How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 23:23:09 +0000 From: Fiona Carolyn Marshall Subject: Indo-European Perspectives: Studies in Honour of Anna Morpurgo Davies
EDITOR: Penney, John H. W. TITLE: Indo-European Perspectives SUBTITLE: Studies in Honour of Anna Morpurgo Davies PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press YEAR: 2004
Fiona Marshall, Department of English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield
SUMMARY OF CONTENTS
Published in honour of Anna Morpurgo Davies, to mark her retirement as the Diebold Professor of Comparative Philology at the University of Oxford, this volume comprises a collection of new and original work by forty-two leading international scholars of Indo-European comparative philology and linguistics. Divided into six sections, the book is concerned with the early history of Indo-European (Part I); language use, variation, and change in ancient Greece and Anatolia (Parts II and III); the Indo-European languages of Western Europe, including Latin, Welsh, and Old English (Part IV); the Indo-Iranian and Tocharian languages (Part V); and the history of Indo-European linguistics (Part VI). Included in this anthology is a bibliography, compiled by Torsten Meißner, which lists the major publications on philology and linguistics authored and/or edited by Davies throughout her remarkable career (pp. 587-593). The volume concludes with a select index of (Anatolian, Tocharian B, Indo-Iranian, Armenian, Greek, Italic/Etruscan, Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic) words discussed in the articles (pp. 594-598). Such is the breadth of Indo-European (IE) linguistics that it is impossible to cover the subject exhaustively in an introductory textbook to the subject (Fortson 2004: xiii), let alone in an edited collection of works by prominent scholars whose work negotiates various sub-disciplinary boundaries within the framework of historical linguistics and philology. Nevertheless, Penney (2004) has successfully brought together an outstanding collection of articles, which are incisively linked but sufficiently diverse to be of genuine interest to the volume's target audience of scholars and students of Indo-European philology, historical linguistics, classics, and the history of the ancient world.
'Part I: Indo-European' features contributions by Paulo Di Giovine (pp. 3-17), George E. Dunkel (pp. 18-29), David R. Langslow (pp. 31-47), C. J. Ruijgh (pp. 48-64), and Calvert Watkins (pp. 65-80). This first section of the volume offers the reader an unusual but stimulating group of articles. Langslow, for example, provides a fascinating insight into one of his specialist subjects, the study of 'medical language' in IE, whilst Watkins persuasively argues that some early IE traditions in Indic, Hittite, and Greek texts share similar mythological themes. 'Part II: Greek' is by far the largest section in this edited collection and includes articles by Albio C. Cassio (pp. 83-94), Stephen Colvin (pp. 95-108), Emilio Crespo (pp. 109-118), Eleanor Dickey (pp. 119-130), Yves Duhoux (pp. 131-145), Ivo Hajnal (pp. 146- 178), Henry Hoenigswald (pp. 179-181), Geoffrey Horrocks (pp. 182- 194), Joshua T. Katz (pp. 195-216), John Killen (pp. 217-235), Charles de Lamberterie (pp. 236-253), Michael Meier-Brügger (pp. 254-257), Torsten Meißner (pp. 258-265), Martin Peters (pp. 266- 276), Philomen Probert (277-291), Peter Schrijver (pp. 292-299), Rudolph Wachter (pp. 300-322), and Andreas Willi (pp. 323-337). This section treats the reader to a variety of perspectives on the broadly-defined theme of 'Greek', from language use and variation to language change. For example, in his discussion of 'Social Dialect in Attica', Colvin observes that when looking for evidence of 'social' variation in Greek (rather than geographical), 'we are in danger of being misled by our own terminology' (p. 96). He concludes that the best evidence for the existence of a variety of Attic which shared a d- reflex with Boeotian, due to an earlier depalatalization, is the new ostracon (p. 105ff.). Subsequently, Probert considers what is actually meant by the term 'Attic', and provides a compelling argument for the listing of some words for which the retracted form is attested for later Attic but excluded from the Koine, and others where it is attested for both later Attic and for the Koine.
