[Lingtyp] LT book reviewing

Plank Frans.Plank at uni-konstanz.de
Mon Jun 15 10:17:18 UTC 2015

Gentle readers,

please spare a thought for the writers!  They can't complain because you're after all reading them (well, skimming abstracts, mostly), your own writing duties permitting? -- I hear you retort.  You're doing your share even of quoting them?  Fair enough:  hiring, promotion, and grant-giving committees will be grateful, because impact figures is all they'll ever read.  (Parenthetically, when on such committees yourself, keep reminding them of DORA:  http://am.ascb.org/dora/.)  But, rightly or wrongly, writers are yearning for more.  They crave your full undivided attention, no bare mentions inter multos alios, no creditings in a footnote with a banality or some nonsense they can't remember having written.  They are dying for your considered judgment.  Oblige them!  Go public commending or censuring them as they deserve, and in the process earn our sympathy too by providing guidance for the rest of us who sit on the fence!

You're hard-pressed of course, since (thanks to Open Access and ultimately Elsevier et al.) everybody anywhere must now read everything, rather than only those few books and journals you or your library could afford to buy or your colleagues routinely sent you for free.  There is a way, copiously tried and tested in the animal kingdom, you'll find it less of an imposition to be asked, on top of it all, to also share your critical impressions with writers and us (time permitting) prospective readers:  see it as an investment rather than a sacrifice!  You don't want to be an unquoted, unreviewed writer yourself, do you?  A few alpha writers excepted, it's tit for tat, blow for blow -- what's known as reciprocal altruism in evolutionary biology.

For book reviewing it needs books.  Now, there are book disciplines and journal disciplines:  roughly the classical humanities vs. the sciences.  Naturally, when it is journals where the action is, the odd book -- be it a text, memoir of an eminent elder, or pop-science bestseller -- hardly merits lining up droves of expert reviewers in the research journals.  Linguistics is in between, as always:  there's journals, where impact beckons, however minute;  there's more than a trickle of monographs, alongside the flow of texts, handbooks, and of course theses;  and there's edited collections, ensuing from themed workshops so numerous they threaten to deplete journals.  Journals in toto aren't typical reviewing targets:  having made it into one after confidential peer reviewing, if you're desirous of in-depth and public feedback on your article you can only hope for someone to cross swords with you in the context of work of their own (regrettably, replicating still hasn't caught on in linguistics, despite LT 10-1 2006), or you'll have to wait for editors to institute some free-for-all mode of open reviewing of submissions (adding to everybody's reading burden).  But with the other, sufficiently bookish kinds of scholarly outlets continuing to well in linguistics, reciprocally altruistic readers-writers do have their work cut out for them.       
To cut several long stories short:  what's being solicited here are BOOK REVIEWS for LT.

Leafing through past volumes, it seems to me that the book reviews that we have been lucky to get done for LT have often been gems, showing sound judgment of reviewers as wise as humane ("cruel but fair"), and doing the reviewees proud too, however critical.   (No matter they've lost the editor a handful of friends and almost landed him in court twice -- a negligible fallout:  we're talking about more than 18 volumes.)

It is in the nature of typology that there is hardly anything being published in linguistics and beyond that might not turn out to advance or at least aid the exploration of linguistic diversity and unity.  Now, however wide or narrow you want our enterprise to be circumscribed, you -- and we on the Editorial Board -- have to own that the great bulk of the relevant scholarly production has remained unreviewed in LT, including what have been typological landmarks by any measure.  (But then, mere quotation isn't achieved easily in our patchwork of a field, either.)  

