Teorija Dijahronijske Lingvistike I Proucavanje Slovenskih Jezika / Theory of Diachronic Linguistics and the Study of Slavic Languages

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Jasmina Grkovic-Major and Milorad Radovanovic, eds. Teorija dijahronijske lingvistike i proucavanje slovenskih jezika / Theory of Diachronie Linguistics and the Study of Slavic Languages. The Serbian Language in the Light of Current Linguistic Theory, 4. Belgrade: Srpska Akademija nauka i umetnosti, 2010. 278 pp. Abstracts. Individual summaries. Paper.

This work is the fourth volume in the series The Serbian Language in the Light of Current Linguistic Theory published by the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the most prestigious publisher of linguistic works in Serbia. Whereas the first three volumes addressed cognitive linguistics, semantics, and ethnolinguistics, respectively, the present collection of papers focuses on diachronic linguistics. Unlike the first two volumes in the series, which are confined to Serbian, this and the previous volume have a broader perspective and encompass other Slavic languages.

The collection reviewed here consists of sixteen papers written in English, German, and various Slavic languages by Austrian, Belgian, Czech, German, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and Serbian Slavists. The decision to organize the papers alphabetically by author (rather than thematically) was appropriate in view of their great diversity. Each paper includes an abstract in the language in which it is written and a summary in another language. The volume contains a short foreword with basic information about its contents.

The first paper, by Jan Ivar Bjornflaten, is titled "Grammaticalization and Typological Change: The Plural Paradigm of Russian Substantives." The next paper takes us to a completely different area, as Radoslav Vecerk, a prominent Paleoslavist, discusses the origin of the Glagolitic script. The third paper, in which Jasmina Grkovic-Major addresses cognitive aspects of the development of transitivity, is an exemplary contribution to what this collection was envisaged to be, i.e., she investigates a concrete Slavic diachronic phenomenon using a major contemporary theoretical approach. Many other contributions to this volume deviate from this exemplar mainly by being insufficiently informed by contemporary theories of linguistics. The next paper is an analysis of Slavic historical phraseology by Rainer Eckert. The following contribution by liona Janysková presents the methodology of eminent Czech etymologist Vaclav Machek. The next paper is an analysis of the interplay between diachronic etymology and dialectology drawn from experience with the ongoing Serbian etymological dictionary project undertaken by Aleksandar Loma. …