This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 22:11:18 -0400 From: Charlotte Hohnheit Subject: A Glossary of Morphology
AUTHOR: Bauer, Laurie TITLE: A Glossary of Morphology SERIES: Glossaries in Linguistics PUBLISHERS: Edinburgh University Press & Georgetown University Press YEAR: 2004
Charlotte Hohnheit, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany
This book aims to be of help to readers who have already been introduced to the fundamentals of morphology and are now seeking clarification of specific morphological terms. It consists of six parts: The glossary as the main part is preceded by a preface and introduction, and followed by a listing of fundamental works, a select bibliography of books on morphology, an index of names, and an index of languages.
The PREFACE acts as a short guide to the book. It mainly contains information about the conventions used in the glossary (such as bold type for cross-references, or the use of small capitals to indicate lexemes) and gives instructions on how to use the entries.
Bauer starts his INTRODUCTION by first giving an overview of the concerns of morphology. After providing the readers with a definition (''Morphology deals with the correlation of form and meaning within the word''), he lists sets of words taken from the English language. Bauer describes the relations between sets like friend-friendly- friendliness and body-embody-disembody, thus giving examples for the type of structures discussed in morphology. He talks about the existence of patterns and rules in different languages and about the questions arising from the study of those patterns. He then writes about the development of terminology in morphology and the reasons why some terms might not always be used by different authors in precisely the same way. Last, he describes the way morphology is closely related to other linguistic fields, for example how morphological and phonological structures can influence each other, or how syntactic and morphological structures are ''in some way intertwined'' since morphological elements are used to show how words function in sentences, etc. Bauer ends his introduction with the presentation of two possible reading methods for his book: Apart from using it like a dictionary, it is possible to go through it thematically by starting with one article and following the cross-references to related articles ''to see how various aspects of morphological study are being treated together as packages which we call morphological theories''.
The GLOSSARY itself starts with 'abbreviation' and 'abessive' and ends with 'zero-derivation' and 'zero morph'. Pronunciation is provided for many entries (e.g. acronym, hypocoristic and hapax legomenon). Cross-referencing between glossary entries is numerous. A 'basic' entry, such as ''morpheme'', usually also contains information about the term's history and its development due to differing theoretical concepts. While most of his examples are based on English, examples from various other languages -- such as French, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Italian, Arabic, Latin, Sanskrit, Maori, etc. - can also be found.
In the section FUNDAMENTAL WORKS, Bauer lists those authors who are occupying a ''privileged position'' since their works are being referred to in the glossary without a full reference. The eleven authors include e.g. Leonard Bloomfield, John Lyons, and Charles F. Hockett.
The BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS ON MORPHOLOGY is extensive, even though it does not contain articles or books written in languages other than English. Bauer helps beginners narrow down their selection by marking works suggested especially for that group with an asterisk (there are seven books marked liked that, two of them written by Bauer himself). Books which are ''rather more complex'' but ''still relatively approachable'' are marked with two asterisks (four were selected for this category).
The INDEX OF NAMES contains 33 entries, from Anderson to Wurzel. Each name is listed together with the glossary entry where it can be found.
The INDEX OF LANGUAGES contains 34 entries, from Arabic to West Greenlandic. 'World languages' such as French, German, and Spanish are each associated with several glossary entries, while other languages, such as Tlingit or Samoan, are represented just once.
On the whole, Bauer's Glossary of Morphology is a good choice for students of linguistics (specifically undergraduate students) as well as for anyone desiring to acquire additional knowledge of specific morphological terms. Undergraduate students of morphology might find glossaries in their textbooks as well but Bauer's certainly is more detailed and more extensive. Readers should not expect a sizable volume, though. The book contains a mere 124 pages; this is probably the reason the publishers call it an ''invaluable little glossary'' and a ''handy guide'' on the back cover.
The introduction is well-written; it sums up important morphological issues and shows interfaces between morphology and the other subfields of linguistics. The bibliography can help beginners choose introductory works as well as show advanced students choices for more complex reading and further research. Even if more advanced students already know much of the additional information (such as the overview in the introduction or the pronunciation given for well-known terms like ''paradigm'' and ''acronym''), the glossary entries alone are helpful tools for studying and research.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
I am a graduate student at the English Department and the Department of General and Comparative Linguistics at the University of Kiel, Germany. Morphology is my preferred area in linguistics and has been a main focus point of my studies. I am currently working on my Master's thesis on endangered languages.