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."
Review of Romanische Sprachgeschichte / Histoire linguistique de la Romania
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 20:41:12 +0200 (CEST) From: Kim Schulte Subject: Romanische Sprachgeschichte / Histoire linguistique de la Romania
EDITORS: Ernst, Gerhard; Gleßgen, Martin-Dietrich; Schmitt, Christian; Schweickard, Wolfgang TITLE: Romanische Sprachgeschichte / Histoire linguistique de la Romania SUBTITLE: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Geschichte der romanischen Sprachen / Manuel international d'histoire linguistique de la Romania SERIES: Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft / Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science 23.1 PUBLISHER: Walter de Gruyter (Mouton) YEAR: 2003
Kim Schulte, University of Exeter
[Note: in the Name ''Vintila Radulescu'', ''a'' represents with Unicode character 0103 'lower-case a with breve'.]
DESCRIPTION This is the first volume out of a set of three, of which the other two are as yet unpublished. The full set, the 'International Handbook on the History of the Romance Languages', will contain a total of sixteen chapters, made up of 263 articles by approximately 300 different authors. This volume contains an introduction and nine chapters, made up of 104 separate contributions. The articles are written in four different languages: 57 in German, 26 in French, 14 in Spanish and 7 in Italian; the introduction is published in both German and French.
OVERVIEW This book is intended primarily for specialists in Romance philology, but also for any linguist with an interest in (comparative) historical issues and methodology, or in the history of linguistic thought. As a handbook, it offers a wide range of relatively short articles that complement each other, each focusing on a specific, limited aspect of the history or historiography of the Romance Languages, providing an overview of the basic facts and extant research in the respective area, pinpointing shortcomings and issues that require further research, and providing references to relevant literature.
One aim of the handbook is to illustrate, compare and discuss the principles, methods and theoretical approaches that have been applied in the historical analysis of the Romance Languages, and to link these up with recent developments in the areas of sociolinguistics, variational linguistics, communication theory, contact linguistics and corpus linguistics, focusing particularly on the aspect of diachronic and areal variation.
A further aim of the handbook is to provide a comprehensive overview of the emergence and evolution of the Romance language areas (''Sprachräume''), explicitly moving away from the analysis of individual (national) languages towards a 'vertical' approach that does justice to the continuum of varieties within the individual language areas, as well as providing comparative insights into systematic parallels and contrasts found between these areas by means of a thematic juxtaposition of articles dealing with related issues in each of the various language areas.
Chapter 1, ''Methodological Foundations of the Historiography of the Romance Languages'', deals with the question to what extent diachronically relevant methods of analysis are also usefully applicable to the synchronic analysis of the Romance Languages, and investigates the role of Romance linguistics at the interface between general and language-specific linguistic analysis.
A general historical overview of the historiographical methodology used in Romance linguistics, written by the editors, is followed by a more specific discussion of the possibilities and limitations we are faced with in this area, by Michael Metzeltin and Nina Gritzky. Helmut Berschin investigates the complex relation between synchronic and diachronic analysis in historical Romance linguistics, Peter Blumenthal looks at the relation between the internal and the external history of the Romance languages, and Richard Baum discusses the concept of subdividing linguistic history into discrete periods. Pierre Swiggers investigates the position of Romance historical linguistics in the context of comparative historical linguistics, highlighting the fundamental differences between the historical analysis of documented and undocumented languages, and Philippe Ménard discusses the potential problems arising from the use of edited versions of linguistic documents. Jean-Paul Chauveau gives an overview of the origins and evolution of linguistic geography and discusses its usefulness and limitations in drawing diachronic conclusions. Christoph Schwarze investigates the application and applicability of popular descriptive models to historical Romance linguistics, and Peter Koch discusses the role and limitations of variational linguistics in the historiography of the Romance languages. Ulrich Hoinkes deals with the issue of genetic classification of the Romance Languages, which he shows to be far from clear-cut, and Daniel Jacob looks at attempts to establish a typological classification of the Romance Languages.
Chapter 2, ''History of the Reflection about the Romance Languages'', can be subdivided into three main thematic blocks.
The first block is concerned with the history and etymology of the names given to individual varieties within the various Romance language areas. Vasile Arvinte deals with the Southeastern Romance area, Dieter Kattenbusch with Italo-Romance and the varieties of the eastern Alps, Jutta Langenbacher-Liebgott with Gallo-Romance, Johannes Kabatek with Ibero-Romance, and Ioana Vintila Radulescu with Romance-based creoles.
The second block looks at the history of the linguistic study of the Romance Languages, with Alexandru Niculescu focusing on Romanian, Thomas Krefeld on the three Rhaeto-Romance varieties Friulian, Ladin and Romansch, Sergio Lubello on Italian and Sardinian, Mechthild Bierbach and Jean-Christophe Pellat on French, Maurizio Perugi on Occitan, August Rafanell and Joan Solà on Catalan, Jenny Brumme on Spanish, Rolf Kemmler and Barbara Schäfer-Prieß on Portuguese, and Ralph Ludwig on Romance-based creoles.
