A New Form-Function Grammar of English
  • Publication Date: December 20, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554815067 / 1554815061
  • 368 pages; 7¼" x 9"

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A New Form-Function Grammar of English

  • Publication Date: December 20, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781554815067 / 1554815061
  • 368 pages; 7¼" x 9"

This book approaches the structure of English from a form-function perspective that is both theoretical and practical. It asks learners to consider meaning, structure, and use, in contrast to many grammars that focus mainly on structure, sometimes to the exclusion of use and even meaning. The book presents an extended introduction to areas of grammar that many would see as indispensable, such as participial and infinitive phrases. The analysis is achieved largely through form-function tree diagramming and extends the basic structures to include finite and nonfinite predicates.

Comments

“Written in exceptionally clear prose and elucidated with modern-day examples based on the author’s expertise in the history of the English language and grammaticalization studies, A New Form-Function Grammar of English teaches students how form and function are inextricably linked in the analysis of language structure. This approach is a welcome one for educators who recognize the need for teaching both facets of grammar, and the design makes the textbook an ideal adoption for English, rhetoric, linguistics, language arts, and education programs that focus on the stylistic choices expected in the college classroom and beyond, as well as on the underpinnings of language structure more broadly. End-of-chapter exercises provide excellent opportunities for students to apply the content and build on the subject matter presented within and across chapters.” — Dawn Nordquist, University of New Mexico

“Students will find K. Aaron Smith’s A New Form-Function Grammar of English very comprehensive and comprehensible. The book progresses logically through the major aspects of English, and the form-function diagrams used throughout illustrate the topics clearly by providing a visual for how the parts of speech combine into the different constituents of a sentence. While presenting this highly technical material, Smith also discusses informal and spoken English usage and how it differs from prescriptive rules. I particularly appreciate his attention to traditional prescriptivism’s gatekeeping function and his discussion of how to rethink cultural norms to make language more inclusive and socially responsive. Students who read this book will become more informed and thoughtful scholars of English.” — Megan Hartman, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1 DOING GRAMMAR IN MODERN TIMES

  • Linguistic Description: Slipping Standards?
  • What Does Grammar Even Mean Now?
  • The Monolith Fallacy
  • A Note on the Prescriptive and Descriptive Approaches for Future Teachers

2 PARTS OF SPEECH: AN INTRODUCTION TO WORD CLASSES

  • Parts of Speech
    • Lexical versus Grammatical Categories
    • Word Classes Treated in This Book
    • Word Classes and Productivity
    • Lexical Word Classes
      • Nouns
        • Grammatical Pattern of Nouns: Occurrence with the Definite Article
        • Grammatical Pattern of Nouns: Occurrence with the Plural Marker
      • Verbs
      • Adjectives
        • Are Funner and Funnest Correct?
      • Adverbs
    • Grammatical Word Classes
      • Pronouns
      • Auxiliary Verbs
      • Determiners
      • Conjunctions
      • Prepositions

3 UNITS OF GRAMMATICAL ANALYSIS

  • Word
  • Phrase
    • Finite Verb
  • Clause
  • Sentence Types
    • Declarative Sentences
    • Yes/No Questions
    • Wh-Questions
    • Imperative Sentences
    • Tag Questions
    • Exclamative Sentences

4 THE BASIC SENTENCE

  • The Subject–Predicate Split
  • Language Is Like an Onion
  • Form versus Function
    • Form–Function Diagrams
  • The Noun Phrase
    • Potential Parts of the Noun Phrase
      • Determiners
        • The Definite Article
        • The Indefinite Article
        • The Demonstrative
        • The Possessive Determiner
        • Diagramming Noun Phrases with Determiners
      • Adjectives
      • Prepositional Phrases
    • Review of Determiners within Noun Phrases

5 NOUNS AND PRONOUNS

  • Nouns
    • Proper Nouns and Common Nouns
    • Count and Non-Count Nouns
    • Collective Nouns
    • Pluralia Tantum and Similar Nouns
    • Irregular Plurals
      • Older English Plurals
      • Voicing Plurals
      • Foreign Plurals
        • Latin
        • Greek
        • Hebrew
  • Pronouns
    • Personal Pronouns
      • Subject Pronouns
      • Pronouns and Gender
      • Object Pronouns
      • Possessive Pronouns
      • Compound Pronouns and Case
    • Demonstrative Pronouns
    • Indefinite Pronouns
    • Impersonal Pronouns and Gender
    • Reflexive/Reciprocal Pronouns
    • Quantifier Expressions
    • Relative and Interrogative Pronouns

6 FUNCTIONS OF THE NOUN PHRASE

  • Noun Phrase as Subject
    • Dummy Subjects and Cleft Sentences
    • Existential Constructions
  • Noun Phrase as Direct Object
    • Transitivity
  • Noun Phrase as Subject Complement
  • Noun Phrase as Indirect Object
  • Noun Phrase as Object Complement
  • Diagramming Noun Phrases
    • Noun Phrase as Direct Object
    • Noun Phrase as Indirect Object
    • Noun Phrase as Subject Complement
    • Noun Phrase as Object Complement
  • Appositives

