Syntax

Syntax

Syntax

Syntax

Excerpt

The purpose of this volume is to present a systematic and rather full outline of English syntax based upon actual usage. The book contains the fruits of many years of earnest investigation. From the beginning of these studies the great Oxford Dictionary has been an unfailing source of inspiration and concrete help. The author owes much also to the large works of the foreign students of our language, the grammars of Jespersen, Poutsma, Kruisinga, Gustav Krüger, and Wendt, the first three written in English, the last two in German. Moreover, there is a considerable foreign literature in the form of monographs and articles in technical language journals. The author has learned much from the keen observations of these foreign scholars, who have sharp eyes for the peculiarities of our language. He has also made extensive use of the quotations gathered by them and the many other foreign workers in this field. In the same way he has availed himself of the materials gathered by English-speaking scholars. This book could not have been made without the aid of these great stores of fact. But to get a clear, independent view of present usage and its historical development the author found it necessary to read widely for himself, in older English and in the present period, in British literature and, especially, in American literature, which has not been studied so generally as it deserves. Almost the entire important literature of the early part of the Modern English period has been read, in critical editions where such have appeared. Everywhere attention has been called to the loose structure of the English sentence at that time and to the subsequent development of our simple, terse, differentiated forms of expression -- an eloquent testimony to the growing intellectual life of the English-speaking people. In the best literature of his own time the author has read so extensively that he feels that his findings have independent value. With his eyes constantly upon present usage, he has read a large number of recent novels, dramas, lectures, orations, speeches, letters, essays, histories, scientific treatises, poems, etc., from all parts of the English-speaking . . .

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