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Introducing Syntax



Part of Cambridge Introductions to Language and Linguistics

  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107480643

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About the Authors
  • Syntax is the system of rules that we subconsciously follow when we build sentences. Whereas the grammar of English (or other languages) might look like a rather chaotic set of arbitrary patterns, linguistic science has revealed that these patterns can actually be understood as the result of a small number of grammatical principles. This lively introductory textbook is designed for undergraduate students in linguistics, English and modern languages with relatively little background in the subject, offering the necessary tools for the analysis of phrases and sentences while at the same time introducing state-of-the-art syntactic theory in an accessible and engaging way. Guiding students through a variety of intriguing puzzles, striking facts and novel ideas, Introducing Syntax presents contemporary insights into syntactic theory in one clear and coherent narrative, avoiding unnecessary detail and enabling readers to understand the rationale behind technicalities. Aids to learning include highlighted key terms, suggestions for further reading and numerous exercises, placing syntax in a broader grammatical perspective.

    • Presents the major insights behind syntactic theory in one clear and coherent narrative, avoiding unnecessary technical detail
    • Suitable for readers from linguistics, literature and English language backgrounds
    • Pays attention to most canonical phenomena and constructions of English syntax, fitting them into the overall narrative
    • Features highlighted key terms, chapter introductions and summaries, further reading suggestions, plus numerous exercises
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A lucid, accessible, and deeply informed introduction that leads carefully to substantial understanding of language and linguistics. A very welcome contribution.' Noam Chomsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    'This introduction to syntax is a new and interesting teaching tool. The way it is conceived allows the students to get insights into the reasoning mechanisms of formal syntax that go beyond technicalities. The approach is sound and solid and also provides useful exercises and activities that help the student to start working with the basic bricks of syntactic theory acquiring at the same time the gist of linguistic analysis.' Cecilia Poletto, Goethe University, Frankfurt and University of Padua, Italy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107480643
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. The language machine
    1. Categories and features
    2. Merge
    3. Theta theory
    4. Case theory
    5. Agreement and uninterpretable features
    6. Movement and remerge
    7. Unifying movement and agreement
    8. Syntax and morphology
    9. Syntax and phonology
    10. Syntax and semantics

  • Resources for

    Introducing Syntax

    Olaf Koeneman, Hedde Zeijlstra

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  • Authors

    Olaf Koeneman, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
    Olaf Koeneman is Assistant Professor of English Linguistics at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

    Hedde Zeijlstra, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany
    Hedde Zeijlstra is Professor of English Syntax at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

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