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Review of  Lexikologie / Lexicology

Reviewer: Irmeli Hannele Helin
Book Title: Lexikologie / Lexicology
Book Author: Alan D. Cruse Franz Hundsnurscher Michael Job Peter Rolf Lutzeier
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Linguistic Field(s): Lexicography
Discipline of Linguistics
Issue Number: 16.2748

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Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 17:52:43 +0300
From: Irmeli Helin
Subject: Lexikologie / Lexicology: Ein internationales Handbuch / An
international handbook

EDITORS: Cruse, Alan D; Hundsnurscher, Franz; Job, Michael;
Lutzeier, Peter Rolf
TITLE: Lexikologie / Lexicology
SUBTITLE: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Natur und Struktur von
Wörtern und Wortschätzen / An international handbook on the nature
and structure of words and vocabularies
SERIES: Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft /
Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science 21/2
PUBLISHER: Mouton de Gruyter
YEAR: 2005

Irmeli Helin, Department of Translation Studies, University of Helsinki


This book is the second volume of an international handbook on
lexicology in the series of famous and comprehensive handbooks of
linguistics and communication sciences. The books of the series are
surely well known to and highly appreciated by all students and
researchers of all areas of linguistics, terminology and translation
studies. The first volume had concentrated on fundamental questions
of lexicology such as "word" in context of different theories of
language and grammar, form and content level of "word" from
phonology to dimensions of meaning, as well as special forms of
lexical units and structures. Several articles were also written on the
architecture of the vocabulary, all of them by famous experts and
scientists on these fields.

The second volume maintains the high level of the first, both as to
authors and to the articles which have been written in German and
English, as it was the case in the first volume as well. On the first
pages (Chapter XXIV) of the second volume the methodologies of
lexicology are contemplated starting with intuition and empirical
methods, instrumental and statistical methods and ending by
methodological problems of lexicology caused e.g. by syntagmatic
relations, word classes or definitions of significant features.

Chapter XXV contains articles about structural properties of
vocabularies from contrastive and typological points of view. Besides
lexicology of so called SAE languages (Standard Average European),
i.e. German, English and French, also word classes of isolating
languages and lexical categories of polysynthetic languages are
analyzed in three articles. After that, nominal and verbal systems of
classification are being dealt with. These systems are contemplated
from several points of view, such as gender, aspect, dynamics and
agent and patient oriented differentiations.

Chapter XXVI is an extensive report on the special properties of
vocabularies in the main language families of the world starting with
indo-European languages and ending with Australian, Papuan and
Middle American languages. Also lexical structures in Pidgins and
Creoles, as well as vocabulary of Romany and planned languages
have been dealt with in special articles.

In the next chapters, Chapter XXVII and Chapter XXVIII, selections of
regional vocabularies and vocabularies of German and English
dialects have been analyzed. Chapter XXVII speaks about German
regional varieties and Chapter XXVIII about English dialects and
English spoken in Ireland, North America, Australia, Africa and India.

After chapters discussing dialects in English and German, Chapter
XXIX starts a new part in the book by looking at the etymology of
words. At first an English overview is given followed by several
German expert articles on methods and aims of etymological
research. The semantic change is observed from the traditional points
of view but also some new ideas as to word meaning are dealt with.
The content of the chapter is completed by an article about the
etymology of roots and about folk etymology.

The next Chapter XXX concentrates on the lexical change in German
supported by case studies on kinship terms and the lexical field
of 'qual' as well as on neologisms, archaisms and internationalisms.

This rather a short chapter is followed by three chapters about
vocabularies used during special epochs or by famous personalities in
literature, church and music, or by statesmen and scholars (Chapters
XXXI, XXXII and XXXIII). The vocabularies of special epochs are
analyzed starting from the medieval situation of German, English,
French, Italian and Spanish languages. The development of German
is dealt with in two different articles written in German and English,
going from the pre-textual epoch until the epoch of the temporal
differentiation of German languages within two German states before
their were reunited in 1990. The chapters about the vocabulary of
famous personalities contain articles about the language of such
personalities as e.g. James Joyce, Jane Austin, Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe and Jean de la Fontaine from the field of literature and
e.g. Martin Luther, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Friedrich Nietzsche
and Immanuel Kant representing the other fields of culture and society
mentioned above.

Chapter XXXIV goes on towards contrastive studies of lexical fields.
The review of this theme starts with general observations on kinship
and color terms and then goes on looking at adjectives of dimension
and verba dicendi. After these general surveys German and English
languages are compared by contrastive studies on deontic speech act
verbs and emotion words.

