This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
This groundbreaking undergraduate textbook on modern Standard English grammar is the first to be based on the revolutionary advances of the authors' previous work, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002). The analyses defended there are outlined here more briefly, in an engagingly accessible and informal style. Errors of the older tradition of English grammar are noted and corrected, and the excesses of prescriptive usage manuals are firmly rebutted in specially highlighted notes that explain what older authorities have called 'incorrect' and show why those authorities are mistaken. This book is intended for students in colleges or universities who have little or no previous background in grammar, and presupposes no linguistics. It contains exercises, and will provide a basis for introductions to grammar and courses on the structure of English not only in linguistics departments but also in English language and literature departments and schools of education.