'Part III: Anatolian' features articles by five experts in the field. The late Gillian R. Hart specialised in studies of Hittite (pp. 341-354); J. David Hawkins (pp. 355-369) is a renowned expert on H(ieroglyphic) Luwian and recently published an excellent corpus of Iron Age inscriptions (cf. Hawkins 2000); H. Craig Melchert (pp. 370-379) has published widely on the IE languages of Anatolia (including Hittite historical phonology); Norbert Oettinger (pp. 380-383) is known for his work on Hittite, Iranian, and Anatolian-Greek contacts; and Massimo Poetto (pp. 384-388) also works with the Anatolian group, with a special emphasis on HLuwian. The seven articles included in 'Part IV: Western Indo-European Languages' are authored by James Clackson (pp. 391-404), Jay H. Jasanoff (pp. 405-416), Don Ringe (pp. 417- 435), Helmut Rix (pp. 436-446), Paul Russell (pp. 447-460), Patrick V. Stiles (pp. 461-473), and Jürgen Untermann (pp. 474-484). Clackson examines the word-order pattern 'magna cum laude' in Latin and Sabellian, in an attempt to determine possible connections between the development of the construction in the different language branches. He argues that the similarities between what he calls the 'interposed' order of adpositional placement in Latin and Sabellian are attributable to different factors. Clackson suggests the interposed order in Latin may originally have been limited to cases where a relative pronoun was fronted from within a prepositional phrase, whereas in Sabellian the interposition originates from postpositional phrases, where both modifier and noun were marked with postpositions. Meanwhile, Ringe investigates the hypothesis that the group of Old English (OE) verbs meaning 'speak (formally)' are etymologically a single lexical item that has been split. Accordingly, he examines the attestation of the three OE verbs and their Middle English descendants, along with cognates in other Germanic languages and the regular sounds changes which he assumes must have affected them.
'Part V: Indo-Iranian and Tocharian' and 'Part VI: History of Indo- European Linguistics' consist of seven articles in total. Those in Part V are authored by José Luis García Ramón (pp. 487-513), John H. W. Penney (pp. 514-522), Rüdiger Schmitt (pp. 523-538), Nicholas Sims- Williams (pp. 539-547), and Elizabeth Tucker (pp. 548-561). This impressive volume concludes with two fine articles in Part VI, authored by Javier de Hoz (pp. 565-576) and Klaus Strunk (pp. 594-585). The articles in the concluding section (Part VI) represent a slight departure from those in the preceding five sections in that they touch on the history of linguistics as well as historical linguistics. Hoz offers his contribution to the volume by way of responding to Anna Davies's desire that the work of Lorenzo Hervás be given more attention (cf. Morpurgo Davies 1975: 616, 618). Hoz openly admits that he has made no attempt to pay exhaustive attention to Hervás's work. Instead he concentrates on Hervás's ideas about language, and Celtic in particular. Hoz tends to make retrospective judgements on the value of Hervás's work in relation to modern theoretical linguistics (e.g. pp. 566-67). However, Hoz does suggest that we neither 'despise Hervás's knowledge of theoretical linguistics [nor] overvalue it' (p. 567), thus highlighting one of the many problems associated with retrospective linguistic historiography (i.e. succumbing to the temptation of placing a modern interpretation on work produced in a different era). As Hoz observes, given that Hervás was '[…] modifying his approaches with new reflections and he was learning at the same time as he was writing' (as many of us often are), it is little wonder that 'sometimes a significant advance on a concrete point can appear between two works published in the same year' (pp. 565-566).
This excellent volume is not only testament to the proficient editorial skills of Penney, but also to the outstanding achievements and international reputation of Anna Morpurgo Davies. The fact that so many scholars of repute were eager to participate in this tribute is a sign of the esteem with which Davies is held by her former students and colleagues. As Penney notes in his editorial 'Preface' (pp. ix-x), when advising potential contributors of the tight schedule within which they would have to work, the initial 'cry of despair at the impossibly short notice' was immediately replaced by cries of 'but of course I must do it for Anna'. Surely there is no doubt that historical linguistics owes a great deal to Anna Davies. When she was appointed to the (now Diebold) Chair of Comparative Philology at the University of Oxford in 1971, the subject was offered only to a small number of Oxford undergraduates (and a few graduate students of the Diploma in Comparative Philology). However, under the expert guidance of Anna Davies, increasing numbers of students have selected philology options at undergraduate and postgraduate level during the past thirty years.
In 1972 Anna Davies was responsible for instituting the 'Philological Lunches' at Oxford, which now take place before the Comparative Philology Graduate Seminars during term-time. This enjoyable tradition of sharing linguistic and philological ideas over sandwiches and cake seems to have spread to many British linguistics departments (including my own). Of course, the extent of Davies's contribution to linguistics is not restricted to the confines of Oxford. She has steadily gained an international reputation as a meticulous, innovative, and assiduous scholar since 'Mycenaeae Graecitatis Lexicon' was published in 1963. Since that time, Davies has published widely on various aspects of Indo-European linguistics, most notably perhaps on Mycenaean Greek, HLuwian, and the history of nineteenth-century linguistics. The significance of Anna Davies's contribution to the field of linguistics was recognised by the award of an Honorary DBE in 2000.
