Gabriele H. Cablitz. 2006. Marquesan: A grammar of space. New York: Mouton de Gruyter. xx + 682 pp. ISBN-13: 978-3-11018949-0. $172.80, hardcover. When I finished reading this book I tried to make sense of the many reactions that were crowding my mind. First and foremost, there was a sense of accomplishment: the book is long and the linguistic details to absorb through a foreign language are, to say the least, abundant. Second, I found myself pleasurably enriched with a substantial knowledge of Marquesan, a Polynesian language. Third, I realized that the literature on the linguistic representation of spatial relationships was now brilliantly lengthened by another exquisite linguistic description. Of course, these reactions do not fully represent the "crowd" in my mind, but they are the ones that appropriately illustrate my fundamental reading of the book. They describe, and at the same time constrain, its merit. Details follow. In the introductory chapter, the aim of the book is clearly stated as "the linguistic analysis of the form, the meaning and the use of spatial expressions or lexemes, as well as a general formal classification of lexemes in Marquesan" (7). This is motivated by "two interesting aspects of the language,
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 3, 2007
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