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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


'The emphasis on argumentation in this textbook is particularly useful. The writing is clear and appropriate for undergraduate students. The exercises are meaty and fun to do.' - Thomas B. Klein, Georgia Southern University, USA'A book that really understands the key issues for students, and helps them to appreciate what syntax is about.' - Laura Rupp, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands 'Highly accessible to any reader interested in the formal study of sentence and phrase structure in modern linguistics...an important addition to the growing series ofintroductory syntax textbooks due to its general accessibility, wealth of English data and extensive exercises, and much needed in-depth discussion of syntactic argumentation. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has no previous experience in syntax but wants to learn about it.' - Yosuke Sato, Department of Linguistics, University of British Columbia, CanadaReviews of the first edition:'This introductory textbook offers a solid exposition of the foundational topics required for the investigation and study of English sentence structure ... it is clearly written in an accessible style.' - Language'An ideal introduction to syntax.' - The Year's Work in English Studies
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