It must have been in melancholy recognition of such regrettable shortcomings of our reviewing department that our book listing for LT has lately somewhat lost momentum, even lain ostensibly dormant.  But do not by any means misread this as a loss of interest in the genre!!!  On the contrary, we appeal to your spirit of reciprocal altruism and as warmly as ever invite book reviews.  We promise to publish them all -- if they are well done and done from a typological angle.
We offer you four options.  You can write an appreciation of a book so far unacknowledged, of whatever vintage, that had a real impact on your own typological thinking, positive or negative.  (We have kept review copies of them all.)  Second, more conventionally, review a recently appeared title from among those listed or not listed below (and be aware that more so than ever my listing is a convenience sample).  Third, write a survey review of developments in an area that has seen a batch of complementary or competing contributions.  Fourth, and this is a threat rather than an offer, if you're down for a book review and haven't delivered yet, do so now, immediately, however shrouded in ancient history your assignment may seem -- or else we print a list of books and their defaulting reviewers in LT's upcoming issue.  Luckily, it's never too late to review typology because its half-life surpasses that of carbon-14, not to mention Stratificational Grammar.  

We have Reviews as well as Review Articles in LT (and no Book Notices).  The difference, sometimes hard to pinpoint, is not simply a matter of length, but more of the kind of engagement with a book.  If the title you're reviewing seems to you a milestone, or fatefully misguided and misguiding, try a Review Article (which will be externally reviewed like all articles).    

Do get in touch.

Frans Plank
Editor of LT
frans.plank at uni-konstanz.de



Abbi, Anvita. 2012. Dictionary of the Great Andamanese language: English - Great Andamanese - Hindi. Delhi: Ratna Sagar.

Ackerman, Farrell & Irina Nikolaeva. 2013. Descriptive typology and linguistic theory: A study in the morphosyntax of relative clauses. Stanford: CSLI Publications. 

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2015. The art of grammar: A practical guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. & R. M. W. Dixon (eds.). 2013. Possession and ownership: A cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. & R. M. W. Dixon (eds.). 2014. The grammar of knowledge: A cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Amiridze, Nino, Tamar Reseck, & Manana Topadze Gäumann (eds.). 2014. Advances in Kartvelian morphology and syntax. (Diversitas Linguarum 38.) Bochum: Universitätsverlag Dr. N. Brockmeyer.

Baerman, Matthew, Dunstan Brown, & Greville G. Corbett (eds.). 2015. Understanding and measuring morphological complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  [Read, and probably review, together with Newmeyer & Preston 2014.]

Bakker, Dik & Martin Haspelmath (eds.). 2013. Languages across boundaries: Studies in memory of Anna Siewierska. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Bavin, Edith L. & Sabine Stoll (eds.). 2013. The acquisition of ergativity. Amsterdam: Benjamins.  (Read, and possibly review, together with Queixalós 2015, Verbeke 2013.]

Bhatt, Parth & Tonjes Veenstra (eds.). 2013. Creole languages and linguistic typology. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Biberauer, Theresa & Michelle Sheehan (eds.). 2013. Theoretical approaches to disharmonic word order. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Bickel, Balthasar, Lenore A. Grenoble, David A. Peterson, & Alan Timberlake (eds.) 2013. Language typology and historical contingency: In honor of Johanna Nichols. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Bobaljik, Jonathan David. 2012. Universals in comparative morphology: Suppletion, superlatives, and the structure of words. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  

Borg, Albert, Sandro Caruana, & Alexandra Vella (eds.). 2014. Perspectives on Maltese linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Borsley, Robert D. & Kersti Börjars (eds.). 2011. Non-transformational syntax: Formal and explicit models of grammar. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.  [Read, and probably review, together with Dikken 2013 and/or Mackenzie & Olbertz 2013.]

Bouchard, Denis. 2013. The nature and origin of language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  [Read, and probably review, together with Stroik & Putnam 2013.]

Brabanter, Philippe de, Mikhail Kissine, & Saghie Sharifzadeh (eds.). 2014. Future times, future tenses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Busser, Rik de & Randy J. LaPolla (eds.). 2015. Language structure and environment: Social, cultural, and natural factors. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Capistrán Garza, Alejandra. 2015. Multiple object constructions in P'orhépecha. Leiden: Brill.

