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The Oxford English Grammar


The Oxford English Grammar


Sidney Greenbaum has long been a prominent name among the modern, academic grammarians, who study and describe the language as it really is written and spoken, rather than making statements about how language ought to be. This vast tome covers the whole field of current English and American English grammar in great detail. It gives all you will ever need to know on how sentences are put together, and has chapters on the differences between spoken and written English, word origins and semantics, word formation, phonetics, punctuation and spelling. Each begins with a summary of its contents, but most of the text is made up of numbered statements of fact followed by generous illustrations. These illustrations are taken from real-life use, many from large electronic collections of books, newspapers and recorded speech. This layout makes the book a good reference tool for both teachers and advanced students of English. Greenbaum claims the book is also written for the general reader. However, unless that reader is sufficiently at home with the subject they could easily be put off by an introductory comment such as: "In this chapter, 'text' refers to both spoken and written language. A written text is a stretch of writing, while a spoken text--here called a discourse--is a stretch of speech" or statements such as "Monotransitive prepositional verbs superficially resemble transitive phrasal verbs when the particle of the phrasal verb precedes the object, but only the particle of a phrasal verb can also follow the object." They would be better off starting with a more general introduction to the subject such as Frank Palmer's Grammar. Written by one of the world's leading grammarians, The Oxford English Grammar is a completely new book which combines an authoritative review of and topic reference for English grammar.
Opening with an outline of national, regional, and social variation in English, the book details descriptive and prescriptive approaches, and attitudes to English amongst both native and non-native speakers. This is followed by an account of the development of grammar, and a review of modern approaches to this complex subject. The central section of the book is a presentation of current English grammar at sentence, clause, phrase, and word level; with the last chapters covering grammar in relation to discourse, word-formation, lexis, pronunciation and intonation, punctuation, and spelling. A full index is provided, and examples of usage are drawn from a wide range of sources, including use of the new International Corpus of English at University College London. Written in a readable and absorbing style, The Oxford English Grammar is an essential reference for English-speakers around the world.


ISBN 0198612508

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