The third thematic group of articles is concerned with the history of the study of etymology and lexical history of the Romance Languages. The first two articles adopt a pan-Romance perspective; Max Pfister deals with the history of the etymological study of the Romance Languages, while Andreas Blank offers a historical survey of the study of Romance lexical history. These are followed by language-specific surveys for Romanian (Victoria Popovici), Friulian, Ladin and Romansch (Otto Gsell), Italian and Sardinian (Wolfgang Schweickard), French and Occitan (Anne-Marguerite Fryba-Reber), Catalan (Germán Colón), Spanish (Bodo Müller), Portuguese and Galician (Alf Monjour), and for Romance-based creoles (Annegret Bollée).
The final article in this chapter, by Alberto Varvaro, is to some extent a synthesis of the preceding articles, as it investigates methodological convergence and divergence in the historiography of the Romance languages.
Chapter 3, ''Aspects of the Organization of Research on the History of the Romance Languages'', is concerned with the different means available to Romance historical linguists to communicate and share their ideas. Angela Schrott looks at history and impact of scholarly journals, Wolfgang Hillen at bibliographies, and Rebecca Posner at learned societies, congresses and conferences. Finally, Andreas Michel discusses the role of the historical component in research and teaching of the Romance Languages.
Chapter 4, ''The History of the Romance Languages from an Interdisciplinary Point of View'', is a thematic continuation of one of the aspects touched upon in Chapter 1, namely the role and relevance of historical Romance linguistics in other fields of academic study. The first four articles in this chapter investigate the interdisciplinary impact of Romance linguistics on the historical study of other language groups. Following Christian Seidl's discussion of the contributions of Romance linguistics to the discipline of Indo-European studies, Maria Besse looks at the ways in which Romance philology has influenced the linguistic historiography of German. This is followed by similar analyses of its influence on historiography of the Slavic languages by Helmut Keipert, and of the Anglo-Saxon Languages by Horst Weinstock.
The last two contributions in this chapter investigate the links between the historical study of the Romance languages and disciplines outside the domain of linguistic study: Franz Lebsanft covers the areas of History and Social Sciences, while Theodor Berchem focuses on Literary Studies.
Chapter 5, ''Prehistory and the Emergence of the Romance Languages'', traces the linguistic development from the origins of Latin to its eventual fragmentation into the different Romance languages. Dieter Steinbauer provides an account of what we know about the prehistory and history of Latin; Christian Seidl discusses the varieties that existed within Latin; the contribution by Arnulf Stefenelli investigates which varieties of Latin the Romance Languages may be based on; Michel Banniard considers the issue of determining when Latin became Romance, setting up an interesting system of diachronic isoglosses. The focus then shifts to the influence of linguistic strata in the diversification and evolution of Romance. A discussion of the methodological foundations of strata-based research by Thomas Krefeld is followed by separate accounts of the influence of sub-, ad- and superstrates in the different Romance-speaking areas: Iancu Fischer looks at substrate influence in the southeastern part of the Romance-speaking world, Paolo di Giovine discusses sub-, ad- and superstrate influences in Italo-Romance and the varieties of the eastern Alps, Josef Felixberger investigates the same issue for Gallo-Romance, and Maria Teresa Echenique Elizondo for Ibero-Romance.
The final section of this chapter is dedicated to the emergence and evolution of linguistic boundaries within Romance. Emanuele Banfi discusses this issue for the southeastern part of the Romance-speaking world, Hans Goebl for Italo-Romance and the varieties of the eastern Alps, Jacob Wüest for Gallo-Romance, and Christina Ossenkop for Ibero-Romance.
The final four chapters in this volume form a logical and chronological progression, covering the death, the survival, the geographical expansion and the creolization of Romance varieties, respectively.
Chapter 6, ''The Linguistic History of the 'Romania submersa''', is a survey of the Romance varieties that have not survived. Christain Schmitt deals with the lost varieties of Africa, Bela Adamik with those of the former Roman provinces of Moesia, Thracia and Pannonia (in the Balkans), Flavia Ursini wuth those of the eastern Adriatic area, Wolfgang Haubrichs with those of present-day German-speaking areas, Karl Horst Schmidt with the lost Romance varieties of the British Isles before 1066, and Douglas Kibbee with those after 1066.
Chapter 7, ''The External Linguistic History of the 'Romania continua''', is a survey of the external histories of the Romance languages that emerged from late Latin and have survived to the present day. Wolfgang Dahmen deals with Romanian, Hans Goebl with the varieties of the central and eastern Alps, Luca Serianni with Italian, Rosita Rindler-Schjerve with Sardinian, Christian Schmitt with French, Philippe Martel with Occitan, Joan Veny with Catalan, Antonio Martínez González and Francisco Torres Montes with Spanish, Ramón Lorenzo-Vázquez with Galician, and Andreas Wesch with Portuguese.