Caro Reina, Javier & Renata Szczepaniak (eds.). 2014. Syllable and word languages. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Cheng, Lisa Lai-Shen & Norbert Corver (eds.). 2013. Diagnosing syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chierchia, Gennaro. 2013. Logic in grammar: Polarity, free choice, and intervention. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Coler, Matt. 2015. A grammar of Muylaq' Aymara. Leiden: Brill.

Collins, Chris (ed.). 2014. Cross-linguistic studies of imposters and pronominal agreement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cook, Clare. 2014. The clause-typing system of Plains Cree: Indexicality, anaphoricity, and contrast. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Creissels, Denis & Pierre Sambou. 2013. Le mandinka: Phonologie, grammaire, textes. Paris: Karthala.

Dahl. Östen. 2015. Grammaticalization in the North: Noun phrase morphosyntax in Scandinavian venaculars. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Danielsen, Swintha, Katja Hannss, & Fernando Zúñiga (eds.). 2014. Word formation in South American languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Dienst, Stefan. 2014. A grammar of Kulina. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Diewald, Gabriele, Leena Kahlas-Tarkka, & Ilse Wischer (eds.). 2013. Comparative studies in early Germanic languages: With a focus on verbal categories. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Dikken, Marcel den (eds.). 2013. The Cambridge handbook of Generative Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  [Read, and probably review, together with Borsley & Börjars 2011 and/or Mackenzie & Olbertz 2013.  Landau 2103 too.]

Enfield, N. J. & Bernard Comrie (eds.). 2015. The languages of mainland South Asia: The state of the art. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Everett, Caleb. 2013. Linguistic relativity: Evidence across languages and cognitive domains. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Fernandez-Vest, M. M. Jocelyne. 2015. Detachments for cohesion: Toward an information grammar for oral languages. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Gardani, Francesco, Peter Arkadiev, & Nino Amiridze (eds.). 2014. Borrowed morphology. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Giacalone Ramat, Anna, Caterina Mauri, & Piera Molinelli (eds.). 2013. Synchrony and diachrony: A dynamic interface. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Gijn, Rik van, Jeremy Hammond, Dejan Matić, Saskia van Putten, & Ana Vilacy Galucio (eds.). 2014. Information structure and reference tracking in complex sentences. Amstedam: Benjamins.

Givón, T. 2013. Ute texts. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Gravelle, Gilles. 2010. Meyah, a language of West Papua, Indonesia. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Australian National University.

Grossman, Eitan, Martin Haspelmath, Tonio Sebastian Richter (eds.). 2014. Egyptian-Coptic linguistics in typological perspective. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Hancil, Sylvie, Alexander Haselow, & Margje Post (eds.). 2015. Final particles. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Hawkins, John A. 2014. Cross-linguistic variation and efficiency. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  [Read, and probably review together with, Nolan & Periñán-Pascual 2014.]

Hermann, Annika & Markus Steinbach (eds.). 2013. Nonmanuals in sign language. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Hickey, Raymond. 2015. The sound structure of Modern Irish. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Hole, Daniel & Elisabeth Löbel (eds.). 2013. Linguistics of Vietnamese. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Holvoet, Axel & Nicole Nau (eds.). 2014. Grammatical relations and their non-canonical encoding in Baltic. Amsterdam: Benjamins.  [Read, and probably review, together with Luraghi & Narrog 2014 and/or Serzant & Kulikov 2013.]

Iwasaki, Shoichi. 2013. Japanese. (London Oriental and African Language Library 17.) Revised edition. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Jauncey, Dorothy G. 2011. Tamambo, the language of West Malo, Vanuatu. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Australian National University.

Jones, Barbara. 2011. A grammar of Wangkajunga: A language of the Great Sandy Desert of North Western Australia. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Australian National University.

