Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure


A problem-solving approach to language which can be used as an introduction to English grammar or a theory of syntax. Over eighty practical exercises are included.In Sentence Structure, Nigel Fabb outlines the main aspects of English sentence structure.Sentence Structure:* Is based on a problem-solving approach to language* Can be used as an introduction to English grammarand/or to the theory of syntax* Teaches a simple method for confident and accuratesentence analysis* Contains over 80 practical exercises* Includes sample sentences from four Asian and Africanlanguages to provide a basis for comparativelinguistics


This book can be used for a course in English grammar or an introductory course in linguistics (specifically, an introduction to syntax). It focuses on the foundational issues of identification and solution of problems in sentence structure. It is not centrally concerned with teaching traditional grammatical terminology (you can see exactly what it does teach by looking at the index), and it avoids reference to the details of linguistic theory (except in unit 12).

The book can be used for independent study, though you will find it helpful to discuss your answers to exercises with someone else.

It is important to do the exercises. Some of them introduce material which is not otherwise found in the text, and later exercises may build on the results of earlier ones. This is particularly true of the exercises on English, all of which you should complete. The exercises on other languages (many using the final corpora) are less central to the argument of the book, but provide a breadth and richness to your understanding of sentence structure which will be essential if you plan to do any further work in linguistics.

The exercises range from quite easy to quite difficult; some help you to consolidate and test your understanding of the unit you have read, while others ask you to explore problems which have been a source of difficulty and controversy even for fully developed linguistic theories.

Write down the answers and draw the tree structures (rather than just imagining what the answer might be); solving problems in sentence structure is often a matter of putting something down on a page, and then examining it.

You should not need to do any supplementary or background reading while you are reading and working through this book. At the end, we provide a list of more advanced or more detailed books which you might turn to once you have finished this one.

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