English Grammar: Language as Human Behavior / Edition 3

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Overview

Approaching grammar as a process and not a product, this text engages readers in a conversation about English that will help them reflect on how their language works and understand the social judgments that accompany language use—making them feel they are active participants in shaping their language rather than passive victims of grammar rules that someone imposes on them. Employing the terminology of traditional grammar combined with the insights gained by modern linguistic analysis, it describes English as an instrument of communication, and lays the necessary groundwork for thinking about language so that students can extend what they learn to new situations and apply their knowledge of language in ways most useful to them. Three different types of exercises support the learning and review processes and motivate readers to think, talk, and write about English with increasing confidence and sophistication as the term progresses.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A textbook for a one-semester college course for native speakers. Encourages students to view English not as an abstract system of rules but as a product of people who seek patterns and regularity, use language to communicate their needs and exercise power over others, and can experience linguistic insecurity in the face of social judgements about their usage. Draws on traditional grammar informed by modern analysis and focuses on the day-to-day, rather than the exotic, aspects of the language. Includes a glossary without pronunciation. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205238460
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 1/24/2012
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 354,279
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita K Barry, Professor Emerita, University of Michigan, Flint
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Read an Excerpt

This book is written for students of English grammar, who come to the task of studying the language with a variety of skills, interests, goals, and expectations, not to mention fears and anxieties. It is addressed primarily to the native speaker of English, and so it is not designed to teach English. Rather, it builds on what students already know to develop an appreciation for how the language works.

The main focus of the book is on language as human behavior. Students are encouraged to view English not as an abstract system of rules, but as an instrument of people who seek patterns and regularity, who use language to communicate their needs and wishes and to exercise power over others, and who are capable of experiencing linguistic insecurity in the face of social judgments about their usage. Students also come to learn that the language they use is the result of people's use over a long period of time, not just a tool for the present, and that English, along with judgments about particular usage, shifts over time. The goal of the book is to make students feel that they are active participants in shaping their language rather than passive victims of grammar rules that someone imposes on them. They are encouraged to be curious about how others use English, and to be flexible enough to understand that there are competing descriptions of language structure, as well as competing opinions about correctness.

In its discussion of English, the book largely adheres to traditional grammatical terminology to keep continuity with our long and rich heritage of grammar studies. At the same time, the grammatical descriptions are informed by the insights gained from modern linguisticanalysis. The merger of these two approaches gives students the necessary tools to think about how their language works without becoming entrenched in the mindset of a particular theory. It also provides them with the flexibility to adapt to new terminology they might encounter elsewhere. Lastly, in keeping with the main goal of talking about human behavior, discussion turns to usage and usage questions wherever they are relevant.

The book is designed for a one-semester college course. It covert the basics of English without dwelling on the exceptional or the exotic. It begins with a discussion of the development of a standard English language and the origins of our present day rules of English and attitudes towards usage. Students are invited to explore their own recognition of standard English and to appreciate that people may differ in their judgments. They learn that what is considered "correct" does not always match what sounds appropriate to them. The first chapter lays the foundation for the study of grammar, emphasizing the complex interaction between language rules and behavior. The second chapter talks about how one approaches the study of the structure of a language, including a brief discussion of how languages change over time. It also gives an overview of language structure, explaining the essentially hierarchical as opposed to linear nature of language. From there the book works from the lowest levels of grammatical organization to the highest, starting with an analysis of words and working up to the level of the sentence.

As students and teachers begin to work with this book, they will realize that the material is integrated in ways not apparent from the chapter headings. There is no part of language that is wholly separate from the other parts: it is an organic system in which the parts are interrelated and function together to perform the highly complex task of communicating human thought. Naturally, then, a description of a language cannot consist of wholly separate parts either. In this particular description, there is a good deal of recycling of information. Topics are not necessarily explored in their entirety when they are first introduced and may resurface in other contexts to have new light shed on them. In some cases a theme is introduced early and developed gradually throughout the book. The most commonly recurring themes have to do with the factors that influence people's use of their language: their common needs and preferences, and their shared strategies for turning their thoughts into words.