Chapter 8, ''The External History of the 'Romania nova''', is an extensive survey of the external histories of secondary Romance varieties that have emerged outside Europe, highlighting their parallels and divergences in colonial and post-colonial linguistic development.
The first set of contributions investigates the development of French varieties outside Europe, with André Thibault dealing with the French of Canada, New England and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Ingrid Neumann-Holzschuh with French in the United States and in the Caribbean, Dalila Morsly with North African French, Ambroise Queffélec with French in Subsaharan Africa, and Sabine Erhart with French in Asia, the Indian and the Pacific Ocean.
This is followed by two contributions on Italian in North and East Africa, with Joseph Cremona focusing on the Maghreb and Lutz Edzard on Libya and East Africa.
The next set of contributions investigates the external history of Spanish outside the Iberian Peninsula. Irene Pérez Guerra deals with Spanish in the Caribbean, Martin-Dietrich Gleßgen looks at Mexico, Juan Ramón Lodares Marrodán at the USA and Puerto Rico, Daniel Schlupp at Central America, José Joaquín Montes Giraldo at Venezuela and Colombia, José Luis Rivarola at the Andean countries Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, Nelson Cartagena at Chile, Adolfo Elizaincín at Argentina and Uruguay, and Wolf Dietrich at Paraguay. Javier Medina López deals with the external history of Spanish in the Canaries and in Africa, and Celia Casado-Fresnillo looks at the fate of Spanish in Asia, mainly in the Philippines.
The final set of contributions in this chapter looks at the external history of Portuguese outside Europe. Joachim Born deals with Brazilian Portuguese and its varieties, Jan Reinhardt covers lusophone Africa, while David Jackson and Angela Bartens investigate some cultural and linguistic aspects in the history of Portuguese in Asia.
Chapter 9, ''The Linguistic History of the 'Romania creolica''', is concerned with the emergence, evolution and status of Romance-based creoles. Guido Cifoletti deals with the history of 'Lingua Franca', Thomas Klingler with that of French-based Creoles in Louisiana and the Caribbean, Robert Chaudenson with French-based island creoles of the Indian Ocean, Chris Corne with the French-based Creole of Saint-Louis in New Caledonia, and Petra Thiele with Portuguese- and Spanish-based creoles.
EVALUATION Together with the following two (as yet unpublished) volumes, this handbook will provide a comprehensive overview of the 'State of the Art' and the history of Romance historical linguistics. It is this comprehensiveness that makes it a particularly valuable reference work.
Due to the sheer number of different topics and aspects covered, it is clear that individual articles must be relatively short and cannot discuss the more problematic or controversial issues in very much detail; the practice of simply pointing out any such issues and briefly summarizing and referencing the different positions, generally in an unbiased way, is fully satisfactory.
The order and organization of contributions is generally logical and clear, with some exceptions. Chapter 3 is somewhat odd in terms of its very narrow focus; the final contribution by Andreas Michel would have been better placed in Chapter 1, and the three contributions dealing with the history of scholarly journals, bibliographies, learned societies and congresses could have been included as a thematic group in Chapter 2.
Chapter 9 seems a little arbitrary in the choice of topics that the contributions focus on. While there are three separate, detailed articles on French-based creoles, the whole range of Spanish and Portuguese-based creoles is covered in a single, relatively short overview. Furthermore, the Italian-based creole of Ethiopia does not appear in this chapter at all, but instead in Lutz Edzard's article in Chapter 8.
Two gaps in this volume are the absence of contributions on Mozarabic in Chapter 6 ('Romania submersa'), and on the history of Judeo-Spanish, which could have appropriately been included in Chapter 8.
On a more general note, there is a certain degree of inconsistency between the stated aim to move away from the traditional focus on national and standard languages towards a more variationist approach on the one hand, and the organization of certain chapters in this volume on the other. It may make sense to stick to the traditional subdivisions for the purpose of a historical survey of linguistic thought (Chapter 2), simply because Romance linguists have thought along these lines for centuries. But in Chapter 7 (''The External History of the 'Romania continua'''), the focus on a small set of isolated, in their majority officially recognized languages runs contrary to the very principle of variationist analysis that this handbook is aiming to embrace.
Readers of this book may encounter certain practical difficulties. There is no subject or name index, which would be helpful in a book of 1152 pages. (But there will be an index for all three volumes in the back of Volume 3.) Page numbers in the Table of Contents are not in all cases accurate, and on occasion there are discrepancies between the French and the German version of contribution titles. The most crucial difficulty for many readers, however, will probably be the range of languages the contributions are written in. With articles in German, French, Italian and Spanish, the target readership for this book is severely limited. This is unfortunate, as the 'Handbook on the History of the Romance Languages' (Vol.1) is, all in all, an excellent, comprehensive reference work that every serious library should have a copy of.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER Kim Schulte is lecturer at the University of Exeter, UK, where he teaches Spanish, Portuguese and Romance linguistics. His research interests include pragmatic causation in syntactic change in a comparative Romance perspective, the evolution and emergence of non-finite structures, and contact-induced language change.