Foundations of English grammar : for university students and advanced learners

Foundations of English grammar : for university students and advanced learners


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As its subtitle puts it, Foundations of English grammar is intended for university students and advanced learners. Thus it positions itself between grammars for the general public, which must shy away from calling on linguistic concepts, and major scholarly descriptions of English, which are definitely beyond the grasp of someone without previous linguistic knowledge. Foundations does not presuppose that: it explains all the linguistic concepts it uses. But since it is primarily intended for university students, these concepts are fairly sophisticated, and they come from a wide range of linguistic schools. Foundations is neither a contrastive grammar (systematically comparing English with Dutch) nor a normative one (though it will signal disputed usages that are current). It is a descriptive grammar of modern, living English, concentrating on British English, with brief discussions of important American English features. In this sixth edition, eight chapters have been revised, some very extensively: roughly, those on the noun phrase, on verbal complementation, and on the complex sentence. New grammatical concepts have been introduced and others have been defined more sharply, most obviously in chapter zero, which explains the basic framework, but elsewhere as well. When possible, explanations have been simplified; when necessary, they have been made more precise. Recent changes in the English language have been accounted for, in grammar as well as in usage. A noticeable change in all revised chapters is that the examples, many of which had to be made up in the pre-computer age, are now all real-life examples, culled mainly from the world-wide web. Though conceived first and foremost as a textbook, Foundations has always been and remains eminently serviceable as a reference grammar, thanks to its detailed tables of contents (each chapter has its own), its extensive index and its many cross references.


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