Kikusawa, Ritsuko & Lawrence A. Reid. 2013. Historical linguistics 2011: Selected papers from ICHL 20. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Kilarski, Marcin. 2013. Nominal classification: A history of its study from the classical period to the present. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Klamer, Marian (ed.) 2015. The Alor-Pantar languages. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria (ed.). 2015. The linguistics of temperature. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Kučerová, Ivona & Ad Neeleman (eds.). 2012. Contrasts and positions in information structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ladd, D. Robert. 2014. Simultaneous structure in phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Landau, Idan. 2013. Control in Generative Grammar: A research companion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Legate, Julie Anne. 2015. Voice and v: Lessons from Acehnese. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Léglise, Isabelle & Claudine Chamoreau (eds.). 2013. The interplay of variation and change in contact settings. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Leiss, Elisabeth & Werner Abraham (eds.). 2014. Modes of modality: Modality, typology, and universal grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Léonard, Jean Léo & Samia Naïm (eds.). 2013. Base articulatoire arrière / Backing and backness. München: LINCOM.

Luraghi, Silvia & Tuomas Huumo (eds.). 2014. Partitive cases and related categories. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Luraghi, Silvia & Heiko Narrog (eds.). 2014. Perspectives on semantic roles. Amsterdam: Benjamins.  [Read, and probably review, together with Holvoet & Nau 2014 and/or Serzant & Kulikov 2013.]

Mackenzie, J. Lachlan & Hella Olbertz (eds.). 2013. Casebook in Functional Discourse Grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins.  [Read, and probably review together with, Borsley & Börjars 2011 and/or Dikken 2013.]

MacWhinney, Brian, Andrej Malchukov, & Edith Moravcsik (eds.). 2014. Competing motivations in grammar and usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McGregor, William B. 2011. The Nyulnyul language of Dampier Land, Western Australia. @ volumes. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Australian National University.

Mattes, Veronika. 2014. Types of reduplication: A case study of Bikol. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Meakins, Felicity & Rachel Nordlinger. 2013. A grammar of Bilinarra. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Mettouchi, Amina, Martine Vanhoeve, & Dominique Caubet (eds.). 2015. Corpus-based studies of lesser-described languages: The CorpAfroAs of spoken AfroAsiatic languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Michaelis, Susanne Maria, Philippe Maurer, Martin Haspelmath, & Magnus Huber (eds.) 2013. The atlas and survey of pidgin and creole languages. 4 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Mosegaard Hansen, Maj-Britt & Jacqueline Visconti (eds.). 2014. The diachrony of negation. Amsterdam: Benjamins.  [Read, and probably review, together with Willis et al. 2013.]

Nedjalkov, Vladimir P. & Galina A. Otaina. 2013. A syntax of the Nivkh language: The Amur dialect. (Translated from the Russian.) Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Newmeyer, Frederick J. & Laurel B. Preston (eds.). 2014. Measuring grammatical complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  [Read, and probably review, together with Baerman et al. 2015.]

Nikolaeva, Irina. 2014. A grammar of Tundra Nenets. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Nolan, Brian & Elke Diedrichsen (eds.). 2013. Linking constructions into functional linguistics: The role of constructions in grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Nolan, Brian & Carlos Periñán-Pascual (eds.). 2014. Language processing and grammars: The role of functionally oriented computational models. Amsterdam: Benjamins. [Read, and probably review, together with Hawkins 2014.]

Otsuka, Hitomi, Cornelia Stroh, & Aina Urdze (eds.). 2012. More morphologies: Constributions to the Festival of Languages, Bremen, 17 Sep to 7 Oct. 2009. (Diversitas Linguarum 35.) Bochum: Universitätsverlag Dr. N. Brockmeyer.

Pensalfini, Rob, Myfany Turpin, & Diana Guillemin (eds.). 2014. Language description informed by theory. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Pericliev, Vladimir. 2013. Componential analysis of kinship terminology: A computational perspective. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Queixalós, Francesc. 2015. L'ergativité est-elle un oiseau bleu? München: LINCOM.  [Read, and probably review, together with Bavin & Stoll 2013, Verbeke 2013.]  

