Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English

Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English

Hardcover, Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English
By Douglas Biber, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad, Edward Finegan

* Publisher: Pearson ESL
* Number Of Pages: 1203
* Publication Date: 1999-11-05
* ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0582237254
* ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780582237254
* Binding: Hardcover

Summary: A staggering body of work.
Rating: 5

The years of work that went into this book have come to fruition in a stunning wealth of findings that will be indispensable in understanding the inner workings of English and of language in general. This is not a grammar textbook, as one reviewer seems to have mistaken it for. This is a description of English based on an immense corpus of authentic English text taken from spoken conversation, literature, academia, and news, in Britain and the U.S. For the corpus findings alone this book is worth every cent of its prestigious sticker price; there are many surprises and implications for English teachers, grammarians, linguists, and anyone who has a stake in British/American English language stereotypes. As a teacher of English for speakers of other languages, I can say that this book has been a serious eye opener, and has caused me to rethink content and how it is presented. When compared to a dreadful many English-learning materials (grammar texts, ESL texts, etc.), the corpus findings illuminate alarming discrepancies between how English really works, and how English is taught. This book provides, for example, the most commonly used verbs within registers, demonstrates how certain verbs have tendencies to appear in only one tense (or tense-aspect combination) or voice, and reveals that ellipsis (omission of a grammatically necessary part of the sentence, for example, "I want to," or "Feeling well?") occurs more often in British English than in American English. It is an invaluable resource, as well, for unexpected questions about things such as why relative pronouns can sometimes be omitted (a lady I know), but sometimes cannot (a lady who sings). Corpus linguistics can and should play a central role in describing and teaching language. The Longman Grammar is a mammoth achievement.

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