This book offers a systematic account of syntactic categories - the building
blocks of sentences and the units of grammatical analysis - and explains
their place in different theories of language. It sets out and clarifies the
conflicting definitions of competing frameworks which frequently make it hard
or impossible to compare grammars.
Gisa Rauh describes the history and nature of traditional and contemporary
accounts and definitions of grammatical categories. She explains their
properties and use in generative, cognitive, and functional theories, and
considers their function in language typology. She distinguishes between the
cognitive functions of categories that relate to traditional parts of speech and
serve to structure a language's lexicon; and those which determine the
syntactic behaviour of the linguistic items they specify.
Professor Rauh illustrates her account with a wide range of examples. Her
clear and balanced exposition will be welcomed by students and scholars in
all branches of linguistics as well as by those in related subjects such as
computational science and the philosophy of language.