Reviews

An abridged version can be found on my academic webpage

Here is a list of academic reviews that I have written in reverse chronological order: 
2020

van Gelderen, E. (ed) (2016): Cyclical Change Continued. London: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Journal of Historical Linguistics 10(1):135-142

Elly van Gelderen's latest book Cyclical Change Continued contains new and original analyses which re-examine the notion of cyclicity in grammaticalization, using data from a wide range of typologically underexplored languages. In this review, I critically outline the overall structure and argumentation of the book and assess the contributors' postulation of new factors, both external and internal, that are alleged to affect the rate of cyclic renewal in grammaticalization and their renewed interest in macro-cycles, namely analyticity and syntheticity which are traditionally associated with grammaticalization in affecting the typological character of languages. 

Final proofs downloadable here: 

2018

Maiden, M. and Ledgeway, A. N. (eds) (2016): The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (commissioned by Revue Romane)

After the seminal publication of the Cambridge History of the Romance Languages (Maiden, Ledgeway and Smith (2011, 2013), the editors have published yet another monumental volume which is more synchronically-oriented and is designed to provide an exhaustive and coherent state-of-the-art coverage of Romance languages and linguistics. This volume is ingeniously designed with a huge amount of academic quality and quantitative, yet due caution needs to be taken when using such a huge piece of scholarship so as to maximise its utility and quality.

Final draft downloadable here: 

Huang, C-R. and Shi, D-X. (ed) (2016): Reference Grammar of the Chinese Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (commissioned by the Chinese Language Teachers' Association (CLTA))

Amidst the recent wave of new and important scholarship on Chinese linguistics, Shi and Huang's Reference Grammar of the Chinese Language stands apart in being strongly and exclusively empirical as a modern descriptive grammar of standard Mandarin Chinese, and as such it is an essential compendium of linguistic material for all students, teachers and researchers of Chinese language and linguistics. However, despite its monumental empirical coverage well presented by leading experts in the field, there are certain things regarding its structure and content that need to be emphasised so as to understand the objective of this volume and how best it might be used for both Chinese pedagogy and linguistic research. 

Final draft downloadable here: 

Keith Tse

Academic

​I learnt how to write academic reviews in the course on Research Methods at the University of Manchester. It is indeed an important skill to have, since it enhances one's analytical ability and critical thinking and makes one better aware of the research landscape in one's field of study. It is a lot of work, but well worth it. As the timeless expression goes: 'no pain, no gain'. 

Gianollo, C., Jager, A. and Penka, D. (ed) (2015): Language Change at the Syntax-Semantics Interface. Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs, vol 278. De Gruyter: Mouton. (commissioned by Lingua)

Gianollo, Jager and Penka perceptively point out that the nature of formal syntax-semantics interface in language change, especially syntactic change and grammaticalization, is as yet poorly understood as there is only one substantial treatment in Eckardt (2006). They therefore propose to tease out the semantic factors in formal syntactic change modelled mainly, though not exclusively, in the Minimalist model (Lightfoot (1979, 1999), Roberts and Roussou (2003), Roberts (2007), van Gelderen (2004, 2011)) by analysing case-studies of a range of linguistic phenomena from a range of languages. While their research endeavours and the contributors' analyses impressively and successfully unearth certain semantic interface factors that are hitherto neglected, there are several loose ends in the volume which could have been addressed in response to the current state of formal historical syntax which would have raised further, exciting, research prospects, namely the fine degrees of 'semantic bleaching' and the limits of microparametric variation. 

Review not yet downloadable. 

2010

Adams, J. N. (2007): Regional Diversification of the Latin language 200 BC to 600 AD. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

During my postgraduate degree at the University of Manchester, I wrote a book review on James Adams' Regional Diversification of the Latin language 200 BC to 600 AD in which I evaluated Adams' innovative arguments regarding the dialectal and sociolinguistic stratification of Latin in the Roman Empire (Republican to late Imperial) and how his new analysis of Latin bore on some very important questions in traditional Latin-Romance historical linguistics, namely the historical relationship and transmission between Latin and Romance dialects, proto-Romance formation and the phylogenetic relationship between Romance dialects.

Review downloadable here:  

Ledgeway, A. N. (2009): The grammaticalization of Progressive and Andative Aspects in the Dialects of Apulia. Departmental colloquium, Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester, 5th December 2009. 

During my postgraduate degree at the University of Manchester, I wrote a review of Dr (now Prof) Adam Ledgeway's talk at our departmental colloquium in which he offered an innovative and original analysis of verbal forms in the dialects of Apulia, namely Salentino. 

Review downloadable here:  

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© Keith Tse (2015-) 

London, United Kingdom