Highly recommended. Useful for many Indo-European languages.
Gives clear definitions and uses a lot of basic common sense in exposing many grammatical issues in true semantics.
He avoids speculations and theories which are so popular amongst younger "linguists". This is an excellent nuts-and-bolts tool for analyzing the meanings of various linguistic entities. He states that the method is in a decontextualized format, yet it is an easy step to integrate the analyses into a larger contextual framework. I really recommend his chapters on "Thematic Roles" and the one on "Aspect".
His writing is direct, clear and is not a style which seeks to try to impress the reader or inflate his ability. He uses a minimum of fancy linguistic symbols and diagrams, thus other scholars and laymen can read with clarity his profound and clear observations.
The hardbound edition is well made, though no statement is made as to the acidity of the paper used. It has 3 indexes, and a good bibliography. recommended by Gary S. Dykes.
The hardcover edition is a well made, smyth-sewn volume. The paper is probably not acid-free, nor is it ANSI certified. The price for the hardcover, is a bit steep, the paperback is a solid value.
To this reviewer, this work is a classic. Frawley, appears to have a good understanding of language and meaning, and he clearly presents this understanding in this work. Frawley recognizes the innateness of various aspects of language in humans (i.e. we are born with a special language ability) as opposed to being just products of an environment (per Skinner and many anthropologists).
The text is well laid out, and it moves from the introductory to the complex. It has all the proper indexes, and bibliography, and an index of the several hundred languages referred to. Frawley is not afraid to tackle complex issues (such as aspect, entities [in which he corrects numerous traditional errors -- like WHAT is a noun] and thematic roles). Each chapter is followed with a nice concise conclusion.
Recall that this is not just a general text on "semantics", rather it focuses upon LINGUISTIC semantics. Meaning is encoded in the grammar, and he prefers to evaluate it in a decontextualized approach. However, he does pay close attention to the syntactical relationships in the context of the text under review. He makes very clear many profound aspects of meaning! He also stimulates further study. A joy to read!
A great work, and very useful for a variety of language studies. Frawley addresses numerous language types (ergative/absolute, and nominative/accusative et cetera) and extracts numerous relevant examples. This work is also very educational, it teaches in an authoritative manner, yet in a manner not offensive to neophytes! A much needed text on the shelf of any linguist and those who work in language translation...