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A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (General Grammar) 2nd Revised ed. Edition
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The _Comprehensive Grammar_ is an expanded and revised version of a series of grammars first published in 1972 (starting with _A Grammar of Contemporary English_.) Since its publication, this book has been *the* standard reference work used by professional grammarians. It is a scholarly, descriptive account of English based on extensive analysis of real usage. It is particularly strong in the way that it stresses the communicative functions of English. It tries to present material without being bound to a specific theoretical position. In many ways, this was a wise idea, since it has allowed the book to remain useful over the years while syntactic theories have changed drastically.
If you come to this book from traditional, schoolbook grammars, this work will seem quite modern, especially in its treatment of tense and with some word categories like determiners.
On the other hand, since the basic framework for this book was laid down in the 1960s, it does not reflect much of the research that has occurred since.
I have used this book for years now, and until recently, I would have recommended it without reservation as the best reference grammar available and given it five stars, despite the fact that it was beginning to get a bit long in the tooth. In 2002, however, Huddleston and Pullum brought out their _Cambridge Grammar of the English Language_, which is destined to supplant Quirk, et al. as the standard reference.Read more ›
Edit: I agree with Karl Hagen. Huddleston and Pullum's monumental Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, released shortly after my review above, is a superior text in many ways. Attempting to codify grammar is extraordinarily challenging since it seeks to discern structure in a body of data that emerged randomly and continues to morph unpredictably. The grammarians who most completely recognize their role as observers and documenters of language will produce the most useful analysis of grammar. There are many points throughout the Cambridge Grammar where the authors rethink long-standing tenets because an alternate approach makes more sense, even to the point of restructuring the basic word groups. For example, why are nouns and pronouns in different word groups? They operate virtually identically for purposes of grammar, why complicate matters by breaking them out into two groups? The author's deep understanding of grammar is evident throughout, which makes the Cambridge Grammar, as large as it is, a pleasure to read.
This book, of course, was written for linguists and is not for the layperson.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This really is the comprehensive grammar of English.
It's very well organized as a reference. Read more
in the world of grammar, it is claasic :)
every filed of grammar you have an interest can be found in this legendary book
I not kidding dis good book. Oh yeah, good for de english. you likey english dis good book. real good for de grammer an de sentence. Read morePublished on September 17, 2013 by Gdogg G
Although it is an expensive book, it covers all the doubts I have ever had. I fact, I have just read some pages but the texts are clear and very informative. Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by roberio feitosa liborio arraes