A Semantic Approach To English Grammar

Paperback | April 18, 2006

byR. M. W. Dixon

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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 bitof 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 hewould 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 recentchanges 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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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 bitof grammar its own function, their combinati...

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 Langu...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:568 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 1.28 inPublished:April 18, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199247404

ISBN - 13:9780199247400

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Table of Contents

Part I Introduction1. Orientation2. Grammatical SketchPart II The Semantic Types3. Noun, Adjective, and Verb Types4. Primary-A Verb Types5. Primary-B Verb Types6. Secondary Verb TypesPart III Some Grammatical Topics7. Tense and Aspect8. Complement Clauses9. Transitivity and Causatives10. Nominalisations and Possession11. Passives12. Adverbs and Negation13. Promotion to Subject14. GIVE A VERB, HAVE A VERB, and TAKE A VERB ConstructionsAppendixReferencesBooks by R.M.W. DixonIndex

Editorial Reviews

`will certainly repay repeated reading ... deserves the attention of any serious grammarian of English'Times Literary Supplement