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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

English Syntax and Argumentation

Edition 4th Edition
ISBN 9780230361690
Publication Date May 2013
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Palgrave Modern Linguistics

How can we go about describing the structure of sentences? What do we learn from analysing language in this way? This book examines the nuts and bolts of English syntax in an accessible way.

Now in its fourth edition, English Syntax and Argumentation remains a student favourite. The book starts with a discussion of the basic concepts that are important in the study of syntax, and then moves on to more complex issues. Each chapter carefully explains technical terms and uses graphic illustrations alongside easy-to-follow examples and 'hands-on' exercises to illuminate key ideas.

From words and phrases to constituency and argumentation – and now with a chapter on tense, aspect and mood – the book's broad coverage and clear organisation make it essential reading for all students of English and Linguistics who are encountering the study of syntax for the first time.

BAS AARTS is Professor of English Linguistics and Director of the Survey of English Usage at University College London, UK. He has published widely in the field and is one of the founding editors of the journal English Language and Linguistics.

1. Introduction
2. Function
3. Form: Words, Word Classes and Phrases
4. More on Form: Clauses and Sentences
5. The Function–Form Interface
6. Predicates, Arguments and Thematic Roles
7. Cross-Categorial Generalisations: X-Bar Syntax
8. More on Clauses
9. Movement
10. Tense, Aspect and Mood
11. Syntactic Argumentation
12. Constituency: Movement and Substitution
13. Constituency: Some Additional Tests
14. Predicates and Arguments Revisited
15. Grammatical Indeterminacy
16. Case Studies
Reference Works: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Grammars and Other Publications on the English Language


"Aarts' textbook provides an engaging initiation into the central discoveries of modern syntactic theory and the art of syntactic argumentation. This revised fourth edition containus numerous exercises which involve the reader in learning syntax by doing it, namely, formulating a scientific hypothesis and testing it against further data. It also features an additional chapter on tense, aspect and mood and a very useful list of further readings. Definitely a must book for undergraduate students who would love to start syntax!" - Yosuke Sato, National University of Singapore
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