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A Student's Introduction to English Grammar

Rodney Huddleston Geoffrey K. Pullum Brett Reynolds



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Cambridge University Press
25 November 2021
A new edition of a successful undergraduate textbook on contemporary international Standard English grammar, based on Huddleston and Pullum's earlier award-winning work, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002). The analyses defended there are outlined here more briefly, in an engagingly accessible and informal style. Errors of the older tradition of English grammar are noted and corrected, and the excesses of prescriptive usage manuals are firmly rebutted in specially highlighted notes that explain what older authorities have called 'incorrect' and show why those authorities are mistaken. Intended for students in colleges or universities who have little or no background in grammar or linguistics, this teaching resource contains numerous exercises and online resources suitable for any course on the structure of English in either linguistics or English departments. A thoroughly modern undergraduate textbook, rewritten in an easy-to-read conversational style with a minimum of technical and theoretical terminology.
By:   , ,
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   2nd Revised edition
Dimensions:   Height: 246mm,  Width: 191mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   930g
ISBN:   9781009088015
ISBN 10:   1009088017
Pages:   360
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Preface for the student; Preface for the instructor; 1. Introduction; 2. Overview of the book; 3. Verbs and verb phrases; 4. Complements in clauses; 5. Nouns and determinatives; 6. Adjectives and adverbs; 7. Prepositions and particles; 8. Adjuncts: modifiers and supplements; 9. Negation; 10. Clause type; 11. Subordinate clauses; 12. Relative constructions; 13. Comparatives and superlatives; 14. Non-finite clauses; 15. Coordinations; 16. Information structure; Index.

Rodney Huddleston was educated at Cambridge and Edinburgh, and taught English language at the University of Queensland for the majority of his career before beginning a decade of full-time work leading the team that produced The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL) in 2002. Geoffrey K. Pullum, a co-author of CGEL, was educated at York, Cambridge, and London, and has taught linguistics at University College London, the University of California, and the University of Edinburgh. Brett Reynolds is a professor at Humber College, Toronto, specializing in academic English and the teaching of English as a second language.

