanese on the part of elderly Taiwanese. Contextualizing the study
in a historical dimension, Kai reports that the basic types of deviations (in
lexical borrowings, tense usage, particle usage, demonstratives, inflections on
adjectives and verbs, predicate forms, etc.) make up a Taiwanese-Japanese
variant which is different from modern standard Japanese. This spoken variety is
defined as typical for elderly Taiwanese who received their education in
Japanese. The unique feature of this variety is the predicate form which affects
the cohesion of the conversation. The variable which determines the degree of
deviation observed in the speech habits of the four subjects studied is
educational background. The author concludes that the findings of the survey
needs further quantitative and qualitative substantiation – more subjects and
subjects who received their education in Japanese in other countries.

Even though the paper is informative and discusses significant local issues, it
hardly raises any questions that can problematize fundamental linguistic
assumptions or conceptions of language.

Chapter Thirteen raises an extremely painful question – the utility of
linguistics. In his paper, ''What's the Use of Linguistics?'', Michael Walsh draws
the reader's attention to the pitiful state of aboriginal languages and the need
for the immediate implementation of a rehabilitation program for language
revitalization. The author reviews all steps that have been taken for the
development of the NSW Aboriginal Languages Policy and carefully explains the
painful necessity for aboriginal people to regain their languages as that will
help them regain their identity and enhance community health – mental, physical
and social. Walsh promotes a plausible scenario for language revitalization by
adopting the 9-step model of Hinton (2001). After discussing what linguists can
do to save languages, the author comments on what the academy can do to help
linguists who help dying languages. Then Walsh addresses the issue of the
disadvantages to which aboriginal witnesses are put in courtrooms. The
disadvantages are derived from the entirely ''different regime for the management
of knowledge'' (263) in aboriginal communities. Aboriginal communities maintain
multiple linguistic identities that can be baffling for non-initiated linguists.
In relation to this, the author raises an intriguing question concerning the
distinction between language users and language owners. It is normal for
aboriginal people to possess a language without speaking it. Language possession
is a life-long property of the person. In his argumentation for the usefulness
of linguistics for saving languages and identities, Walsh touches upon issues of
dual language and place naming and the training of court officials for
appropriate transcribing of aboriginal testimonies in land claim proceedings.
The chapter concludes with an appeal for all relevant areas of linguistics
(phonetics and phonology, graphology, interactional sociolinguistics, lexical
semantics, ethnography of speaking, dialectology, and social psychology of
language) to join forces to revitalize both moribund languages and the viability
of linguistic analysis which he sees in the practicing of linguistics applied.
The paper questions our understanding of the utility of linguistics and the
perceived divisions of linguistics into theoretical and applied and their
reconciliation in linguistics applied which is extremely effective in settling
life-saving issues of identity, land possession and language existence.

EVALUATION
Since this is a collection of papers, most of my remarks on individual papers
have been included as part of the summary. Here I would like to evaluate the
book from the perspective of the entire collection of papers. The collection,
although relatively short, is impressive with the linguistic sub-fields or areas
it tries to straddle. The advantage of the collection is its diversity in terms
of the disparate issues discussed and the interpretations considered, ranging
from formal aspects of language (Focus in Korean) to Australian aboriginal
ethnolinguistic issues (Land and Language), as well as its pronounced
recognition of linguistic data deserving attention which is traditionally if not
entirely dismissed, at least grossly overlooked (TV series). The articles are
well-researched and provide rich information on valuable relevant sources. The
collection does not offer a well defined ''bond'' with an easily specifiable
target audience. Some of the papers require profound knowledge of Systemic
Functional Linguistics and appraisal theory, one requires acquaintance with
Minimalist syntax, one with the court practices in which Australian aborigines
are put to a disadvantage on the grounds of linguistic and communicative habits,
etc.

One particular feature of the collection is the arbitrary arrangement of
articles. There seems to be no thematic justification underlying the ordering.
The first part presupposes more theoretical discussions. Chapters Three, Four,
Five and Eight go neatly together by consistently engaging in analysis of
appraisal instantiations in different sources – narratives, news stories,
interviews, etc. Within this set of thematically coherent papers a minimalist
account of information focus in Korean and an essayistic discussion of word
order in artificial languages are inserted. Admittedly, the collection can be
read as organized in a way intended to blur the cultural divide between
theoretical linguistics (analytically oriented) and applied linguistics, with
the divide successfully bridged and deconstructed by linguistics applied. After
all, the book is a collection of papers enhancing Free Linguistics principles
and absolute freedom includes internal organization.

For a collection which invites us to question rigid types of conformist
analytical approaches, however, some of the analyses seem disappointingly
straightforward, based on the application of well-established analytical
procedures. In some of the papers there are more references in the body of the
text than the ones explicitly recorded in the References section.

On the whole, a large part of the language elephant has been carefully caressed
and bits of the animal far removed from one another have been covered. The book
requires the reader's expertise in multiple specializations of linguistics for a
fuller appreciation. So, despite of, or probably because of, its disparate
contents it makes a really stimulating read which might stir many linguists to
question their own understanding and practice of linguistic work.

REFERENCES:
Baldry, A. P. (2000) (ed.) _Multimodality and Multimediality in the Distance
Learning Age_.
Campobasso, Italy: Palladino Editore.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Matthiessen C. M. I. M. (1999) _Constructing Experience
through Language: a language-based approach to cognition_. London: Cassell.

Kress, G. (2003) _Literacy in the New Media Age_. London: Routledge.

Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (2001) _Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of
Contemporary Communication_. London: Arnold.

Martin, J. R. (1995) Reading positions/positioning readers: Judgement in
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ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Alexandra Bagasheva, teaches General Linguistics and English Syntax at the
Department of British and American Studies at Sofia University, Bulgaria. She is
holder of a Ph. D. from the Bulgarian Higher Attestation Commission in
Linguistics and a DELTA diploma from UCLES. Her main interests broadly lie in
the areas of cognitive and functional linguistics, typology, linguistic
anthropology, the semantics of compounds as the result of a complex double
blending process, and the semantics-cognition-pragmatics interface. Her more
narrow interests are focused on the complexities of the correspondences and
cognitive correlates between English syntax and compounding (exocentric
compounds). This coming academic year she will be launching two elective MA
courses: Language and Mind and Linguistic Anthropology which ultimately combine
her research interests – the trinity of language, culture and cognition.
 

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