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Understanding Syntax

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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?
This is the 3rd edition with a publication date of 9/30/2011.
What is included with this book?
  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.

Related Products

  • Understanding Syntax
    Understanding Syntax


Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, Understanding Syntax, Third Edition discusses and illustrates the major terms and concepts essential to the study of sentence structure in the world's languages. Word classes such as "noun" and "verb" are explained, and the properties of these categories are discussed. You will discover what is meant by the terms "subject" and "object," what a finite verb is, and what relative clauses look like. Concepts such as "gender," "case," and "subordination" are introduced and exemplified, with extensive illustration from English and many other languages. Grammatical constructions and relationships within the clause are fully covered, including verb serialization, ergativity, and head- and dependent-marking grammars.

This new edition has been updated and revised to meet the needs of today's students. Difficult points are given fuller explanation, references have been updated, and important skills are taught, such as how to read examples from languages other than English.

Author Biography

Maggie Tallerman is Professor of Linguistics, Newcastle University.

Table of Contents

A note to the instructor
Note to the student
List of abbreviations used in examples
List of tables
1. What is syntax?
2. Words belong to different classes
3. Looking inside sentences
4. Heads and their dependents
5. How do we identify constituents?
6. Relationships within the clause
7. Processes that change grammatical relations
8. Wh-constructions: questions and relative clauses
9. Asking questions about syntax
Sources of data used in examples
Language index
Subject index

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