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Review of  Reviewing Linguistic Thought

Reviewer: Luna Beard
Book Title: Reviewing Linguistic Thought
Book Author: Sophia S. A. Marmaridou Kiki Nikiforidou Eleni Antonopoulou Angeliki Salamoura
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Cognitive Science
Discipline of Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Greek, Modern
Issue Number: 16.3619

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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 12:26:31 +0200
From: Luna Beard
Subject: Reviewing Linguistic Thought: Converging Trends for the
21st Century

EDITORS: Marmaridou, Sophia; Nikiforidou, Kiki; Antonopoulou, Eleni;
Salamoura, Angeliki
TITLE: Reviewing Linguistic Thought
SUBTITLE: Converging Trends for the 21st Century
SERIES: Trends in Linguistics
PUBLISHER: Mouton de Gruyter
YEAR: 2005

Luna Beard, Department of Afro-Asiatic Studies, Sign Language and
Language Practice, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South

The title of this book relates to the theme of the
conference 'Reviewing linguistic thought: Perspectives into the 21st
century' that was organized by the faculty of English Studies at the
University of Athens in 2002. Both, in turn, relate to the widely
acknowledged separation of twentieth century linguistics into different
theoretical frameworks with distinct goals and focus areas. As the
editors (2005:1) point out, research originating during the last part of
the previous century in different parts of the academic community has
actually promoted interaction in various ways. The aim of the 2002
conference was to address common directions.

The contributions included in the book indicate some converging
trends for linguistics in the 21st century. It follows from the
observations in the Introduction that the trends that are most
prominently represented in this 429 page volume are united in two
ways: (i) in their subversion of certain (generative) assumptions that
have dominated 20th century linguistics, and (ii) in their concern for an
interdisciplinary perspective in linguistic analysis. It is organized along
these lines and consists of five parts.

The introduction to Part I provides a brief overview of the framework of
Cognitive Linguistics, since the three papers included here draw on
this theoretical perspective. The theme of this section is 'Relaxing
level boundaries' and it is especially the dichotomy between semantics
and pragmatics that is explored by Sweetser, Panther and Thornburg,
and Cornillie.

The title of Part II is 'Focusing on level interaction'. It draws quite
heavily on Greek data, as is the case in some of the other papers in
the subsequent sections. Jaszczolt continues the
semantics/pragmatics boundary dispute by giving an overview of the
main viewpoints followed by a review of the current semantic and
pragmatic approaches that make use of the notion of defaults.
Jaszczolt argues in favor of the default modal status of expressions of
futurity and also points to the need for distinguishing cognitive defaults
from social/cultural defaults. In the second paper entitled 'Expressivity
as an option of tense-aspect in language: The case of Modern Greek
imperfective past', Kitis and Tsangalidis postulate a multi-level model
of linguistic analysis for the description of the data presented. The
analysis in the third paper is based on focus phenomena and word
order variation in Greek. Here Georgiafentis shows how pragmatically
motivated prosody interacts with the levels of phonology, syntax, and

All four papers in Part III 'Drawing on different theories' attempt to
approach the analysis of their respective data from more than one
vantage point in order to bring together different, but not necessarily
contrasting, paradigms. The frameworks covered here are Gricean
pragmatics, practice theory, frame theory, cognitive and functional
perspectives and different traditions of contrastive linguistics. The
starting point in Leeszenberg's 'Greek tragedy as impolite
conversation: Toward a practice approach in linguistic theory' is once
again the semantics/pragmatics boundary, here as in some of the
other contributions, with reference to Gricean pragmatics. The
advantages of a frame semantics approach to the study of
generalized conversational implicatures is emphasized in
Terkourafi's 'Pragmatic correlates of frequency of use: the case for a
notion of minimal context'. In the third paper, 'Metaphor in Greek pain-
constructions: Cognitive and functional perspectives', Lascaratou and
Marmaridou argue that Halliday's functional analysis and cognitive
semantics are methodologically compatible, specifically since they are
both usage-based models. In 'Contrastive linguistics; A 21st century
perspective', Kurtes examines the contribution of different linguistic
approaches to the development of contrastive studies. She focuses
specifically on the interrelatedness of contrastive linguistics,
translation theory and error analysis and the European contrastive
projects of the 1970's and 1980's.

The theme of Part IV, 'Exploring field interaction' refers to the
relationship among fields such as semiotics, psychology and social
studies and their contribution to linguistic theory. The phenomena
examined in this section include language change, bilingualism, code-
switching and politeness. Christidis opens the section with a broad
theme, captured by the title 'The nature of language: Twentieth
century approaches'. This is followed by papers by Enfield, Walters
and Kallia.

The theme of the last section is 'Interdisciplinary perspectives on
modularity'. There are two contributions included here: 'New
directions for research on pragmatics and modularity' by Deirdre
Wilson and 'Hearsay devices and metarepresentation' by Elly
Ifantidou. The second contribution is closely related to the first one in
that it explores how the mind-reading sub-module with its relevance-
theoretic apparatus could apply to the interpretation and acquisition of
two Modern Greek hearsay particles.

This volume thus offers a variety of contributions, perspectives and
data. It is particularly well-structured in that, in addition to the general
introduction, each of the five parts is also opened with an introduction
that provides a brief overview of the theoretical perspectives and
approaches that bind the various contributions in that section
together. In this way the editors' views on converging trends for the
21st Century are also clarified.

Luna Beard is a researcher in the Department of Afro-Asiatic Studies,
Sign language and Language Practice at the University of the Free
State in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110183641
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xii, 430
Prices: U.S. $ 137.20