Each chapter contains three types of exercises. First, there are short Discussion Exercises distributed throughout the chapter and designed for group or class work. These typically exemplify and reinforce a newly introduced principle. They give students a chance to check their own understanding in a non-threatening forum and to spend part of every class period talking about language. On occasion these exercises are used to encourage students to extend what they have learned and to uncover new facts and principles of grammar themselves. In this way, the exercises become an integral part of the text material and serve a teaching as well as a review function. The Instructor's Manual provides additional discussion of these exercises, which may be shared with students to the extent that the instructor finds it relevant and useful.

Second, there are open-ended questions and project suggestions at the end of each chapter, called Reflections. These are intended to get students to think about language use—their own and others'—in real-life settings or to ponder some aspect of English structure that eludes analysis. These exercises are intended to stimulate further class discussion and engage students in timely, enjoyable discourse about their language.

Finally, there are Practice Exercises at the end of each chapter that integrate all the information presented in that chapter. These are designed for students to work on outside of class. They are intended to be more closed-ended than the other exercise types, and they focus on purely structural material rather than on questions of usage. Answer guides to these exercises are provided at the end of the book. Of course, given the nature of language, these also often lend themselves to discussion.

The exercises taken together are designed to get students to think, talk, and write about English with increasing confidence and sophistication as the term progresses.

As anyone who has ever tried it knows, describing a language is an open-ended enterprise. There is always more that could be said. The goal here is to lay the necessary groundwork for thinking about language so that students can extend what they learn to new situations when the occasion arises, and to apply their knowledge in ways most useful to them, either in teaching the language to others or in their own speaking and writing, or in making sense of the often subtle but always pervasive set of social judgments that accompany language use. This book is a conversation about English that approaches grammar as a process, not a product; and it is a book in which thoughtful explanations are valued over "correct" answers. Above all, it strives to stimulate excitement, enthusiasm, and wonder about English usage that will endure once the course is over. NOTES ON THE SECOND EDITION

In response to the thoughtful and insightful comments of students, colleagues, and reviewers, I have made certain changes in this edition. Most of these changes involve reorganization and the addition of exercises. The final chapter of the first edition has been omitted entirely, and the material on ambiguity and coordination, originally Chapter 8, has been integrated into other chapters. Clause coordination and clause subordination are treated in chapters of their own. I have tried to respond to the "save the trees" debate by scaling back but not eliminating entirely the use of tree diagrams for illustrating sentence structure.

A minor change in the exercises is that answers are provided for every other question in the Practice Exercises, rather than for every question. This should be enough for students to gauge their level of understanding without creating undue dependence on the answers, and it is hoped that missing answers will serve to integrate these exercises into classroom discussions. The remaining answers can be found in the Instructor's Manual.

A more serious concern about the exercises in the first edition was that they did not give students a chance to examine language in its natural context, exactly what they would ultimately be doing when applying their grammatical knowledge. With that concern in mind, I have added two additional types of exercises at the end of every chapter. The first provides an excerpt of literary prose (from Charles Baxter's collection Believers: A Novella and Stories, Pantheon Books: New York, 1997) and asks students to identify grammatical structures within the selection. The second is a series of letters written by a fictitious person (me!) that exhibit many of the typical nonstandard features of written English, and students are asked to identify them. The added advantage of both new exercise types is that they are a comprehensive and prompt ongoing review of past material.

With the second edition, students also have the advantage of an extensive online Study Guide, which reviews basic concepts and provides a wide variety of practice exercises with answers for the material of each chapter. The Study Guide appears on Prentice Hall's companion website and provides automatic scoring of the exercises. It is also available for download for students who prefer a regular print format. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I have referred to this book as "a conversation about English." More accurately, it is a contribution to a conversation that has been taking place for hundreds of years among grammarians, linguists, English teachers, dictionary makers, and self-appointed guardians of the English language. This larger conversation is not an orderly one. There are differences of opinion and differences of approach, some minor and some major. Nevertheless, this collective thinking about the English language provides a rich and lively context in which to do one's own exploration. I gratefully acknowledge the work of the many other language scholars whose work has helped to shape my thoughts about English grammar and usage.

