LINGUIST List 29.2710

Thu Jun 28 2018

Books: Vague Language, Elasticity Theory and the Use of 'Some': Zhang, Nguyet Le

Editor for this issue: Sarah Robinson <>

Date: 17-Jun-2018
From: Lianna Iwanikiw <>
Subject: Vague Language, Elasticity Theory and the Use of 'Some': Zhang, Nguyet Le
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Title: Vague Language, Elasticity Theory and the Use of 'Some'
Subtitle: A Comparative Study of L1 and L2 Speakers in Educational Settings
Published: 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly The Continuum International Publishing Group)

Book URL:

Author: Grace Qiao Zhang
Author: Nhu Nguyet Le
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350029620 Pages: 216 Price: U.K. £ 102.60 Comment: ePUB
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350029606 Pages: 216 Price: U.K. £ 102.60 Comment: ePDF
Hardback: ISBN: 9781350029590 Pages: 216 Price: U.K. £ 95.00

In "Vague Language, Elasticity Theory and the Use of 'Some'", Nguyet Nhu Le and Grace Qiao Zhang present the first comprehensive study of the word 'some', focusing on its elasticity. In particular, they consider how 'some' is both a quantifier and a qualifier, has positive or negative meanings, and has local and global interpretations. They show that the word is used across a meaning continuum and can be used to convey a range of states, including approximation, uncertainty, politeness, and evasion. Finally, they demonstrate that the functions of 'some' are also multi-directional and non-categorical, consisting of four major functions (right amount of information, mitigation, withholding information, and discourse management).

Based on naturally-occurring classroom data of L1 (American English) and L2 (Chinese- and Vietnamese-speaking learners of English) speakers, "Vague Language" shows that L2 speakers used 'some' more than L1 speakers and explores the significance of this, particularly taking account of speakers' language ability and cultural backgrounds. While this book focuses on the single word 'some', the authors' discussion has important implications for language studies more generally, as they call for a rethinking of our approaches to language study and more attention to its elasticity.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition
                            Linguistic Theories

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cascadilla Press
Classiques Garnier
De Gruyter Mouton
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd
Equinox Publishing Ltd
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Georgetown University Press
John Benjamins
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Multilingual Matters
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang AG
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Association of Finland
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Seoul National University
SIL International Publications
Universitat Jaume I
University of Nebraska Press
Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 28-Jun-2018