BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW IN LTBA
Tim Thornes, Erik Andvik, Gwendolyn Hyslop and Joana Jansen (eds.)
Functional-historical approaches to explanation. In honor of Scott DeLancey
Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Publication Date: 2013.
Richard S. Cook
Classical Chinese Combinatorics: Derivation of the Book of Changes Hexagram Sequence
STEDT Monograph 5 (ISBN:
0-944613-44-6), US$100. Publication Date: 2006.
The first and most enigmatic of the Chinese classics is the Book of
Changes, and the reasoning behind its binary hexagram sequence remained
an unsolved mystery for some 3,000 years (according to the tradition
ascribing it to King Wen of Zhou, d. -11th c.). STEDT Monograph 5:
Classical Chinese Combinatorics: Derivation of the Book of Changes
Hexagram Sequence, by Richard S. Cook, resolves the classical enigma. It
provides a comprehensive analysis of the hexagram sequence, showing that
its classification of binary sequences demonstrates knowledge of the
convergence of certain linear recurrence sequences (LRS; Pingala -5th
c.?, Fibonacci 1202) to division in extreme and mean ratio (DEMR, the
“Golden Section” irrational; Pythagoras -6th c.?, Euclid -4th c.). It is
shown that the complex hexagram sequence encapsulates a careful and
ingenious demonstration of the LRS/DEMR relation, that this knowledge
results from general combinatorial analysis, and is reflected in
elements emphasized in ancient Chinese and Western mathematical
traditions. This copiously illustrated 656-page volume presents a
detailed introduction of the classical problem, an overview and in-depth
derivation of the solution, an extensive terminological glossary, and
computer source code formalizing all aspects of the derivations. The
conclusion of this work situates the major findings in a larger
James A Matisoff
Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman: System and Philosophy of Sino-Tibetan Reconstruction
The University of California Press, UC
Publications in Linguistics, 135 (ISBN: 0520098439), Cloth $95,
£63. Publication Date: July 2003.
This 800-page volume is a clear and readable presentation of the current state of research on the history of the Tibeto-Burman (TB) language family. The exposition is systematic, treating the reconstruction of all the elements of the TB proto-syllable in turn, including initial consonants (Ch. III), prefixes (Ch. IV), monophthongal and diphthongal rhymes (Ch. V), final nasals (Ch. VII), final stops (Ch. VIII), final liquids (Ch. IX), root-final *-s (Ch. X), suffixes (Ch. XI). Particular attention is paid to variational phenomena at all historical levels (e.g. Ch. XII; "Allofamic variation in rhymes"). This Handbook contains reconstructions of over a thousand Tibeto-Burman roots, as well as suggested comparisons with several hundred Chinese etyma. It is liberally indexed and cross-referenced for maximum accessibility and internal consistency. Emphasis is placed on the special theoretical issues involved in historical reconstruction in the East/Southeast Asian linguistic area.
Roots of Old Chinese
Benjamins, Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 184 , xii, 272 pp., Cloth US$132, EUR 110. Publication Date: 1999.
The phonology, morphology and lexicon of late Zhou Chinese are examined
in this volume. It is argued that a proper understanding of Old Chinese
morphology is essential in correctly reconstructing the phonology. Based
on evidence from word-families, modern dialects and related words in
neighboring languages, Old Chinese words are claimed to consist of a
monosyllabic root, to which a variety of derivational affixes attached.
This made Old Chinese typologically more like modern languages such as
Khmer, Gyarong or Atayal, than like Middle and modern Chinese, where
only faint traces of the old morphology remain. In the first part of the
book, the author proposes improvements to Baxter's system of
reconstruction, regarding complex initials and rhymes, and then reviews
in great detail the Old Chinese affixal morphology. New proposals on
phonology and morphology are integrated into a coherent reconstruction
system. The second part of the book consists of etymological studies of
important lexical items in Old Chinese. The author demonstrates in
particular the role of proportional analogy in the formation of the
system of personal pronouns. Special attention is paid to contact
phenomena between Chinese and neighboring languages, and — unlike most
literature on Sino-Tibetan — the author identifies numerous Chinese
loanwords into Tibeto-Burman. The book, which contains a lengthy list of
reconstructions, an index of characters and a general index, is intended
for linguists and cultural historians, as well as advanced students.