Reseck, Tamar. 2015. Präverben im Megrelischen. (Diversitas Linguarum 37.) Bochum: Universitätsverlag Dr. N. Brockmeyer.

Riesberg, Sonja. 2014. Symmetrical voice and linking in Western Austronesian languages. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Robbeets, Martine & Walter Bisang (eds.). 2014. Paradigm change: In the Transeurasian languages and beyond. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Robbeets, Martine & Hubert Cuyckens (eds.). 2013. Shared grammaticalization: With special focus on the Transeurasian languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Roy, Isabelle. 2013. Nonverbal predication: Copular sentences at the syntax-semantics interface. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schalley, Andrea C. (ed.). 2012. Practical theories and empirical practice: A linguistic perspective. Amsterdam: Benjmanis.

Seržant, Ilja A. & Leonid Kulikov (eds.). 2013. The diachronic typology of non-canonical subjects. Amsterdam: Benjamins.  [Read, and probably review, together with Luraghi & Narrog 2014 and/or Holvoet & Nau 2014.]

Simone, Raffaele & Francesca Masini (eds.). 2014. Word classes: Nature, typology and representations. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Sprouse, Jon & Norbert Hornstein (eds.). 2013. Experimental syntax and island effects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stebbins, Tonya N. 2011. Mali (Baining) grammar: A language of the East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Australian National University. 

Stolz, Thomas, Sander Lestrade, & Christel Stolz. 2014. The crosslinguistics of zero-marking of spatial relations. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Storch, Anne & Gerrit J. Dimmendaal (eds.). 2014. Number — constructions and semantics: Case studies from Africa, Amazonia, India and Oceania. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Stroik, Thomas S. & Michael T. Putnam. 2013. The structural design of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  [Read, and probably review, together with Bouchard 2013.]

Suihkonen, Pirkko & Lindsay J. Whaley (eds.). 2015. On diversity and complexity of languages spoken in europe and North and Central Asia. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Szmrecsanyi, Benedikt & Bernard Wälchli (eds.). 2014. Aggregating dialectology, typology, and register analysis. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Thornes, Tim, Erik Andvik, Gwendolyn Hyslop, & Joana Jansen (eds.). 2013. Functional-historical approaches to explanation. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Torrence, Harold. 2013. The clause structure of Wolof: Insights into the left periphery. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Velupillai, Viveka. 2015. Pidgins, creoles and mixed languages: An introduction. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Verbeke, Saartje. 2013. Alignment and ergativity in New Indo-Aryan languages. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.  [Read, and probably review, together with Bavin & Stoll 2013, Queixalós 2015.]

Verstraete, Jean-Christophe & Bruce Rigsby. 2015. A grammar and lexicon of Yintyingka. Berlin: De Gruyter Moutn.

Viti, Carlotta (ed.). 2015. Perspectives on historical syntax. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Willis, David, Christopher Lucas, & Anne Breitbarth (eds.). 2013. The history of negation in the languages of Europe and the Mediterranean. Vol. 1: Case studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  [Read, and probably review, together with Mosegaard Hansen & Visconti 2014.]

Xu, Dan (ed.). 2013. Plurality and classifiers across languages in China. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Yu, Alan C. L. (ed.). 2013. Origins of sound change: Approaches to phonologization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Yuk-man Yiu, Carine. 2013. The typology of motion events. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Zeitoun, Elizabeth, Tai-hwa Chu, & Lalo a tahesh kaybaybaw. 2015. A study of Saisiyat morphology. (Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication 40.) Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

Frans Plank
Universität Konstanz
78457 Konstanz

Tel  +49 (0)7531 88 2656
Fax +49 (0)7531 88 4190
eMail frans.plank at uni-konstanz.de

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