THE CAMBRIDGE GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BOOK

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The Cambridge Grammar Of The English Language Book

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The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, often abbreviated CGEL by its adherents, is a comprehensive reference book on English language grammar . The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language book. Read 2 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The Cambridge Grammar of the. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language Leatherbound Edition by Rodney D. Huddleston, , available at Book.

When we disagree about such phrases as "my partner and I", this may be a matter of taste, but from that it does not follow, as the editors assume, that "all evidence" is simply "beside the point".

If that were so, then nobody could be "someone eminently worthy of being followed in matters of taste and literary style", as they say on the same page, nor would there be any reason for appealing, as they sometimes do, to "the writings of highly prestigious authors" or "the usage of the best writers" they carefully refrain from naming these paragons.

They say of the sentence "In this day and age one must circle round and explore every avenue" that it "may be loaded with careworn verbiage, or it may even be arrant nonsense, but there is absolutely nothing grammatically wrong with it".

The sentence seems innocent enough in contrast to their own comment, which groans with inexactitude and redundancy: the example is not nonsense of any kind, being easily intelligible; the grammarians' "arrant" and "absolutely" are semantically empty, thoughtlessly transferring habits of spoken emphasis into the written language.

The lavender of the subjunctive

And what is "careworn verbiage"? Perhaps the adjective is here a new portmanteau word made up from "outworn" and "careless". Nor are they to be wholly trusted when they tell us "The most frequent use of media is in the phrase the media, applied to the means of mass communication, the press, radio, and television, where both singular agreement and plural agreement are well established" we indiscriminately say "the media is All descriptive grammarians can determine is whether something is "established" or not; their "well" is illicit.

After all, there are many things which are certainly "established" but only arguably "well established" - the Church of England, for example.

Take the case of "only". The Cambridge Grammar observes wearily: "There is a long-standing prescriptive tradition of This is another of those well-known prescriptive rules that are massively at variance with actual usage.

Because linguists busy themselves with "actual usage" "synchronic" study of the language, in their terms , they are professionally bound to scant other, earlier usages; the "long-standing" must always give way to the "actual". For the purposes of linguistics, sharp focus on current English is entirely legitimate, but there are things we may, and perhaps should, want to know about our language other than those synchronic description can reveal.

Such as what Ben Jonson meant when he wrote: Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kisse but in the cup, And Ile not looke for wine.

He was not asking Celia to restrict her drinking of healths to his alone but either calling her his "onely" or, more likely, saying that her eyes were the one intoxicant he needed, just as "leave a kisse but in the cup" means that a blown kiss, the mere aftermath of her lips, is all he wants on his. The traditional usage is actual in his lines every time somebody reads them with understanding; it was still going strong when Dick Powell, in a Busby Berkeley musical, sang the magnificent compliment "I only have eyes for you".

Put the "only" elsewhere and the schmooze evaporates: "Only I have eyes for you" nobody else would look at you twice ; "I have only eyes for you" I like looking but don't want to touch ; "I have eyes for you only" the others leave me cold - none of them matches the hyperbole of "I only have eyes for you", which can imply he was given vision just to look at her.

The usage of those who abide by exploded, traditional rules is usage still; maiden aunts who would rather expose themselves at evensong than ask for "a large quantity of stamps" should be equal in the eyes of historical description with those who don't even remember that "agenda" was once a plural and feel they need an s for the agendas they progress through. Freud imagined that "where the Coliseum now stands we could at the same time admire Nero's vanished Golden House.

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That is, does the poet report that formalities have this effect or does he wish for them to do so compare "Saints preserve us!

The Cambridge Grammar rightly doubts that "present-day English" can be grammatically analysed in this way, because "historical change has more or less eliminated mood from the inflectional system", and it sensibly re-describes "subjunctive" as "the name of a syntactic construction - a clause that is finite but tenseless, containing the plain form of the verb".

Hill's line, though, is a revolving door between Englishes past and present, and intimates a history of moods, verbal and otherwise.

The faint but persistent lavender of the subjunctive about his "preserve" gives him reason for a moment to regard himself as superseded or at least on his way into the shade, as if, talking to an elderly relative, he began to feel his own self aged too.

Similarly with gerunds, those elusive beasts from earlier grammars so magnificently drawn by Ronald Searle in his cartoons of "The Private Life of the Gerund" in How to Be Topp.

Hardcover , pages. Published April 15th by Cambridge University Press. More Details Original Title.

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The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language

Sort order. Dec 10, Craig rated it it was amazing.

A truly great descriptive grammar Dec 17, Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference. Kim rated it liked it Jul 27, Sandra rated it liked it Jun 21, Dirk Elzinga rated it it was amazing Apr 01, Kristina Kirby rated it it was amazing Jan 04, Khalid Khan rated it it was amazing Feb 05, Towry rated it it was amazing Aug 23, Tom Nguyen rated it it was amazing Oct 30, Sample text Abstract: This comprehensive new grammar for the 21st century is designed for anyone with a serious interest in the structure of international Standard English, combining clear grammatical principles with non-technical explanations of all terms and concepts used.

Diagrams, cross-references, an extensive index, and user-friendly design and typography enhance the volume's usefulness.

Read more Reviews Editorial reviews Publisher Synopsis 'This grammar has benefited from extensive collaboration with scholars who have contributed substantial parts to individual chapters. An impressively voluminous piece of work. A reference work that should be available to all grammarians.

An authoritative addition to the fields of both English grammar and linguistics. Recommended for all academic libraries.The verb Rodney Huddleston; 4. The last line of Geoffrey Hill's poem, "Pisgah", reads: Syntactic overview Rodney Huddleston; 3.

Syntactic overview Rodney Huddleston; 3.

Nor are they to be wholly trusted when they tell us "The most frequent use of media is in the phrase the media, applied to the means of mass communication, the press, radio, and television, where both singular agreement and plural agreement are well established" we indiscriminately say "the media is This was a magnificent team effort, spanning more than ten years.

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