Assuming no prior knowledge, Understanding Syntax illustrates the major concepts, categories and terminology associated with the study of cross-linguistic syntax. A theory-neutral and descriptive viewpoint is taken throughout. Starting with an overview of what syntax is, the book moves on to an explanation of word classes (such as noun, verb, ...Read MoreAssuming no prior knowledge, Understanding Syntax illustrates the major concepts, categories and terminology associated with the study of cross-linguistic syntax. A theory-neutral and descriptive viewpoint is taken throughout. Starting with an overview of what syntax is, the book moves on to an explanation of word classes (such as noun, verb, adjective) and then to a discussion of sentence structure in the world's languages. Grammatical constructions and relationships between words in a clause are explained and thoroughly illustrated, including grammatical relations such as subject and object; function-changing processes such as the passive and antipassive; case and agreement processes, including both ergative and accusative alignments; verb serialization; head-marking and dependent-marking grammars; configurational and non-configurational languages; questions and relative clauses. The final chapter explains and illustrates the principles involved in writing a brief syntactic sketch of a language, enabling the reader to construct a grammatical sketch of a language known to them. Data from approximately 100 languages appears in the text, with languages representing widely differing geographical areas and distinct language families. The book will be essential for courses in cross-linguistic syntax, language typology, and linguistic fieldwork, as well as for basic syntactic description.Read Less
New. Understanding Syntax provides a complete introduction to the syntax of human languages. Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics whatever, the book presents all the major terms and concepts essential to the study of sentence structure. Starting with the basics, it explains why we need to look at languages other than English, and guidance is given as to how to make use of examples from other languages. Chapter by chapter, the central concepts are introduced, looking first at word classes such as 'Noun' and 'verb' and grammatical categories such as 'finiteness' and 'case', then moving on to simple sentences and subordination, head words and their dependents, and constituent structure. Three chapters examine grammatical constructions and relationships within sentences, looking at constituent order, grammatical relations such as 'subject' and 'object', and explaining syntactic processes such as the passive construction. The reader is left with a comprehensive picture of what syntax is and how it is studied in linguistics. A reader-friendly and accessible style, along with many examples and interactive exercises make this textbook the perfect choice for students approaching the subject for the first time. " Uses examples from over 100 languages " Introduces all the essentials of syntax " Teaches important skills, such as how to read linguistic examples and the basics of syntactic argumentation " Includes short, interactive work sections within chapters, and more in-depth exercises at the end of each chapter " Includes glossary Contents: List of abbreviations used in examples " What is syntax? : Some concepts and misconceptions " What is the study of syntax about? " Language change " Use of linguistic examples " Why not just use examples from English? " How to read linguistic examples " Why do languages have syntax? " Word order " Promotion and demotion processes " All languages have structure " Exercises " Words belong to different classes: Identifying word classes " How can we tell that words belong to different classes? " Starting to identify nouns, adjectives and verbs " An illustration: How do speakers of a language identify word classes? " Syntax of the major word classes " An introduction to verb classes " The noun phrase " The adjective phrase " The preposition phrase " Adverbs " Grammatical categories " Introduction " Grammatical categories for nouns " Grammatical categories for verbs " Grammatical categories for adjectives " Grammatical categories for adpositions " Exercises " Looking inside sentences: Simple sentences and finiteness " The clause and the simple sentence " Finiteness and auxiliaries " Non-finite verbs " Introduction to complex sentences " Definitions and examples: Matrix and subordinate clauses " Distinguishing matrix and subordinate clauses in English " Cross-linguistic variation in clause types " Languages without infinitival clauses " Inflected infinitival clauses " The co-ordination strategy " Nominalization " Serial verbs " Summary " Head words and phrases: Heads and their dependents " What is a head? " The influence of heads on their dependents " Summary: The properties of heads " More about dependents: Adjuncts and complements " More about verb classes: Verbs and their complements " Other heads and their complements " Summary: The main properties of complements vs. adjuncts " Determiners and nouns: Which is the head? " Phrases within phrases " Where does the head occur in a phrase? Head-initial and head-final languages " Head-initial languages " Head-final languages " An exercise on head-initial and head-final constructions " Head-marking and dependent-marking languages " Definitions and illustrations: Syntactic relationships between heads and dependents " Head preposition/postposition and its NP object " The clause: A head verb and the arguments of the verb " Hea Printed Pages: 288..
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