LINGUIST List 11.1263

Tue Jun 6 2000

Books: Modern English and Syntax Textbooks

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Paul Peranteau, Modern English & Syntax Textbooks: Examination copies available

Message 1: Modern English & Syntax Textbooks: Examination copies available

Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 16:13:53 -0400
From: Paul Peranteau <>
Subject: Modern English & Syntax Textbooks: Examination copies available

John Benjamins Publishing will be introducing two new textbooks for
the linguistic classroom. These will both contain CD-ROM pedagogical

We are looking for departments beyond our usual contacts to examine
the texts for possible use and for critical comment. Please reply to
any of the many informational conduits below if you (as a departmental
designate) are interested in previewing either or both works*.

The Structure of Modern English:
A linguistic introduction
Laurel J. Brinton (University of Victoria)

Audience: advanced undergraduate (and graduate) students interested in
contemporary English, including those whose primary area of interest
is English as a second language, primary or secondary ADschool
education, English literature, theoretical and applied linguistics, or
speech pathology.

This textbook gives a full introduction to the English sounds,
grammar, and vocabulary. It begins with a study of distinctive sounds
of English (phonology). It turns next to an analysis of the structure
of English words and their classification (morphology) as well as the
classification of English words and their grammatical
modification. This is followed by an exploration of the meaning of
English words (lexical semantics). The next section is taken up with a
detailed analysis of English sentence structure (syntax) from a
generative perspective. The text then looks at the interaction of
syntax and semantics (sentence semantics) and considers the functions
and contexts of language use (pragmatics). A CD-ROM accompanies the
textbook with a complete workbook with self-testing exercises; and a
chapter on pedagogical applications of the material presented in the

This textbook is addressed to advanced undergraduate (and graduate)
students interested in contemporary English, including those whose
primary area of interest is English as a second language, primary or
secondary ADschool education, English literature, theoretical and
applied linguistics, or speech pathology.

Emphasis on empirical facts: unlike many other introductory
linguistics textbook, this textbook emphasizes the empirical facts of
English rather than any particular theory of linguistics.

No prior linguistic knowledge required: this text does now assume any
background in language or linguistics. All necessary terms and
concepts are presented in the text.

Results: Upon completion of this textbook and accompanying workbook,
students will have acquired the following:
1. a knowledge of the sound system of contemporary English;
2. an understanding of the formation of English words and of their
 grammatical modification;
3. a comprehension of the structure of both simple and complex sentences in
4. a recognition of complexities in the expression of meaning, on both the
 word and sentence level;
5. an understanding of the effects of context and function of use upon the
 structure of the language

To appear August 2000, paperback, 352 pp incl. CD-ROM workbook
1 55619 662 8 USD29.95

English Sentence Analysis
An introductory course
By Marjolijn Verspoor and Kim Sauter
English Department, University of Groningen

English Sentence Analysis: An introductory course is designed as a
10-week course for students of English Language and Literature,
Linguistics, or other language related fields.

In 10 weeks the student will be proficient in English analysis at
sentence, clause and phrase level and have a solid understanding of
the traditional terms and concepts of English syntax. This
introduction prepares for practical courses in grammar and writing
skills and for theoretical courses in syntactic argumentation.

The package consists of a Course Book with 8 Chapters and a CD-Rom
Practice Program.

The Course Book
- Shows sentence structures in clear graphics
- Contains logically structured chapters with Introductions and Summaries
- Provides exercises with quotations and excerpts from English and
 American literature.The Practice Program
- over 800 exercises
- over 700 authentic quotations and excerpts from literature and popular
 music to analyze
- detailed feedback with hyperlinks to theoretical explanations
- a comprehensive theory module
- an on-screen score count
- adapts to the individual student's problem areas

The 8 Chapters of the Course Book are designed for a classroom taught
introductory course of about 10 weeks, but can also be used for self

The chapters are incremental and can best be studied in the given

Each Chapter deals with two to four topics and opens with a short
Introduction listing these topics, and ends with a Summary reviewing
the new concepts. More exercises are included (in addition to the
Practice Program), with original passages from well-known short
stories to test if the concepts are understood. The answers are given
at the back of the book.

The Practice Program has 8 units of exercises that complement the
chapters of the course book. The exercises consist of quotations from
literature and pop songs from British, American and Australian
sources, with specific feedback and hyperlinks to a comprehensive
theory module, which can also be accessed independently.

Adaptive to the student's skills
Each unit first provides a set of about 25 questions covering the
topics discussed in the course book chapter. These questions can be
answered within 30 minutes. If the student scores below 80 % on any of
the topics from the chapter, a new set of questions will appear
focusing only on topics the student does not master yet. If the score
is still below 80 % another adapted set will be presented. If the
student still scores below 80 % after four runs of new questions, the
questions are recycled, focusing again on the student's problem areas.

Basic principles
The course is ready for use, flexible to the student's skills, and
based on language in use. The theory module is theory neutral and
includes functional and cognitive linguistic insights where useful.
Traditional linguistic terms are used throughout. For example, the
functions of sentence constituents are Subject, Predicator, Direct

Indirect Object, Benefactive Object, Subject Attribute, Object
Attribute and Adverbial which may consist of phrases (NP, VP, PP, AdjP
or AdvP) or clauses (finite or non-finite). The course emphasizes
that there may be several possible layers of analysis within a

English Sentence Analysis: An introductory course has been classroom
tested at various universities. The students seem to enjoy the
'dreaded' syntax course and pass rates have gone up significantly from
50 to 70 %. Students like the sentences they work with and are often
heard chuckling from behind their computers as they go through the
Practice Program improving their skills and scores.

(The Practice Program is based on Hologram, designed and adapted by
the University of Groningen, Fac. of Arts, Centre for ICT and
Learning. A network version is being developed.)

*We will supply a maximum of 25 examination each in response to this

To appear August 2000, paperback, ca. 200 pp. including CD-ROM, 1
55619 661 X, USD$29.95

 John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Offices: Philadelphia Amsterdam:
Phone: +215 836-1200 +31 20 6762325
Fax: +215 836-1204 +31 20 6739773
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----------------- Major Supporters ----------------

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John Benjamins

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Multilingual Matters

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U. of Marburg & Max Hueber Verlag

Utrecht Institute of Linguistics

Vaxjo: Acta Wexionesia

Virittaja Aikakauslehti
Wednesday, May 17, 2000