One Language, Two Grammars?: Differences between British and American English

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Overview

It is well known that British and American English differ substantially in their pronunciation and vocabulary - but differences in their grammar have largely been underestimated. This volume focuses on British-American differences in the structure of words and sentences and supports them with computer-aided studies of large text collections. Present-day as well as earlier forms of the two varieties are included in the analyses. This makes it the first book-length treatment of British and American English grammar in contrast, with topics ranging from compound verbs to word order differences and tag questions. The authors explore some of the better-known contrasts, as well as a great variety of innovative themes that have so far received little or no consideration. Bringing together the work of a team of leading scholars in the field, this book will be of interest to those working within the fields of English historical linguistics, language variation and change, and dialectology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the hardback: '... an important book ...' Journal of English Language and Linguistics

'... an important and stimulating read for researchers of diverse areas of linguistic research ... a great contribution to growing literature on variation studies using large-scale corpus data.' Studies in English Literature

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521872195
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Series: Studies in English Language Series
  • Pages: 486
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Günter Rohdenburg is Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Paderborn.

Julia Schlüter is Assistant Professor in English Linguistics and Language History at the University of Bamberg.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Günter Rohdenburg and Julia Schlüter; 1. Colonial lag, colonial innovation or simply language change? Marianne Hundt; 2. Compound verbs Peter Erdmann; 3. The formation of the preterite and the past participle Magnus Levin; 4. Comparatives Britta Mondorf; 5. Phonology and grammar Julia Schlüter; 6. Prepositions and postpositions Eva Berlage; 7. Argument structure David Denison; 8. Reflexive structures Günter Rohdenburg; 9. Noun phrase modification Douglas Biber, Jack Grieve and Gina Iberri-Shea; 10. Nominal complements Günter Rohdenburg; 11. Non-finite complements Uwe Vosberg; 12. The present perfect and the preterite Johan Elsness; 13. The revived subjunctive Göran Kjellmer; 14. The mandative subjunctive William J. Crawford; 15. The conditional subjunctive Julia Schlüter; 16. Tag questions D. J. Allerton; 17. The pragmatics of adverbs Karin Aijmer; 18. How different are American and British grammar? And how are they different? Gunnel Tottie; 19. New departures Günter Rohdenburg and Julia Schlüter.

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