As with any particular work, there are some individuals whose contributions stand out above the rest. I wish to thank the editors at Prentice Hall, especially Maggie Barbieri and Kim Gueterman, for their ongoing help and support throughout the preparation of the first edition and Craig Campanella and Terry Routley for their equally valuable support in the preparation of the second edition. I am also indebted to Joan Polk for her many kindnesses throughout the process. A special note of thanks goes to my colleague Jan Bernsten for her very helpful suggestions on the second edition drawn from her own experience in using the book. I am enormously grateful to the reviewers who forced me to clarify my thinking in more than a few places and who added a wealth of information and insight of their own: for the first edition, Nancy Hoar, Western New England College; Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Community College; and Robin C. Barr, American University; for the second edition, Linda Callis Buckley, California State University, Sacramento; George Settera, California State University, Stanislaus; Lee Thomas, University of Nevada, Reno; Jerry Ball, Arkansas State University; Clifford Wood, Bridgewater State College. Many of the examples and observations in the book are theirs. An additional debt of gratitude is owed to my son, Michael Hochster, his thoughtful reading of the original manuscript and extremely helpful commentary, especially on questions and negation. Also, I thank Bill Meyer, my husband, friend, and colleague, for his patient and engaged listening while I talked this book into being. I am grateful as well to Charles Baxter, who probably never imagined that people would be using his beautiful prose to hunt for participles. Thanks go also to Arleen Lieberman, perhaps the only person to have read the first edition without being asked to. Finally, no acknowledgments would be complete without recognizing one other group of participants in this conversation about English: the students of Linguistics 244 at the University of Michigan-Flint. For over two decades I have been inspired by their wisdom and good humor. It is with great pleasure that I write this book for them.

I learned from reviewer responses that instructors are using this book for a variety of purposes and a variety of audiences, and so not all of the excellent suggestions I received could be implemented in this revision. I hope that this second edition generally broadens the usefulness of the text and allows enough flexibility for instructors to adapt it to their particular needs and the needs of their students. I accept responsibility for all errors of fact and lapses of judgment in this new edition.

