By Lynn M. Berk
English Syntax: From Word to Discourse is a clear and highly accessible descriptive grammar of English with a strong semantic and discourse/functional focus. Designed for beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates in linguistics, it is also suitable for use in TESOL/ESL programs and in English departments. The text explains the basics of English syntax while providing students with a comprehensive view of the richness and complexity of the system. Each structure is discussed in terms of its syntactic features, its meaning, and its uses in discourse, and each discussion is extensively illustrated by examples from written texts of all kinds and by excerpts of spoken language. While the presentation has been influenced by a number of theories, the book presumes no theoretical background on the part of the student and the approach is relatively informal. Syntactic structures are graphically illustrated by means of nesting boxes rather than tree diagrams. Historical information illuminates some particularly problematic constructions, and the book is punctuated with intriguing facts about English syntax. All terminology is carefully explained and most terms are defined again in the extensive glossary. Berk anticipates areas where students are likely to have trouble, warns them of pitfalls, and shows them how to avoid common mistakes. English Syntax: From Word to Discourse provides a unique alternative to the formal, generative approach of other texts in the field.