English Syntax: From Word to Discourse

Paperback | January 1, 1999

byLynn M. Berk

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English Syntax: From Word to Discourse is a clear and highly accessible descriptive grammar of English with a strong semantic and discourse/functional focus. Designed for beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates in linguistics, it is also suitable for use in TESOL/ESL programsand in English departments. The text explains the basics of English syntax while providing students with a comprehensive view of the richness and complexity of the system. Each structure is discussed in terms of its syntactic features, its meaning, and its uses in discourse, and each discussion isextensively illustrated by examples from written texts of all kinds and by excerpts of spoken language. While the presentation has been influenced by a number of theories, the book presumes no theoretical background on the part of the student and the approach is relatively informal. Syntacticstructures are graphically illustrated by means of nesting boxes rather than tree diagrams. Historical information illuminates some particularly problematic constructions, and the book is punctuated with intriguing facts about English syntax. All terminology is carefully explained and most terms aredefined again in the extensive glossary. Berk anticipates areas where students are likely to have trouble, warns them of pitfalls, and shows them how to avoid common mistakes. English Syntax: From Word to Discourse provides a unique alternative to the formal, generative approach of other texts inthe field.

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From the Publisher

English Syntax: From Word to Discourse is a clear and highly accessible descriptive grammar of English with a strong semantic and discourse/functional focus. Designed for beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates in linguistics, it is also suitable for use in TESOL/ESL programsand in English departments. The text explains...

Lynn M. Berk is at Florida International University.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195123530

ISBN - 13:9780195123531

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionWhat Does Grammar Mean?Grammaticality (Acceptability) JudgmentsHistorical PeriodsEdited EnglishIt's All in Your Head1. Basic Sentence StructureThe Subject Syntax of the Subject Semantic Roles of the Subject Discourse Functions of the SubjectThe PredicateTransitive Verbs and Direct Objects Semantic Roles of the Direct Object Covert Direct Objects "Light" Transitive Verbs Degrees of TransitivityIntransitive VerbsDitransitive Verbs and Indirect Objects Degrees of Ditransitivity Not All Recipients Alternate Discourse Functions of the Indirect Object BenefactivesCopulas and Subject Complements Sensory Copulas Stative Copulas Change of State Copulas Copula Be Restricted Copulas--Stative and Change of StateComplex Transitive Verbs and Object Complements Degrees of Complex TransitivityMarked and Unmarked Word Order2. The Noun PhraseThe Determiner Articles Demonstratives (and Deixis) Indefinite This Quantifying Determiners Genitive Determiners Interrogative DeterminersPredeterminers and PostdeterminersGenitives Genitive Semantic Types Double Genitives Group GenitiveGeneric ReferenceProper NounsNon-Count Nouns Categorizing Non-Count NounsCollective NounsPronouns Personal Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns Reciprocal Pronouns Demonstrative Pronouns Quantifying Pronouns Indefinite Pronouns Interrogative PronounsNoun Phrases in Discourse3. The Verb PhraseTense Tense and Meaning Finite and Non-Finite VerbsAspect Progressive Aspect Perfect AspectTense and Aspect in DiscoursePassive Voice Transitive Verbs that Don't (Readily) Passivize Get Passive Passives with No Corresponding Active The Passive in Discourse Word Order and the PassivePrimary Auxiliaries and the Lexical VerbMulti-Word Lexical Verbs Movable Particles Unmovable Particles Identifying Multi-Word VerbsModality Epistemic Modality in General Deontic Modality in General Modal Auxiliaries Semi-Auxiliaries Auxiliaries, Time, and Tense Mood and ModalityThe Verb Phrase and Scope of Negation Scope of Negation and AuxiliariesThe Verb Phrase and Questions Yes/No Questions Information Seeking Questions (Wh Questions) Tag Questions Multi-Word Auxiliaries as Operators in Questions and Tags Historical Development of the OperatorExclamationsExistential There ConstructionsNarrative Discourse and the Verb Phrase4. ModificationModification of the Noun and the Noun Phrase Prenominal Adjectives Predicate Adjectives Postnominal Adjectives and Adjective Phrases Object Complement Adjectives Limiters Gradability Adjectives and Compound Nouns Adjective Order in the Noun Phrase Internal Structure of the Adjective PhraseAdjective ComplementsUse of the Term AdverbAdjunct Adverbs Intensifying, Downtoning, and Limiting Adjuncts Locatives (Space Adverbs) Temporal Adverbs Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of Means Adverbs of Reason/Purpose Adverbs of Result Adverbial Proforms Some Other Adjunct Categories Problems in Categorizing Adjuncts Movability of Adjuncts Adjuncts and the Scope of Negation Stacking and Coordination of AdjunctsAdjective Phrases Revisited Adjunct Forms That Modify Adjectives Adjectives That Function as AdjunctsDisjuncts Attitude Disjuncts Style Disjuncts Point of View Disjuncts Epistemic DisjunctsConjuncts Sequencing Conjuncts Adding and Reinforcing Conjuncts Resulting Conjuncts Transitional Conjuncts Concessive Conjuncts Some Other Conjuncts Conjuncts in Discourse5. Clauses: Coordination and SubordinationClausesConjoining Conjunction And Conjunction r Conjunction But Coordination and Questions Ellipsis and GappingEmbeddingNominal Clauses That Clauses Infinitive Clauses ING Clauses Relative Tense in Non-Finite Clauses Wh Nominal ClausesClauses as Adjective ComplementsPostnominal Modification Restrictive Relative Clauses Other Restrictive Postnominal Modifiers Non-Restrictive Relative Clauses Restrictive AppositivesAdverbial Clauses Locative Adverbs Temporal Adverbs Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of Means Adverbs of Reason/Purpose and Result Disjuncts and Conjuncts Concessive and Conditional ClausesNotesGlossaryReferencesIndexEach chapter ends with a "Summing Up" section

Editorial Reviews

"[A] descriptive survey of English syntax which appeals to both novice and scholar. Lynn Berk has succeeded in making an important pedagogical contribution for TESOL programs and for students of linguistics and English grammar....Berk's approach makes the book very accessible and useful tostudents in an introductory course on English syntax. The book also serves as a resource for an English as a second language instructor as well as for an advanced second-language learner of English."--Mayrene Bentley in Linguist List