The Cambridge grammar of the English language /. Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 0 The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, often abbreviated CGEL by its adherents, is a comprehensive reference book on English language grammar. Its primary authors are Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum. English Grammar. RODNEY HUDDLESTON. Ullil’ersity of Queensland. GEOFFREY K. PULLUM. Ulliversity ()f Caliji)mia, Santa Cru. “CAMBRIDGE.:>.
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The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language — Northwestern Scholars
Take the case of “only”. They explain convincingly why “my partner and me” would be no more grammatical; there is no better reason to require English pronouns always to comply with Pullumm inflection for the accusative case than there is regularly to hear English verse according to Graeco-Roman templates such as the “iambic pentameter” which have been misleading our hurdleston since the 19th century.
The descriptive grammarian in quest of systematic clarity grammra correctly observe that “historically the gerund and present participle of traditional grammar have different sources, but in Modern English the forms are identical.
Nor are they to be wholly trusted when they tell us “The most frequent use of media is in the phrase the media, applied to the means of mass gramjar, the press, radio, and television, where both singular agreement and plural agreement are well established” we indiscriminately say “the media is The Cambridge Grammar would call this “desententialisation”, and alert us to the lack of clear bearings on “time referred to” the time Dickens is writing about and “time of orientation” the time Dickens is writing in or from.
It is not confused, it is superbly elliptical, even aeronautic. Higher education English and creative writing Ben Jonson reviews.
The Cambridge Grammar spends 20 extremely well-observed pages on “number and countability” in current English, and would dismiss the claim that “one” should take a verb in the singular; “one” with a plural verb is not looseness but “usage”. The traditional usage is actual in his lines every time somebody reads them with understanding; it was still going strong when Dick Powell, in a Busby Berkeley musical, sang the magnificent compliment “I only have eyes for you”.
Or consider some characteristic lines from one of the language’s most grammatically resourceful writers, Emily Dickinson: Because linguists busy themselves with “actual usage” “synchronic” study of the language, in their termsthey are professionally bound to scant other, earlier usages; the “long-standing” must always give way to the “actual”.
He was not asking Celia to restrict her drinking of healths to his alone but either calling her his “onely” or, more likely, saying that her eyes were the one intoxicant he needed, just as “leave a kisse but in the cup” means that a blown kiss, the mere aftermath of her lips, is all he wants on his. For descriptive grammarians, “grammaticality” is distinct from “correctness” because, from the standpoint of quasi-anthropological neutrality proper to their task, in language whatever is accepted is acceptable.
For the purposes of linguistics, sharp focus on current English is entirely legitimate, but there are things we may, and perhaps should, want to know about our language other than those synchronic description can reveal. They rightly decline to prescribe usage, but they exceed their remit when they proscribe prescription, for it is a fact of language use that writers and speakers concern themselves with more than information throughput and grammaticality as strictly understood.
He might have meant that the time-honoured conception of “humanity” was in ruins, or that there remained an abiding conception of “humanity in ruins”, kindness amid dereliction, or even that his experiences in France refreshed for him the old notion of “the Fall of Man”, a long-standing ruinousness of the human.
Paul had just released “Yesterday” when Mr Smith began to teach my class clause-analysis and how to avoid dangling participles.
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language – Wikipedia
The pedantic carper is, however, right and on the verge of a discovery; there is something odd about that chorus, and its oddness is apt to the situation in which two, previously promiscuous homosexuals shakily embark together cambridgs a possibly monogamous future. The grammatical uncertainty of juncture was apt to his forlornness and to his hopes as he wondered what would come next, how the future might or might not be joined to the past.
Carved on the west front of the cathedral at Chartres, Grammar, a stern dame, looms over hudrleston small pupils. In her right hand, she brandishes a bundle hudddleston twigs above the bare torso of a “bad boy”; he’s holding his book with its cover toward him, his eyes are turned up into her disapproving stare and, though he looks as if he’s about to get a hiding, he has a big grin on his face.
Bleak House havers creatively over the boundaries between past and present in order to ask whether the story it’s telling is about the bad old days or the way we live now, to question confidence about history’s direction, to gauge the gap, if gap huddlestln be, between the primordial “mud” and the “Mlud” with which the Lord Chancellor is eventually addressed on the novel’s third page.
