LINGUIST List 30.1692

Thu Apr 18 2019

Books: Grammatical Complexity in Academic English: Biber, Gray

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Date: 05-Apr-2019
From: Lucy Ridgway <>
Subject: Grammatical Complexity in Academic English: Biber, Gray
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Title: Grammatical Complexity in Academic English
Subtitle: Linguistic Change in Writing
Published: 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Douglas Biber
Author: Bethany Gray
Paperback: ISBN: 9781108712958 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 30.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781108712958 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 22.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781108712958 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 26.83

Editor’s Note: This is a new edition of a previously announced book.

Grammatical Complexity in Academic English uses corpus-based analyses to challenge a number of dominant stereotypes and assumptions within linguistics. Biber and Gray tackle the nature of grammatical complexity, demonstrating that embedded phrasal structures are as important as embedded dependent clauses. The authors also overturn ingrained assumptions about linguistic change, showing that grammatical change occurs in writing as well as speech. This work establishes that academic writing is structurally compressed (rather than elaborated); that it is often not explicit in the expression of meaning; and that scientific academic writing has been the locus of some of the most important grammatical changes in English over the past 200 years (rather than being conservative and resistant to change). Supported throughout with textual evidence, this work is essential reading for discourse analysts, sociolinguists, and applied linguists, as well as descriptive linguists and historical linguists.

1. Academic writing: challenging the stereotypes; 2. Using corpora to analyze grammatical change; 3. Phrasal versus clausal discourse styles: a synchronic grammatical description of academic writing contrasted with other registers; 4. The historical evolution of phrasal discourse styles in academic writing; 5. The functional extension of phrasal grammatical features in academic writing; 6. The loss of explicitness in academic research writing; 7. Conclusion.

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Discourse Analysis
                            Historical Linguistics
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 18-Apr-2019