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Understanding Syntax / Edition 3

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Overview

Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, Understanding Syntax, Third Edition, explains and illustrates the major terms and concepts essential to the study of sentence structure in the world’s languages. Word classes such as ‘noun’, ‘verb’ and ‘preposition’ are introduced, and the properties of syntactic categories are discussed. Clause structure is explained and illustrated, helping the reader to distinguish between finite and non-finite clauses, root and subordinate clauses, with definitions of all technical terms. Constituent structure is introduced, including simple tree diagrams. Relationships within the clause, including case and agreement, are examined cross-linguistically. Grammatical constructions and processes that change grammatical relations are introduced and exemplified, with extensive illustration from English and many other languages.

  • Uses examples from a wide variety of languages to broaden the reader’s syntactic skills
  • Includes exercises to consolidate learning
  • New case studies engage the reader with cross-linguistic syntax
  • New further reading sections and references

This new edition has been updated and revised to meet the needs of today’s students. Difficult points are given fuller explanation, references have been updated, and important skills are taught, such as how to read examples from languages other than English.

MAGGIE TALLERMAN is Professor of Linguistics, Newcastle University.

Series editors: BERNARD COMRIE, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and GREVILLE CORBETT, University of Surrey.

The Understanding Language series provides approachable, yet authoritative, introductions to major topics in linguistics. Ideal for students with little or no prior knowledge of linguistics, each book carefully explains the basics, emphasising understanding of the essential notions rather than arguing for a particular theoretical position.

Other books in the Understanding Language series include:

Understanding Language Testing (978 0 340 98343 0)
Understanding Morphology, Second Edition (978 0 340 95001 2)
Understanding Phonology, Third Edition (978 1 444 1204 7)
Understanding Pragmatics (978 0 340 64623 6)
Understanding Semantics (978 0 340 73198 7)
Understanding Phonetics (978 0 340 92827 1)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'Tallerman's strongly comparative approach to introducing the basic concepts of syntax has materialised in a very readable and interesting book...Understanding Syntax is an absolute pleasure to read, thanks to its casual, down-to-earth style. It is user-friendly and accessible, and takes its readers seriously'

Glot International

'Tallerman's Understanding Syntax, now in its third, revised, expanded and improved edition, is ...a very accessible, step-by-step introduction to the scientific study of syntax, which not only presents the major concepts and categories associated with this branch of linguistics but also addresses some more advanced issues...'
LINGUIST List (23.1781)

From the Publisher
"The fourth edition of Understanding Syntax is a thorough and accessible introduction to the major syntactic concepts and constructions in the world's languages. It is one of the most versatile textbooks I have ever encountered: it provides a solid basis in syntactic typology and theory in a friendly and informal style that works very well for students with no background in linguistics, while also being an eye-opener for students who have studied some syntax but are aware only of patterns and categories that are familiar from European languages. This textbook should be on the reading list for all introductory syntax courses."

Mary Dalrymple, Oxford University, UK

"This new edition is just as sparklingly written as ever; it gives students a real flavour of the richness of the syntax of human languages, as well as a clear, engaging explanation of the fundamental concepts needed to understand this core aspect of language."

David Adger, Queen Mary University of London, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444112054
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/30/2011
  • Series: Understanding Language Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

MAGGIE TALLERMAN is Professor of Linguistics, University of Newcastle.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
A note to the instructor
Note to the student
List of abbreviations used in examples
List of tables
1. What is syntax?
2. Words belong to different classes
3. Looking inside sentences
4. Heads and their dependents
5. How do we identify constituents?
6. Relationships within the clause
7. Processes that change grammatical relations
8. Wh-constructions: questions and relative clauses
9. Asking questions about syntax
Sources of data used in examples
Glossary
References
Language index
Subject index
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