• Book Name: Analysing Sentences an Introduction to English Syntax
  • Pages: 295
  • Size: 5 MB
analysing english sentences pdf free download, analysing sentences an introduction to english syntax

Analysing English Sentences Pdf Free Download

When I first wrote Analysing Sentences, I had in mind the kind of mixed audience that I taught (and still teach) in an introductory course at Newcastle. This included first-year undergraduates in linguistics and English language who would be going on to find out more about English syntax, syntactic theory, and argumentation in syntactic theory in later years. It also included many others who probably would not continue and whose purposes were different and quite varied. For these, the book had to provide a self-contained, systematic, and coherent introductory picture of English in its own right. They were less interested, perhaps, in syntactic theory than in forming a reasonably informed impression of the structural range of the language and a grasp of the vocabulary and concepts needed to describe it. So the aim was to strike a balance between providing both descriptive range and descriptive convenience on the one hand while, on the other, offering something of genuine use to someone about to embark more seriously on syntactic theory and argumentation. Many of the changes in this second edition have been made with this balance in mind.

Occasionally, in the first edition, I made decisions which, while pedagogically convenient, have come over the years to seem less and less defensible or useful in an introduction to syntax. So I have done something about them. For teachers familiar with the first edition who want an overview of more important changes, I have listed them below. A more general change concerns the exercises. There are more of them and there are now ‘Further Exercises’. These come without answers and can be used for seminar work. Some are designed (as before) to test comprehension, others to give practice in handling new data and to encourage thought. More than in the first edition, rather than give a phrase-marker in the text, I set the drawing of the phrase-marker as an exercise. It is always given in a ‘Discussion’ at the end of the chapter.

Analysing English Sentences Pdf Free Download

This, I think, makes for more worthwhile and enjoyable reading, and it builds confidence. It seems essential the reader be encouraged to do these before consulting the Discussion. One thing that has not changed is the ‘Verb Group’. Much though I feel inclined to, I won’t apologise for retaining this! I grant the evidence which suggests there is no such thing (and its incompatibility with X-bar). But there is less agreement on how verbs in English are to be treated. Some textbooks simply avoid the issues, by restricting their coverage of the possibilities I have gathered up under ‘Vgrp’. I have kept it because it is convenient: it provides a way of covering those possibilities (and introducing needed vocabulary, in a way beginners find intuitive) without immediately embroiling them in problems, lengthy explanations, and excuses. Besides, I have found it useful as an illustrative starting point in later courses on argumentation.

The following major changes of detail have been made, not only in aid of bringing the analysis a little more into line with common current practice, but also in the light of my own experience of teaching the first edition. This has made me think that I was sometimes a little over-cautious as regards what is teachable at this stage. Even so, many of the changes have actually had a simplifying effect.

(i) Chapter 2. Governors (first edition) are now explicitly referred to as ‘heads’ (not as ‘governors’).

(ii) Chapter 5. Adjunct adverbials are now, in addition, explicitly referred to as ‘VP-adverbials’. This is more helpful, in my view. And, while the distinction between the ‘conjunct adverbials’ and ‘disjunct adverbials’ of the first edition is alluded to, this detail has been played down. Both are now explicitly referred to as ‘Sentence-adverbials’ (‘S-adverbials’).

(iii) Chapter 6. What in the first edition was called ‘Subject-Auxiliary Inversion’ is now more accurately ‘Auxiliary fronting’. More importantly, the auxiliary is now fronted to the complementiser position (daughter of S-bar, sister of S). This is a major change and involves changes elsewhere – see below. It means that ‘S-bar’ is now introduced in Chapter 6 rather than Chapter 8. Auxiliary-fronting leaves a gap under AUX.

(iv) Chapter 6. It is more helpful to the student (to remember that passive verbs are not intransitive) to have a gap in the object position following a passive verb. Some students do this spontaneously, anyway. And it provides a better preparation for what is to follow, both in the book and elsewhere. So I now insist on a gap in object position.

(v) Chapter 7. The term ‘zero article’ has been abandoned in favour of ‘unfilled DET’.

(vi) Chapter 7. The discussion of one in the first edition was unsatisfactory. It was not used to motivate any distinction, within NP, between complements and adjuncts and so never really worked. I have simplified here by postponing all mention of one to an Appendix in Chapter 7, where it is associated with the distinction between adjuncts (‘NOM-modifiers’) and complements (‘N-modifiers’). The chapter can be read quite independently of that appendix, however (in my experience, beginners find the distinction between adjunct and complement difficult in the context of NP). Tutors can decide for themselves whether to insist that the distinction be respected in Chapter 7. Other changes (in Chapters 8 and 9) anyway mean that it does now eventually emerge, clearly and naturally, when really necessary. 

(vii) Chapter 8. I now introduce the complementiser whether (and hence subordinate yes/no interrogative clauses) here, along with that.

(viii) Chapter 8. The representation of noun-complement clauses in the first edition was unsatisfactory. As complements, these are now more simply and accurately represented as sisters of N within NOM. See below for a consequent change to the structural position of restrictive relative clauses.

(ix) Chapter 9. The order of presentation has changed: the chapter now moves from wh-interrogative clauses (main and subordinate) to relative clauses. This is convenient if, as I do, one spends two separate weeks on this chapter (one on interrogatives, one on relatives). A further minor change from the first edition is that subject constituent questions are now presented as having a fronted auxiliary. (There is a ‘Further Exercise’ on this.)

(x) Chapter 9. Since auxiliaries are now fronted to the (S-bar) complementiser position (Ch. 6), which cannot be filled twice over, Wh-expressions are now fronted to a higher Comp position (Comp-2). Comp-2 is here defined as daughter of S-double bar, sister of S-bar.

(xi) Chapter 9. Since noun complement clauses are now sisters of N (Ch. 8), relative clauses are now represented as sisters of NOM. As explained there, this distinction between N-modifier (complement clause) and NOMmodifier (relative clause) parallels that between complement and adjunct in the VP. If interested (or required!), the student is now in a position to generalise this to all modifiers in NP, by turning back to the Appendix in Chapter 7.

(xii) Chapter 10 remains largely unchanged (apart from changes consequent on those in earlier chapters) though there is slightly more detail and discussion.

In preparing this second edition, I have benefited from the comments and advice of many people. They are too numerous to mention and thank individually here, but I must mention the help of Phil Carr and Siobhan Chapman. The students at Newcastle (whose responses have invariably been interesting and instructive) have taught me more than they know. I am especially grateful to Georgette Ioup, who I met in Morocco in 1983 when I had just started writing the first edition. Her detailed and insightful comments on it over the last ten years have been of great help, not to say indispensable. My wife Tessa has borne with grace my probings of her linguistic competence, and Julia, my daughter, has made the rewriting much more enjoyable by joining me in vandalising copies of the first edition, pasting, and stapling. I would like to dedicate this second edition to my mother and the memory of my father.

Analysing english sentences pdf free download, analysing sentences an introduction to english syntax.

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