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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Grammar Without Grammaticality
Subtitle: Growth and Limits of Grammatical Precision
Written By: Geoffrey Sampson
Anna Babarczy
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 254

Linguists have standardly assumed that grammar is about identifying all and only the 'good' sentences of a language, which implies that there must be other, 'bad' sentences - but in practice most linguists know that it is hard to pin those down. The standard assumption is no more than an assumption. A century ago, grammarians did not think about their subject that way, and our book shows that the older idea was right: linguists can and should dispense with the concept 'starred sentence'. We draw on corpus data in order to support a different model of grammar, in which individuals refine positive grammatical habits to greater or lesser extents in diverse and unpredictable directions, but nothing is ever ruled out. Languages are not merely alternative methods of verbalizing universal logical forms. We use empirical evidence to shed light on the routes by which school-age children gradually expand their battery of grammatical resources, which turn out to be sometimes counter-intuitive. Our rejection of the 'starred sentence' concept has attracted considerable discussion, and we summarize the reactions and respond to our critics. The contrasting models of grammar described in this book entail contrasting pictures of human nature; our closing chapter shows that grammatical theory is not value-neutral but has an ethical dimension.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Text/Corpus Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783110289770
Pages: 341
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95

Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9783110290011
Pages: 341
Prices: Europe EURO 99.95