Anita K. Barry
The University of Michigan-Flint

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Table of Contents

PREFACE xiii

Chapter 1 WHY STUDY ENGLISH GRAMMAR? 1

Native Speakers and Grammar Study 1

Standard English 2

Judgments About English 4

The Legacy of the Eighteenth Century 7

Reflections 8

Chapter 2 HOW DO WE STUDY

ENGLISH GRAMMAR? 10

Why Do People Disagree About Grammar? 10

Who Is the Authority? 10

What Role Do Traditional Dictionaries Play? 10

Online Grammar Sources 12

Why Is There No One Standard? 13

Why Do Languages Change? 14

What Are the Common Elements of English? 16

Constituent Structure 16

Rules and Regularities 19

Reflections 20

Chapter 3 NOUNS AND NOUN PHRASES 21

What Are Nouns? 21

What Are Some Common

Subcategories of Nouns? 23

What Makes Up a Noun Phrase? 26

Determiners 27

Predeterminers and Postdeterminers 29

What Are the Functions of Noun Phrases? 30

Subject 30

Direct Object 32

Indirect Object 33

Object of a Preposition 35

Complement 35

Verbal Nouns and Noun Phrases 36

Compounds 38

Reflections 40

Practice Exercises 42

Chapter 4 VERBS AND VERB PHRASES 46

What Are Verbs? 46

What About the Exceptions? 50

What Are Some Common

Subcategories of Verbs? 53

What Is Verb Tense? 57

What Makes Up a Verb Phrase? 63

What Are Nonfinite Verb Phrases? 66

Compounds 66

What Is Subject Verb Agreement? 67

Reflections 72

Practice Exercises 76

Chapter 5 PRONOUNS 80

What Are Pronouns? 80

Personal Pronouns 81

Reflexive Pronouns 88

Reciprocal Pronouns 91

Demonstrative Pronouns 91

Relative Pronouns 92

Interrogative Pronouns 94

Universal and Indefinite Pronouns 95

Reflections 97

Practice Exercises 99

Chapter 6 ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS 1

03What Are Adjectives? 103

How Do Adjectives Modify Nouns? 106

What Are Adjective Phrases? 108

What Are Adverbs? 109

Is All Well and Good? 112

What Are Adverb Phrases? 115

Reflections 116

Practice Exercises 117

Chapter 7 PREPOSITIONS AND PARTICLES 120

What Are Prepositions? 120

What Are Prepositional Phrases? 121

What Are Particles? 125

Reflections 127

Practice Exercises 128

Chapter 8 NEGATION 131

What Is Negation in Grammar? 131

Verb Negation 131

Negation of Indefinites 133

Noun Negation 135

Adjective and Adverb Negation 136

Negation of Compounds 137

Reflections 139

Practice Exercises 140

Chapter 9 VOICE 144

What Is Grammatical Voice? 144

How Is the Passive Voice Formed? 146

How Are Grammatical Relations

Determined in the Passive Voice? 147

Why Do We Need the Passive Voice? 149

What Is a Truncated Passive? 150

Reflections 152

Practice Exercises 153

Chapter 10 DISCOURSE FUNCTION 156

What Is Discourse Function? 156

Declaratives 157

Interrogatives 158

Yes No Questions 158

Wh Questions 160

Tag Questions 164

Minor Question Types 167

Imperatives 169

Exclamatives 170

Crossover Functions of Clause Types 171

Reflections 174

Practice Exercises 175

Chapter 11 COMBINING CLAUSES INTO

SENTENCES: COORDINATION 179

How Is a Sentence Different from a Clause? 179

Sentence Building Through Coordination 179

Clause Coordination and Ellipsis 183

Reflections 185

Practice Exercises 186

Chapter 12 COMBINING CLAUSES INTO

SENTENCES: SUBORDINATION 189

Sentence Building Through Subordination 189

Adverbial Clauses 191

Noun Clauses 194

Relative Clauses 199

Restrictive and Nonrestrictive

Relative Clauses 202

Reduced Relative Clauses 204

Naming Sentence Types 206

Reflections 208

Practice Exercises 210

Chapter 13 WHY STUDY ENGLISH GRAMMAR?

(ONCE MORE!) 215

Teaching Grammar 215

Final Reflections 217

ANSWERS TO PRACTICE EXERCISES 219

GLOSSARY 233

INDEX 241

A01_

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Preface

This book is written for students of English grammar, who come to the task of studying the language with a variety of skills, interests, goals, and expectations, not to mention fears and anxieties. It is addressed primarily to the native speaker of English, and so it is not designed to teach English. Rather, it builds on what students already know to develop an appreciation for how the language works.

The main focus of the book is on language as human behavior. Students are encouraged to view English not as an abstract system of rules, but as an instrument of people who seek patterns and regularity, who use language to communicate their needs and wishes and to exercise power over others, and who are capable of experiencing linguistic insecurity in the face of social judgments about their usage. Students also come to learn that the language they use is the result of people's use over a long period of time, not just a tool for the present, and that English, along with judgments about particular usage, shifts over time. The goal of the book is to make students feel that they are active participants in shaping their language rather than passive victims of grammar rules that someone imposes on them. They are encouraged to be curious about how others use English, and to be flexible enough to understand that there are competing descriptions of language structure, as well as competing opinions about correctness.

In its discussion of English, the book largely adheres to traditional grammatical terminology to keep continuity with our long and rich heritage of grammar studies. At the same time, the grammatical descriptions are informed by the insights gained from modernlinguistic analysis. The merger of these two approaches gives students the necessary tools to think about how their language works without becoming entrenched in the mindset of a particular theory. It also provides them with the flexibility to adapt to new terminology they might encounter elsewhere. Lastly, in keeping with the main goal of talking about human behavior, discussion turns to usage and usage questions wherever they are relevant.

