Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Semantics of Form in Arabic

This book, which grew out of my Berkeley dissertation, is aimed at a linguistically alert Western audience, and does not assume knowledge of Arabic.  The topics are wide-ranging -- “Enantiosemantics”, “The Grammar of Duality and the Duality of Grammar”, “The Form-Use Connection”.  

When the book was originally published, it came out in two versions: 
(1) an expensive paperback
(2) an absurdly, almost parodically overpriced hardback version (over two hundred dollars !), apparently with an intended audience of nothing but libraries and Bill Gates.

The paperback sold out quickly -- yet was never reprinted.
The hardback, predictably, sat and grew stale.   Sales were so slow that finally the publisher sent me a small check as a final rights buy-out, in lieu of further royalties.  Ironic footnote:  The check bounced, and my bank charged me a $25 bounced-check fee;  so all in all I lost money on the book.
(You see why I am sticking with Lingua Sacra Publishing for my present and upcoming books.)

Critically, the book seems to have been a success with connoisseurs -- I had appreciative letters from Chomsky and Quine -- and was translated into Arabic by the Saudi linguist who also translated Chomsky.  
But the price is so outrageous I  have not until now bothered to even mention the thing on this blog.
However !   There are now used copies on Amazon going for as little as thirty bucks.
Check it out.

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