A Note on BORROWING—Julius Obote Babel Vol I, No 1 Contents

Dictionary of Essential Linguistics Vocabulary
by Crystal Gayle

Reviewed by Jean-Pierre LeBeau, Paris, France

Seldom does a field so young and controversy-fraught as modern linguistics benefit from disciplined research into its synchronic terminology as much as linguistics will from Crystal Gayle’s Dictionary of Essential Linguistics Vocabulary. Students and scholars alike will find Gayle’s work thorough, insightful, careful, and most of all, readable.

In compiling her definitions, Gayle has made extensive use of the intuitions of literally hundreds of linguists, obtained through a carefully-crafted questionnaire distributed at the world’s leading universities (except Oxford).

The elegance of the entries speaks for itself, and thus we can best recommend the book by presenting several sample entries from this invaluable reference work, which we now do.

analyze. (vt.) To reduce to a series of quantifiable, easily interpretable statements, detailing necessary and sufficient conditions for the entity in question to obtain.

Pike. (n.) 1. A freshwater fish, common to North American waters. 2. A long, spear-like weapon of the European Middle Ages (see also guisarme). 3. A family of famous linguists.

powerful. (adj.) (of a theory) 1. Capable of prompting the publication of a very large number of articles by respected scholars. 2. Capable of causing the individual who invented it to attain the title “scholar” in other scholars’ writings (see also transformation).

tagmeme. (n.) A unit of analysis (see also Pike).

technical terminology. (pl. n.) See slang.

word. (n.) 1. A minimal free form. 2. (capital W) A journal which is neither minimal nor free.

In sum, I give the Dictionary of Essential Linguistics Vocabulary two thumbs up.

A Note on BORROWINGJulius Obote
Babel Vol I, No 1 Contents