By Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum

ISBN-10: 0521612888

ISBN-13: 9780521612883

This groundbreaking undergraduate textbook on glossy commonplace English grammar is the 1st to be in response to the progressive advances of the authors' prior paintings, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002). The textual content is meant for college kids in faculties or universities who've very little past heritage in grammar, and presupposes no linguistics. It includes routines, and may offer a foundation for introductions to grammar and classes at the constitution of English, not just in linguistics departments but additionally in English language and literature departments and faculties of schooling.

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Sample text

Very friendly can't be an object] PREDlCA TIVE COMPLEMENT b. ours. b. / felt a real idiot. b. They seemed very friendlv. Objects are found with a great number of verbs, while predicative complements occur with a quite limited number of verbs, with be by far the most frequent. The constructions differ in both meaning and syntax. A prototypical object refers to a person or other entity involved in the situation. In [ia] there was a meeting between two people, referred to by the subject and object, while in [iia] we have a situation involving Sam and a person described as a real idiot.

But while there are lots of words that have the full set of properties associated with their category, there are others which do not. Take equipment, for example. It's undoubtedly a noun, but it doesn't have a plural form the way nouns generally do. We use the term prototypical for the central or core members of a category that do have the full set of distinctive properties. Cat and dog are examples of prototypical nouns, but equipment is a non­ prototypical noun. Go, know, and tell (and thousands of others) are prototypical verbs, but must is non-prototypical, because (for example) it has no preterite form (*1 musted work late yesterday is ungrammatical), and it can't occur after to (compare 1 don 't want to gQ with *1 don 't want to must work late).

Show, for example, has an irregular past participle: a dictionary needs to tell us that it has the shape shown . And for fly, both preterite (flew) and past participle (flown) are irregular. All regular verbs have identical shapes for the preterite and the past participle, and so indeed do most of the 200 or so irregular verbs. Nevertheless, there are a good number like fly which have distinct shapes. We can set out the paradigms for walk andfly in chart form, with lines indicating distinctions in shape (the order of presenting the forms is chosen purely to make it easy to represent where shape-sharing occurs): [6] Irregular verbs like fly Regular verbs like walk SECONDARY PRIMARY SECONDARY PRIMARY 3rd sing present gerund-participle 3rd sing present gerund-participle walks walking flies flying plain present plain form plain present plain form fly walk walked preterite past participle flew flown preterite past participle When preterite and past participle share the same shape, we can tell which one we have in any given sentence by a substitution test: we select a verb in which preterite and past participle are distinct and substitute it in the example to see which shape is required.

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