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An Introduction to Grammar for Language Learners


  • Author: Don Ringe, University of Pennsylvania
  • Date Published: August 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108441230

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About the Authors
  • Learning a foreign language is much easier when it is approached with a knowledge of language structure ('grammar'), but many students find grammar mystifying. This text explains points of grammar straightforwardly using examples from several widely-studied languages, including English, so that students can see how the same principles work across different languages, and how the structures of different languages correspond both formally and functionally. The use of concrete examples makes grammar less abstract and easier to grasp, allowing students to relate what they are learning to knowledge that they already possess unconsciously; it simultaneously brings that knowledge up to a conscious level.

    • The first general, non-language-specific textbook to introduce the universal principles of grammar for students embarking on the study of a modern foreign language
    • Takes examples from a range of commonly-studied languages, to show students the universal grammatical principles that apply to all languages
    • Accessibly and simply written, for students with no prior knowledge of linguistics or linguistic terminology
    • Suitable for both self-study and classroom use
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This excellent book represents a new approach to languages and how to learn them. It takes the reader through the wonderful peculiarities and challenges of real language with minimal jargon and maximum common sense. It is packed with insight and practical tips on how to start understanding grammar.' Stephen Colvin, University College London

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108441230
    • length: 230 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 174 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    How to use this book
    1. Introduction
    2. Sentences, clauses, and their verbs
    3. Subjects
    4. Noun phrases
    5. Pronouns and subject-verb agreement
    6. Direct objects
    7. Double-object verbs
    8. 'Linking' verbs
    9. Personal pronoun systems
    10. Reflexives and passives
    11. Possession
    12. Gender, concord, and noun classifications
    13. Case systems and adpositions: the Latin system
    14. Tense, aspect, and auxiliary verbs: the English verb system
    15. Tense, aspect, and mood: the Spanish verb system
    16. The Latin verb system
    17. The Hebrew verb system
    18. The Navajo verb system
    19. The Mandarin verb system
    20. Negation
    21. Questions
    22. Adjectives and relative clauses
    23. Articles, demonstratives, and quantifiers
    24. Subordinate clauses, infinitives, and verbal nouns
    25. Participles
    26. Comparative constructions
    27. The segmental sounds of human languages
    28. Prosody
    29. Writing systems
    30. The lexicon
    Epilogue: 'bad grammar'
    Answers to the exercises
    Glossary of technical terms
    Languages used as examples in the exercises

  • Author

    Don Ringe, University of Pennsylvania
    Don Ringe has been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students for more than thirty years. In addition to historical linguistics and comparative Indo-European linguistics, he has taught a wide range of ancient and mediaeval languages. In 2012 he won the Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of half a dozen linguistics books.

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