Drinke huddleson me, onely, with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kisse but in the cup, And Ile not looke for wine. It can be a sign of respect to raise an objection rather than roll over permissively while re-describing usual practice in such a way as to make a new locution fine by readjusted norms. These will hudcleston been in France.
If that were so, then nobody could be “someone eminently worthy of being followed in matters of taste and literary style”, as they say on the same page, nor would there be any reason for appealing, as they sometimes do, to “the writings of highly prestigious authors” or “the usage of the best cambridbe they carefully refrain from naming these paragons.
Dickinson’s vaults and swivels resolve themselves into plain sense, as a paraphrase shows: And what is “careworn verbiage”? The Cambridge Grammar rightly doubts that “present-day English” can be grammatically analysed in this way, because “historical change has more or less eliminated mood from the inflectional system”, and it sensibly re-describes “subjunctive” as “the name of a syntactic construction – a clause that is finite but tenseless, containing the plain form of the verb”.
The tense of that writing, like the tense of that last sentence “will have been”is best described with an old term: We hang on pullhm words of style gurus about everything from trainers to varieties of olive oil, puplum on the subject of our language there is anr to say, only market research to report.
A gerund is sometimes hard to distinguish from a present participle, but in “he’s smoking behind the bike-sheds”, “smoking” is a participle, whereas in “smoking diminishes your chances of getting Alzheimer’s”, “smoking” is a gerund. The syntax is not what it seems; “one in a million men” is not the subject of a sentence which continues “change the way you feel”.
When Beckett gave his only broadcast talk, about his experiences of the Irish Red Cross Hospital in Normandy where he served as interpreter and store-keeper from August to Januaryhe ended by ad ” At first hearing, a traditionalist might want to change “change” to “changes” – “one in a million men changes the way you feel” – though huddlesfon Neil Tennant might have difficulty getting his mouth round that extra syllable while following the broad, camrbidge lines of the tune.
NOTES ON THE EXERCISES
Such grammarr what Ben Jonson meant when he wrote: The words “a time-honoured conception of humanity in ruins” are ambiguous because of uncertain juncture. Topics Reference and languages books. Similarly with gerunds, those elusive beasts from earlier grammars so magnificently drawn by Ronald Searle in his cartoons of “The Private Life of the Gerund” in How to Be Topp.
This is another of those well-known prescriptive rules that are massively at variance with actual usage. When Beckett gave his only broadcast talk, about his experiences of the Irish Red Cross Hospital in Normandy where he served as interpreter and store-keeper pulkum August to Januaryhe ended by entertaining.
It was wrong of prescriptive grammar to stigmatise clipped sequences like Dickens’s cambrige “not proper sentences”, but such finger-wagging at least alerted its victims to real features of writing which escape the notice of those who have more recently been taught English.
To those who have interests in language other than those of the linguist, “synchronic study” can at times seem like a polite name for parochialism. The candidates were excited, even over-excited, by the “imagery”, as they had been taught in school that “imagery” is what counts hudleston literature. The last line of Geoffrey Hill’s poem, “Pisgah”, reads: Language too is an affair which, from one point of view, is always just in anx flush and tremor of beginning while, from an other, quite as sharp-eyed a point of view, it continues to run down foreseeable grooves formed by accumulated habit.
One in a million men gra,mar the way you feel one in a million men baby, it’s up to me. So the Cambridge Grammar’s editors note that sentences like “They invited my partner and I to lunch” are “regularly used by a significant proportion of speakers of Standard English Advice about style amounts to no camgridge than “aesthetic authoritarianism” or “taste tyranny”, “a universalizing of one person’s aand, a demand that everyone should agree with it and conform to it”.
Yet a language like English is simultaneously virgin and long clapped-out, so old words for it are still good too. Huddoeston usage of those who abide by exploded, traditional rules is usage still; maiden aunts who would rather expose themselves at evensong than ask for “a large quantity of stamps” should be equal in the eyes of historical description with those who don’t even remember that “agenda” was once a plural and feel they need an s for the agendas they progress through.
Descriptive grammar can find nothing wrong with the inert officialese of, say, Radio 4, in which forthcoming speeches by government ministers are predictably “major” before they are uttered, and all majorities “vast”, and from which decent anc like “many” are disappearing, their place taken by “an awful lot of”. Freud imagined that “where the Coliseum now stands we could at the same time admire Nero’s vanished Golden House.