Whilst reading this collection of articles written in tribute to Davies, it becomes abundantly clear that many of the authors feel indebted to her on a personal level. This heartfelt appreciation is stated both explicitly and implicitly. Langslow (p. 30) openly acknowledges his gratitude to Davies (and to Penney) and confesses to submitting his article 'in profound gratitude, admiration, and affection' to the honorand of the volume. Probert (p. 277) is grateful to Davies for arousing in her an interest in the subject of her paper. Dickey (p. 119) candidly expresses the 'immense affection and respect' she feels for Davies, whilst Hawkins (p. 355) heads his article with a dedication 'To Anna, to commemorate a forty-year struggle with the Hieroglyphs'. In observing the number of times the work of Davies (and the doctoral theses of students she supervised) is cited by contributors (pp. 48, 65, 96, 195, 236, 266, 274, and so on), it is equally apparent to the reader that the authors' appreciation for Davies extends above and beyond the realms of personal gratitude. Crespo, for example, refers to the Davies article that looks at the way in which the classical Greeks perceived their own dialects (Morpurgo Davies 1993; cf. 1987), and indicates that his contribution to Penney (2004) is no more than an attempt to continue along the path already trodden by Davies (p. 109).
When faced with a hardback scholarly tome, 598 pages in length, the prospect of delving into it may initially seem disquieting. However, when confronted with the charming image of Anna Davies utterly immersed in one of her favourite activities (p. ii), it is easy to approach reading this volume with the lively spirit and fortitude of the honorand in mind. This exceptional collection is certainly a fitting tribute to a scholar who has undoubtedly touched the lives of many students and colleagues, on both a professional and personal level. Bearing in mind the purpose of this volume, it is difficult to find fault with any aspect of its design. Of course, Part II on Greek is conspicuously longer than the other sections. However, regardless of the reasons for the articles on Greek outnumbering those on Indo-European, Anatolian, or Western Indo-European, it has to be said that Penney has skilfully located the position of these articles in relation to the rest of the volume. Much the same can be said of the sections that comprise seven articles or fewer. In my view, Penney is to be congratulated for his superb editorial efforts.
On a more negative note, it is highly unlikely this book will appeal to the non-specialist. The articles are necessarily technical, and therefore require from the reader a degree of knowledge in the language(s) under discussion. We should also note that, as we may rightly expect in a journal of Indo-European studies, several articles are not written in English. This may prove challenging for some readers, specialist or not. Having said that, we must remember that the volume's intended audience is entirely specialist as opposed to non-specialist. There are a few minor inconsistencies, e.g. 'Meissner' is spelled with [ss] on pages xvii and 587, whereas on pages 258, 260, 262, and 264, the German character [ß] is used (as in 'Meißner'). Observations of this sort seem pretty trivial when considering the quality of the articles. It is not possible to do justice to Penney's 'Indo- European Perspectives' in a summary review. Technical difficulties with using fonts and special characters are especially problematic when writing a review to be posted on the internet. A volume of this quality would benefit from a comprehensive review where such restrictions are not an issue.
Fortson, Benjamin W., IV. 2004. Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hawkins, J. David. 2000. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, i. Inscriptions of the Iron Age (Studies in Indo-European Language and Culture, 8/1). Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Morpurgo Davies, A. 1975. 'Language Classification in the Nineteenth Century'. In Sebeok, T. A. (ed.) 1975. Historiography of Linguistics (Current Trends in Linguistics, 13). The Hague and Paris: Mouton de Gruyter, 607-716.
Morpurgo Davies, A. 1987. 'The Greek Notion of Dialect'. In Hodot, R. (ed.) 1987. Actes de la première recontre internationale de dialectologie grecque: colloque organisé par le C.N.R.S. à Nancy/Pont- à-Mousson, le 1-3 juillet 1986. Verbum 10. Nancy: Presses universitaires de Nancy, 7-27.
Morpurgo Davies, A, 1998. Nineteenth-Century Linguistics. London: Longman.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Fiona Marshall is a third-year AHRC-funded PhD student at the University of Sheffield. Her doctoral thesis (due for completion in 2006) aims to determine the extent to which (and the various ways in which) the learned linguistics societies as institutions, and the special interests of the personalities actively involved in researching and promoting the discipline, have dictated the development of British linguistics in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Details of her research interests, publications, teaching commitments, and other responsibilities can be found at the following website: http://www.shef.ac.uk/language/research/fionamarshall.html.