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Review of  A Glossary of Morphology

Reviewer: Charlotte Hohnheit
Book Title: A Glossary of Morphology
Book Author: Laurie Bauer
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Book Announcement: 16.2053

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Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 22:11:18 -0400
From: Charlotte Hohnheit <>
Subject: A Glossary of Morphology

AUTHOR: Bauer, Laurie
TITLE: A Glossary of Morphology
SERIES: Glossaries in Linguistics
PUBLISHERS: Edinburgh University Press & Georgetown University
YEAR: 2004

Charlotte Hohnheit, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany

This book aims to be of help to readers who have already been
introduced to the fundamentals of morphology and are now seeking
clarification of specific morphological terms. It consists of six parts:
The glossary as the main part is preceded by a preface and
introduction, and followed by a listing of fundamental works, a select
bibliography of books on morphology, an index of names, and an
index of languages.

The PREFACE acts as a short guide to the book. It mainly contains
information about the conventions used in the glossary (such as bold
type for cross-references, or the use of small capitals to indicate
lexemes) and gives instructions on how to use the entries.

Bauer starts his INTRODUCTION by first giving an overview of the
concerns of morphology. After providing the readers with a definition
(''Morphology deals with the correlation of form and meaning within
the word''), he lists sets of words taken from the English language.
Bauer describes the relations between sets like friend-friendly-
friendliness and body-embody-disembody, thus giving examples for
the type of structures discussed in morphology. He talks about the
existence of patterns and rules in different languages and about the
questions arising from the study of those patterns. He then writes
about the development of terminology in morphology and the reasons
why some terms might not always be used by different authors in
precisely the same way. Last, he describes the way morphology is
closely related to other linguistic fields, for example how morphological
and phonological structures can influence each other, or how
syntactic and morphological structures are ''in some way intertwined''
since morphological elements are used to show how words function in
sentences, etc. Bauer ends his introduction with the presentation of
two possible reading methods for his book: Apart from using it like a
dictionary, it is possible to go through it thematically by starting with
one article and following the cross-references to related articles ''to
see how various aspects of morphological study are being treated
together as packages which we call morphological theories''.

The GLOSSARY itself starts with 'abbreviation' and 'abessive' and
ends with 'zero-derivation' and 'zero morph'. Pronunciation is provided
for many entries (e.g. acronym, hypocoristic and hapax legomenon).
Cross-referencing between glossary entries is numerous. A 'basic'
entry, such as ''morpheme'', usually also contains information about
the term's history and its development due to differing theoretical
concepts. While most of his examples are based on English,
examples from various other languages -- such as French, Spanish,
Russian, Dutch, Italian, Arabic, Latin, Sanskrit, Maori, etc. - can also
be found.

In the section FUNDAMENTAL WORKS, Bauer lists those authors who
are occupying a ''privileged position'' since their works are being
referred to in the glossary without a full reference. The eleven authors
include e.g. Leonard Bloomfield, John Lyons, and Charles F. Hockett.

even though it does not contain articles or books written in languages
other than English. Bauer helps beginners narrow down their selection
by marking works suggested especially for that group with an asterisk
(there are seven books marked liked that, two of them written by
Bauer himself). Books which are ''rather more complex'' but ''still
relatively approachable'' are marked with two asterisks (four were
selected for this category).

The INDEX OF NAMES contains 33 entries, from Anderson to Wurzel.
Each name is listed together with the glossary entry where it can be

The INDEX OF LANGUAGES contains 34 entries, from Arabic to West
Greenlandic. 'World languages' such as French, German, and
Spanish are each associated with several glossary entries, while other
languages, such as Tlingit or Samoan, are represented just once.

On the whole, Bauer's Glossary of Morphology is a good choice for
students of linguistics (specifically undergraduate students) as well as
for anyone desiring to acquire additional knowledge of specific
morphological terms. Undergraduate students of morphology might
find glossaries in their textbooks as well but Bauer's certainly is more
detailed and more extensive. Readers should not expect a sizable
volume, though. The book contains a mere 124 pages; this is probably
the reason the publishers call it an ''invaluable little glossary'' and
a ''handy guide'' on the back cover.

The introduction is well-written; it sums up important morphological
issues and shows interfaces between morphology and the other
subfields of linguistics. The bibliography can help beginners choose
introductory works as well as show advanced students choices for
more complex reading and further research. Even if more advanced
students already know much of the additional information (such as the
overview in the introduction or the pronunciation given for well-known
terms like ''paradigm'' and ''acronym''), the glossary entries alone are
helpful tools for studying and research.

I am a graduate student at the English Department and the
Department of General and Comparative Linguistics at the University
of Kiel, Germany. Morphology is my preferred area in linguistics and
has been a main focus point of my studies. I am currently working on
my Master's thesis on endangered languages.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0748618538
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 144
Prices: U.K. £ 7.99