Lexicon and grammar are dealt with by the next three chapters
(Chapters XXXV, XXXVI and XXXVII). At first lexical units are analyzed
as lexical and grammatical categories in grammatical description.
Then the concept of "word" is contemplated from the point of view of
grammatical components. The next chapter begins with changing
lexical units with notions of paradigm in grammar, followed by
declension, conjugation and comparison as well as phonetic
realizations of lexical items in declension and conjugation. The third
chapter with this theme deals with combinations of lexical units and
word formation as possibility to extend vocabularies, the role of lexical
data in semantics and pragmatics as well as with lexicalization and

The following three chapters (Chapters XXXVIII, XXXIX and XL) form a
unit of observations on mental lexicon. In the first of these three
chapters, after an overview, word recognition and lexical access are
dealt with, as well as the processing of ambiguous words.
Psycholinguistic aspects of word meaning are observed in the last
article of the first chapter. In the following chapter, vocabularies are
examined using theories of semantic representation of the mental
lexicon, then going to vocabularies and brain from neurolinguistic
perspectives, ending up to the situation of mental lexicon in regard to
multilingualism. The last of these three chapters concentrates in
acquisition and loss of mental lexicon. Here the early acquisitional
phase is analyzed followed by later lexical and semantic development
of word meaning and idioms in mental lexicon. The loss of mental
lexicon is scrutinized by language pathology and by processes in
impaired comprehension or problems with verbs suffixes and function
words as well as with difficulties with words in communicative contexts.

Last but not least is the Chapter XLI concerning lexicology and
neighboring disciplines. This is a fairly large chapter and it deals with
the relations of lexicology to twelve other disciplines starting from
lexicography and going on by e.g. terminology, text linguistics and
translation studies until language planning, computer linguistics,
artificial intelligence and psychology.


This bilingual handbook, written in German and English, incorporate
1013 pages which contain 124 articles of important and useful
information about modern theories of lexicology illustrated by practical
examples. The articles have been written by famous international
experts on lexicology and linguistics, and most of the contemporary
lexicologists are mentioned and quoted in the articles. Since 72 of the
articles were written in German and many further articles are authored
by European experts, the book is firmly based on the long European
tradition of lexicology but also refers to the newest research done all
over the world on this field (e.g. Chapters XXVI and XXVIII) and in
other disciplines (Chapter XLI). Lexicology is, as shown by the last
chapter, often considered as a complex discipline with relations to
many other, not only linguistic disciplines (see e.g. chapters of mental
lexicon vs. cognitive sciences).

The articles are composed and edited in a way giving both
researchers and students of linguistics or other subjects related to
languages new impulses and constructive information. This
information can be used in the fields where analysis and knowledge
about word formation and vocabulary are needed. The amount of
information collected for this book (Volume 2) is enormous, both
quantitatively and qualitatively, and it is still much larger, if both
volumes are regarded. In general, the new handbook is obviously the
most extensive and versatile publication in lexicology as an
independent field of research. All through the book, the relationship of
lexicology to other linguistic disciplines runs as the main thread, even
if the editors have succeeded in grouping the themes under
excellently combining titles, always given in both languages, in spite of
the language the articles are written in. The articles under these titles,
as well as those in Volume 1, represent as many and as up-to-date
subfields of research of words and vocabulary as possible by
informing the readers about respective methodologies and results of
field studies. In this way, an overview of the present state of research
is offered to the reader with impulses for new research and
multidisciplinary viewpoints towards such aspects of lexicology
perhaps still needing further scrutiny.

As a researcher and user of many previous handbooks of this series
(e.g. semantics, pragmatics, terminology and translation studies) I
was, again, pleasantly surprised about the high quality of the book
and enjoyed the articles very much. I also highly appreciate the
decision of the editors to accept articles written in more than one
language throughout each volume of this series of handbooks. As to
the volume reviewed, I would especially like to emphasize the chapters
about the vocabulary of German and English dialects. They give an
easily accessible source to be used for even contrastive studies of
dialects, which still need a steady lexicological base although research
of dialects in multimedia is gaining ground from the traditional
dialectology concentrating on phonology and morphology of dialects.
The articles about two different Germans and several different
Englishes form an interesting aspect in this area. These themes are of
course not new, but I appreciate very much that they have been taken
into this handbook.

As a supervisor and university teacher I am glad to be able to
recommend the new handbook of lexicology to my graduate and post-
graduate students. There are several themes and articles which are
very useful for their learning and their studies and papers of
linguistics, translation studies and foreign languages. But naturally, it
is a useful source for every researcher who needs information about
the newest state of word and vocabulary studies, and an interesting
resource of information for everyone interested in these aspects of


Irmeli Helin is Professor of Translation Studies and Head of the
Department of Translation Studies at the University of Helsinki,
Finland. She teaches German translation and interpretation and is a
docent of terminology and German translation. She has published
books and articles on terminology, lexicography and lexicology in
German and Finnish. Her present interest lies in evidentiality and
translation of evidentials and evidentiality, research of terminological
concepts, dialect translation and retranslations.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110171473
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xvi, 1002 pages
Prices: U.S. $ 557.20