The book is designed for a one-semester college course. It covert the basics of English without dwelling on the exceptional or the exotic. It begins with a discussion of the development of a standard English language and the origins of our present day rules of English and attitudes towards usage. Students are invited to explore their own recognition of standard English and to appreciate that people may differ in their judgments. They learn that what is considered "correct" does not always match what sounds appropriate to them. The first chapter lays the foundation for the study of grammar, emphasizing the complex interaction between language rules and behavior. The second chapter talks about how one approaches the study of the structure of a language, including a brief discussion of how languages change over time. It also gives an overview of language structure, explaining the essentially hierarchical as opposed to linear nature of language. From there the book works from the lowest levels of grammatical organization to the highest, starting with an analysis of words and working up to the level of the sentence.

As students and teachers begin to work with this book, they will realize that the material is integrated in ways not apparent from the chapter headings. There is no part of language that is wholly separate from the other parts: it is an organic system in which the parts are interrelated and function together to perform the highly complex task of communicating human thought. Naturally, then, a description of a language cannot consist of wholly separate parts either. In this particular description, there is a good deal of recycling of information. Topics are not necessarily explored in their entirety when they are first introduced and may resurface in other contexts to have new light shed on them. In some cases a theme is introduced early and developed gradually throughout the book. The most commonly recurring themes have to do with the factors that influence people's use of their language: their common needs and preferences, and their shared strategies for turning their thoughts into words.

Each chapter contains three types of exercises. First, there are short Discussion Exercises distributed throughout the chapter and designed for group or class work. These typically exemplify and reinforce a newly introduced principle. They give students a chance to check their own understanding in a non-threatening forum and to spend part of every class period talking about language. On occasion these exercises are used to encourage students to extend what they have learned and to uncover new facts and principles of grammar themselves. In this way, the exercises become an integral part of the text material and serve a teaching as well as a review function. The Instructor's Manual provides additional discussion of these exercises, which may be shared with students to the extent that the instructor finds it relevant and useful.

Second, there are open-ended questions and project suggestions at the end of each chapter, called Reflections. These are intended to get students to think about language use—their own and others'—in real-life settings or to ponder some aspect of English structure that eludes analysis. These exercises are intended to stimulate further class discussion and engage students in timely, enjoyable discourse about their language.

Finally, there are Practice Exercises at the end of each chapter that integrate all the information presented in that chapter. These are designed for students to work on outside of class. They are intended to be more closed-ended than the other exercise types, and they focus on purely structural material rather than on questions of usage. Answer guides to these exercises are provided at the end of the book. Of course, given the nature of language, these also often lend themselves to discussion.

The exercises taken together are designed to get students to think, talk, and write about English with increasing confidence and sophistication as the term progresses.

As anyone who has ever tried it knows, describing a language is an open-ended enterprise. There is always more that could be said. The goal here is to lay the necessary groundwork for thinking about language so that students can extend what they learn to new situations when the occasion arises, and to apply their knowledge in ways most useful to them, either in teaching the language to others or in their own speaking and writing, or in making sense of the often subtle but always pervasive set of social judgments that accompany language use. This book is a conversation about English that approaches grammar as a process, not a product; and it is a book in which thoughtful explanations are valued over "correct" answers. Above all, it strives to stimulate excitement, enthusiasm, and wonder about English usage that will endure once the course is over.

NOTES ON THE SECOND EDITION

In response to the thoughtful and insightful comments of students, colleagues, and reviewers, I have made certain changes in this edition. Most of these changes involve reorganization and the addition of exercises. The final chapter of the first edition has been omitted entirely, and the material on ambiguity and coordination, originally Chapter 8, has been integrated into other chapters. Clause coordination and clause subordination are treated in chapters of their own. I have tried to respond to the "save the trees" debate by scaling back but not eliminating entirely the use of tree diagrams for illustrating sentence structure.