Reviews for A Student's Introduction to English Grammar

'Many people, not least in my profession of journalism, profess to love the English language while showing scant sign of really understanding its grammar. A Student's Introduction to English Grammar will be a revelation to them and all other interested general readers, as well as college students. It is a masterly and definitive treatment of the structure of modern Standard English, written with analytical rigour but always in an accessible style. Among the most informative and pleasurable aspects of the book is its explanation of where traditional treatments of the subject go wrong. In place of such hoary misconceptions such as that a noun is the 'name of a thing', or that an adjective is a 'describing word', Professors Huddleston, Pullum and Reynolds explain that grammar is an empirical subject that rests on evidence. Their book conveys the excitement of intellectual discovery, and will inoculate readers against many stubborn but mistaken popular notions about 'correct grammar'. As a professional writer, I strongly recommend it.' Oliver Kamm, leader writer and columnist for The Times of London 'This superb textbook distils the knowledge of three distinguished linguists who understand the nuances of the English sentence as well as anyone ever has. True, it gets technical. So don't try to read it in one weekend. Pace yourself and read it, say, over the course of two months. Soon you'll be regaling your friends with accounts of subject extraposition, pseudo-clefts and bare existentials. If you're not then the life of the party, then you're attending the wrong parties.' Bryan A. Garner, Chief Editor, Black's Law Dictionary 'Students often experience grammar phobia and fear the ire of purists. The authors have gone a long way to allaying these concerns in their accessible, yet authoritative, treatment of English grammar. I appreciated their position that Standard English is a dialect - and its prestige an historical accident - and their Usage Controversy Notes, which dispel many false usage claims. I only wish that such a book had been available when I was a student!' Diane Larsen-Freeman, University of Michigan 'This second edition continues the illuminating and comprehensive presentation of English grammar that we have come to expect. Students and instructors alike will benefit from the contemporary, non-formal approach of the text and the relevance and intelligibility of real examples and exercises. This is undoubtedly an essential text for all students of the English language who require a strong grounding in the discipline.' Sam D'Elia, University of Kent 'In their second edition of A Student's Introduction to English Grammar, Huddleston, Pullum and Reynolds remove the need to feel intimidated by grammatical analysis. Written in a conversational style and suited to students from a range of backgrounds, this textbook provides a clear and approachable introduction to the structure of English. An invaluable addition to undergraduate reading lists - grammar bullies beware!' Colleen Holt, La Trobe University 'Readable and engaging, this comprehensive and detailed textbook clarifies complex grammatical concepts for students. What sets this book apart is how it discusses 'normal' language as opposed to 'formal' language in its Usage Controversy Notes, where the reader will be relieved to learn that it's okay to split infinitives, use passives and refer to an individual with the pronoun 'they'.' Helene Seltzer Krauthamer, author of The Great Pronoun Shift: The Big Impact of Small Parts of Speech, University of the District of Columbia 'This grammar book is a very well rounded and comprehensive grammar of the English language. Because it is a perfect fit for beginning and more advanced university students it lends itself to both recapping the wide array of topics as well as learning about them. It's an invaluable book for English students.' Vivian Gramley, Bielefeld University 'A Students's Introduction to English Grammar is a remarkable read, both in its scope and attention to detail. The authors succeeded in producing a student-friendly reference book without simultaneously falling into a trap of oversimplifying the complex notions so inherent to English grammar. A feat of daring.' Zoran Simicevic, University of Vienna 'This text accomplishes what instructors need for undergraduate grammar courses with a linguistic focus: it makes both conceptual content and the process of linguistic reasoning accessible to students. The text introduces critical concepts - from constituency to complementation - and demonstrates step by step how these concepts are derived and applied in evidence-based linguistic reasoning. Because the text offers thorough coverage, a direct and pragmatic approach to usage controversies and an ample selection of exercises inviting students to practise and reason critically, it is a welcome option for instructors teaching in undergraduate English, education and linguistics programmes.' Miriam Moore, University of North Georgia 'Unbiased and consistently descriptive, this revised Introduction takes the student on an almost-informal discovery trip through word classes, phrases, clauses and more complex clause phenomena. With richly illustrated discussions and a wide range of topics covered, this is a textbook of English grammar and a grammar reference book in one - a book of English grammar for the modern times.' Jerzy Nykiel, University of Bergen 'This is a clear, carefully structured and comprehensive introduction to the complexities of English grammar. Its special gift, however, is the consistent way it links the elements and structures of sentences to their meaning. In doing so, the authors offer a text that is as much about the qualities of style as the mechanics of language.' Lawrence Byrne, Barry University 'A Student's Introduction to English Grammar begins and ends as every grammar textbook should: by reminding students that they already know most of the material within the book. By demystifying the study of grammar, Huddleston, Pullum and Reynolds teach students how to improve their innate understanding of the English language.' Jason Todd, Xavier University of Louisiana 'A Student's Introduction to English Grammar is a highly accessible textbook because the authors recognise that English grammar is both complex and at times subtle. By making this recognition, the authors have made the student's experience of analysing English central. For instance, theory is built from example sentences rather than being illustrated by them, additionally common misunderstandings and difficulties in analysis are not ignored, but highlighted and are attended with full discussion. The result is that students are led to understand English grammar from a modern linguistic perspective - leaving behind many misconceptions seen in more traditional grammars.' Peter Hurst, University of Melbourne 'I have been using the first edition for almost 15 years with my undergraduate and master's English grammar and syntax classes, and I look forward to working through the second edition with my students. The revised exercises and inclusion of additional tree structures should be quite useful. I particularly am excited to go over the new Chapter 8 on Adjuncts with them and appreciate how the book now better aligns with the structure of the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Most importantly, however, the grammatical analyses the book presents remain expertly reasoned. The keen attention to separating form and function represented in the book would benefit any student of the English language and is something that is sorely missing in traditional grammar approaches, and often even in much modern syntactic theorizing. This, combined with the breadth and depth of coverage of grammatical topics, makes it a must-have for both English language educators and professional linguists alike. 'A good grammar textbook provides readers with the what, how and why and strives to boost students' efficacy in understanding and application of grammar across different contexts. A Student's Introduction to English Grammar achieves these goals by providing learners with an active language-learning experience. Content, commentary and practice engage students in not only building the knowledge they need to understand grammar but also in facilitating an investigation into best practices in light of an ever-changing language.' Rachel Smydra, Oakland University

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