An engaging and fresh take on the rules and politics of English grammar, written in lively prose. It goes a step further than most books on grammar by providing an overview of the field, with a discussion of historical and current debates about grammar, and how we define, discuss, and approach it.
•Presents a novel, inquiry-based approach to understanding speakers’ unconscious knowledge of English grammar
•Makes lucid connections, when relevant, with current linguistic theory
•Integrates language change and variation into the study of grammar
•Examines historical sources of socially evaluative perceptions of grammar, as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and notions of language authority
•Provides syntactic explanations for many modern punctuation rules
•Explores some of the current controversies about grammar teaching in school and the role of Standard English in testing and assessment
From the Back Cover
While most grammar books start and stop with an explanation of parts of speech and sentence structure, Navigating English Grammar goes a step further to provide an overview of the field, with a discussion of historical and current debates about grammar, and how we define, discuss, and approach it.
The authors use grammar as a springboard to discuss semantics and morphology; how usage and sentence structure affects style in writing; abbreviated style in the digital age; and the syntax of poetry, fiction, and other genres. Along the way they give examples and analysis of texts. Among other controversies, the authors delve into the sociopolitical aspects of grammar rules, the subjectivity of pet peeves and grammar police, the changing ways grammar has been taught, and how assessment and a changing educational climate has influenced this. They also lay out the fascinating history of the linguistic tradition, from the Sanskrit grammar of Panini (c. 520-460 BCE), sometimes considered a founder of linguistics, to the ancient Greeks, the development of the Western tradition, and through the rise of ‘correct’ English grammar in the 17th century to the present day.
Navigating English Grammar is an engaging and fresh take on the rules and the politics of English grammar, written in lively, inviting prose.
About the Author
Anne Lobeck is Professor of English and Linguistics at Western Washington University. She is author of Ellipsis: Functional Heads, Licensing and Identification (1995) and Discovering Grammar: An Introduction to English Sentence Structure (2000), and is coeditor and co-author (with Kristin Denham) of several books, including Linguistics at School: Language Awareness in Primary and Secondary Education (2010). Kristin Denham is Professor of English and Linguistics at Western Washington University. She is coeditor (with Anne Lobeck) of two volumes, including Language in the Schools: Integrating Linguistic Knowledge into K-12 Teaching (2005) and co-author (with Anne Lobeck) of Linguistics for Everyone: An Introduction (2010).