7 FUNCTIONS OF PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES

  • Adjuncts
    • The Core of the Clause
    • Attitudinal Adjuncts
    • Adverbial Adjuncts
    • Adverbial Complements
      • Adverbial Complements Following Copulative Verbs
      • Diagramming Adverbial Complements
      • Completion of the Trajectory of a Verb
      • Analyzing Sentences with Multiple Prepositional Phrases
      • Prepositional Verbs
      • Phrasal Verbs
        • Intransitive Phrasal Verbs
        • Transitive Phrasal Verbs
        • Separable and Inseparable Phrasal Verbs
        • Prepositional-Phrasal Verbs
      • Adverbial Complements Following Adjectives

8 THE INFLECTION PHRASE

  • Tense versus Aspect
  • Verb Forms
    • Notes on the Forms
    • Synopsis of the English Verb
      • Present Progressive
      • Present Perfect
      • Present-Perfect Progressive
      • Past Progressive
      • Past Perfect
      • Past-Perfect Progressive
    • Diagramming Verbs
      • Be as the Only Verb in a Sentence

9 OTHER VERB FORMS

  • The Subjunctive Mood
    • The First Subjunctive
    • The Second Subjunctive
  • Modal Verbs
    • Deontic Meaning
    • Ability
    • Epistemicity
    • Future Time
    • Quasi-Modals
    • Modal Verbs in Combination with the Progressive and Perfect Verb Forms
    • Diagramming Modals

10 NEGATION

  • Negation in the Predicate Phrase
    • Not
    • Near-Negatives
  • Negation in the Noun Phrase
    • The Negative Determiner No
    • Negative Indefinite Pronouns
    • Any
  • Two Negatives Make a Positive?

11 ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE

  • Semantic Roles
  • Passivization
    • When to Use the Passive
    • Passive Verb Forms
    • Stative versus Inchoative Passive
    • Diagramming Passive Sentences

12 QUESTION FORMATION

  • Types of Questions
    • Yes/No Questions
    • Wh-Questions
  • Who/Whom
  • Wh-Words as Objects of a Preposition: Pied-Piping versus Preposition Stranding
  • Echo Questions
  • Tag Questions
  • Aren’t I or Am I Not?
  • Tag Questions with There Is and There Are

13 COORDINATION AND COMPOUND SENTENCES

  • Coordinating Conjunctions
    • Lists and the Oxford Comma
    • Parallel Structure
  • Correlative Conjunctions
  • False Coordination
  • Conjunctive Adverbs
  • Subordination versus Coordination
  • Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences
  • Diagramming Coordinating Conjunctions

14 ADVERBIAL CLAUSES

  • Types of Adverbial Clauses
    • Clauses of Time
    • Clauses of Place
    • Clauses of Concession
    • Clauses of Adverseness
    • Clauses of Cause
    • Clauses of Result
    • Clauses of Purpose
    • Clauses of Similarity
    • Clauses of Commentary
    • Clauses of Condition
  • The Structure of Complementizers
  • The Second Subjunctive
    • Subjunctive Verb Forms in Other Adverbial Clauses
    • If I Were or If I Was?

15 RELATIVE CLAUSES

  • Restrictive versus Non-Restrictive Relative Clauses
    • Restrictive Relative Clauses
      • Who and That as Subjects and Direct Objects
      • Ø-Relative
      • Relative Pronouns as Object of the Preposition
      • Pied-Piping versus Preposition Stranding
    • Non-Restrictive Relative Clauses
  • Relative Determiner Whose
  • A Recap of Relative Pronoun Usage

16 NOUN CLAUSES

  • Type I Noun Clauses
  • Type II Noun Clauses
  • Type III Noun Clauses
  • Reported Speech and Tense Shifting

17 INFINITIVE AND PARTICIPLE PHRASES

  • Infinitives
    • Forms of the Infinitive
  • Forms of the Participle
  • The Phrase–Clause Boundary
  • Participle Phrases and Gerunds
  • The Participle–Noun Continuum
  • Complements and Adjuncts in Infinitive and Participle Phrases
  • Compound Infinitives and Participles
  • Infinitives and Participles in Modifying Functions
  • Adverbial Function of Infinitives and Participles
  • A Final Note on Form–Function Trees

18 GRAMMAR MYTHS

  • Grammar Myth #1: Don’t End a Sentence with a Preposition
  • Grammar Myth #2: Don’t Start a Sentence with a Conjunction
  • Grammar Myth #3: People Who Don’t Speak Correctly Are Lazy
  • Grammar Myth #4: People Who Don’t Speak Correctly Are Stupid
  • Grammar Myth #5: Don’t Use the Passive
  • Grammar Myth #6: Singular They Is Wrong
  • Grammar Myth #7: Use of Singular They Achieves Gender “Neutrality”
  • Grammar Myth #8: Two Negatives Make a Positive
  • Grammar Myth #9: People Used Better Language in the Past
  • Grammar Myth #10: Don’t Split Infinitives
  • Grammar Myth #11: Ain’t Ain’t a Word

APPENDIX A: PREPOSITIONS

  • Single-Word Prepositions
  • Multi-Word Prepositions

APPENDIX B: LIST OF PHRASAL VERBS

Index

K. Aaron Smith is Professor of English at Illinois State University and the author, with Susan Kim, of This Language, A River: A History of English (2017).

  • • Balances discussion of grammatical structure, form, and function in a non-prescriptive, contemporary way
  • • Covers a broader range of areas of grammar than many competitors
  • • Extensive sentence examples, in-book exercises for students, and form-function grammar trees throughout

Read Chapter 1 of A New Form-Function Grammar of English, Doing Grammar in Modern Times.