A Semantic Approach to English Grammar / Edition 2

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Overview


This book shows how grammar helps people communicate and looks at the ways grammar and meaning interrelate. The author starts from the notion that a speaker codes a meaning into grammatical forms which the listener is then able to recover: each word, he shows, has its own meaning and each bit of grammar its own function, their combinations creating and limiting the possibilities for different words. He uncovers a rationale for the varying grammatical properties of different words and in the process explains many facts about English - such as why we can say I wish to go, I wish that he would go, and I want to go but not I want that he would go.

The first part of the book reviews the main points of English syntax and discusses English verbs in terms of their semantic types including those of Motion, Giving, Speaking, Liking, and Trying. In the second part Professor Dixon looks at eight grammatical topics, including complement clauses, transitivity and causatives, passives, and the promotion of a non-subject to subject, as in Dictionaries sell well.

This is the updated and revised edition of A New Approach to English Grammar on Semantic Principles. It includes new chapters on tense and aspect, nominalizations and possession, and adverbs and negation, and contains a new discussion of comparative forms of adjectives. It also explains recent changes in English grammar, including how they has replaced the tabooed he as a pronoun referring to either gender, as in When a student reads this book, they will learn a lot about English grammar in a most enjoyable manner.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199283071
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/15/2005
  • Series: Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 570
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

R. M. W. Dixon is Professor and Director of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University. His books include The Dyirbal Language of North Queensland (1972), Where have all the adjectives gone? and Other Essays in Semantics and Syntax (1982), Ergativity (1994), The Rise and Fall of Languages (1997), Australian Languages: their Nature and Development (2002), and The Jarawara Language of Southern Amazonia (2004). He is the co-editor, with Alexandra Aikhenvald, of the Oxford series Explorations in Linguistic Typology.

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Table of Contents

1 Orientation 3
2 Grammatical sketch 19
3 Noun, adjective and verb types 81
4 Primary-A verb types 102
5 Primary-B verb types 131
6 Secondary verb types 172
Some grammatical topics 207
7 She is departing for the jungle tomorrow, although the doctor has been advising against it
8 I know that it seems that he'll make me want to describe her starting to say that she knows that it seems that ...
9 I kicked at the bomb, which exploded, and wakened you up
10 Our manager's annoyance at thoughts of residence rearrangement bears no relation to his assistant's criticism of building restrictions
11 The plate, which had been eaten off, was owned by my aunt
12 Yesterday, even the rather clever bishops could not very easily have sensibly organised a moderately unusual exorcism here
13 What sells slowly, but wears well?
14 She gave him a look, they both had a laugh and then took a stroll
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