A minor change in the exercises is that answers are provided for every other question in the Practice Exercises, rather than for every question. This should be enough for students to gauge their level of understanding without creating undue dependence on the answers, and it is hoped that missing answers will serve to integrate these exercises into classroom discussions. The remaining answers can be found in the Instructor's Manual.

A more serious concern about the exercises in the first edition was that they did not give students a chance to examine language in its natural context, exactly what they would ultimately be doing when applying their grammatical knowledge. With that concern in mind, I have added two additional types of exercises at the end of every chapter. The first provides an excerpt of literary prose (from Charles Baxter's collection Believers: A Novella and Stories, Pantheon Books: New York, 1997) and asks students to identify grammatical structures within the selection. The second is a series of letters written by a fictitious person (me!) that exhibit many of the typical nonstandard features of written English, and students are asked to identify them. The added advantage of both new exercise types is that they are a comprehensive and prompt ongoing review of past material.

With the second edition, students also have the advantage of an extensive online Study Guide, which reviews basic concepts and provides a wide variety of practice exercises with answers for the material of each chapter. The Study Guide appears on Prentice Hall's companion website and provides automatic scoring of the exercises. It is also available for download for students who prefer a regular print format.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I have referred to this book as "a conversation about English." More accurately, it is a contribution to a conversation that has been taking place for hundreds of years among grammarians, linguists, English teachers, dictionary makers, and self-appointed guardians of the English language. This larger conversation is not an orderly one. There are differences of opinion and differences of approach, some minor and some major. Nevertheless, this collective thinking about the English language provides a rich and lively context in which to do one's own exploration. I gratefully acknowledge the work of the many other language scholars whose work has helped to shape my thoughts about English grammar and usage.

As with any particular work, there are some individuals whose contributions stand out above the rest. I wish to thank the editors at Prentice Hall, especially Maggie Barbieri and Kim Gueterman, for their ongoing help and support throughout the preparation of the first edition and Craig Campanella and Terry Routley for their equally valuable support in the preparation of the second edition. I am also indebted to Joan Polk for her many kindnesses throughout the process. A special note of thanks goes to my colleague Jan Bernsten for her very helpful suggestions on the second edition drawn from her own experience in using the book. I am enormously grateful to the reviewers who forced me to clarify my thinking in more than a few places and who added a wealth of information and insight of their own: for the first edition, Nancy Hoar, Western New England College; Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Community College; and Robin C. Barr, American University; for the second edition, Linda Callis Buckley, California State University, Sacramento; George Settera, California State University, Stanislaus; Lee Thomas, University of Nevada, Reno; Jerry Ball, Arkansas State University; Clifford Wood, Bridgewater State College. Many of the examples and observations in the book are theirs. An additional debt of gratitude is owed to my son, Michael Hochster, his thoughtful reading of the original manuscript and extremely helpful commentary, especially on questions and negation. Also, I thank Bill Meyer, my husband, friend, and colleague, for his patient and engaged listening while I talked this book into being. I am grateful as well to Charles Baxter, who probably never imagined that people would be using his beautiful prose to hunt for participles. Thanks go also to Arleen Lieberman, perhaps the only person to have read the first edition without being asked to. Finally, no acknowledgments would be complete without recognizing one other group of participants in this conversation about English: the students of Linguistics 244 at the University of Michigan-Flint. For over two decades I have been inspired by their wisdom and good humor. It is with great pleasure that I write this book for them.

I learned from reviewer responses that instructors are using this book for a variety of purposes and a variety of audiences, and so not all of the excellent suggestions I received could be implemented in this revision. I hope that this second edition generally broadens the usefulness of the text and allows enough flexibility for instructors to adapt it to their particular needs and the needs of their students. I accept responsibility for all errors of fact and lapses of judgment in this new edition.

Anita K. Barry
The University of Michigan-Flint

Read More Show Less

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