Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, 'Understanding Syntax'
discusses and illustrates all the major terms and concepts essential to the
study of sentence structure in the world's languages. 'Noun' and 'verb' are
explained, and the properties of these categories are discussed. The reader
discovers what a finite verb is, what 'first person singular' means and
what relative clauses look like. Concepts such as 'subject', 'object',
'gender', 'case', and 'subordination' are introduced and exemplified.
Initial illustration is from English, with extensive additional material
from several other languages. 'Exotic' constructions not found in related
European languages are fully covered, so that verb serialization, ergative
languages and head-marking languages are all included.
This new edition has been updated and revised to meet the needs of today's
students. Difficult points are given fuller explanation, a glossary of
technical terms is included, and additional exercises have been introduced
to enable students to consolidate what they have learnt.