Routledge – 2011 – 320 pages
Series: Understanding Language
Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, Understanding Syntax, Third Edition, explains and illustrates the major terms and concepts essential to the study of sentence structure in the world’s languages. Word classes such as ‘noun’, ‘verb’ and ‘preposition’ are introduced, and the properties of syntactic categories are discussed. Clause structure is explained and illustrated, helping the reader to distinguish between finite and non-finite clauses, root and subordinate clauses, with definitions of all technical terms. Constituent structure is introduced, including simple tree diagrams. Relationships within the clause, including case and agreement, are examined cross-linguistically. Grammatical constructions and processes that change grammatical relations are introduced and exemplified, with extensive illustration from English and many other languages.
This new edition has been updated and revised to meet the needs of today’s students. Difficult points are given fuller explanation, references have been updated, and important skills are taught, such as how to read examples from languages other than English.
MAGGIE TALLERMAN is Professor of Linguistics, Newcastle University.Series editors: BERNARD COMRIE, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and GREVILLE CORBETT, University of Surrey.
The Understanding Language series provides approachable, yet authoritative, introductions to major topics in linguistics. Ideal for students with little or no prior knowledge of linguistics, each book carefully explains the basics, emphasising understanding of the essential notions rather than arguing for a particular theoretical position.
Other books in the Understanding Language series include:
Understanding Language Testing (978 0 340 98343 0)
Understanding Morphology, Second Edition (978 0 340 95001 2)
Understanding Phonology, Third Edition (978 1 444 1204 7)
Understanding Pragmatics (978 0 340 64623 6)
Understanding Semantics (978 0 340 73198 7)
Understanding Phonetics (978 0 340 92827 1)
'Tallerman's strongly comparative approach to introducing the basic concepts of syntax has materialised in a very readable and interesting book…Understanding Syntax is an absolute pleasure to read, thanks to its casual, down-to-earth style. It is user-friendly and accessible, and takes its readers seriously'
A note to the instructor
Note to the student
List of abbreviations used in examples
List of tables
1. What is syntax?
2. Words belong to different classes
3. Looking inside sentences
4. Heads and their dependents
5. How do we identify constituents?
6. Relationships within the clause
7. Processes that change grammatical relations
8. Wh-constructions: questions and relative clauses
9. Asking questions about syntax
Sources of data used in examples
MAGGIE TALLERMAN is Professor of Linguistics, University of Newcastle.