Date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 10:10:00 GMT
From: ENG0997[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VAX2.QUEENS-BELFAST.AC.UK
Subject: Re: An English Grammar Text
Come on guys, there's surely only one college grammar text you should
be using and that's Sid Greenbaum's _ A College Grammar of English _
(Longman, New York, 1989) which has a huge battery of exercises by
Chuck Meyer. There's a clear reason for choosing this book over the
rest: it is a key to Greenbaum and Quirk's _A Student's Grammar of
the English Language _. The description is identical - SGEL is
formidable for many students without help - CGE gives them a text,
an account, it opens the formal reference grammar up for them, so that
by the end of the course, students come to know what's in SGEL and where
to find it. SGEL can be quoted authoritatively and respectably for
any purpose the students might come to ha ve in later life - SGEL is a
concise version of Quirk et al.'s _A Comprehensive Grammar of the
English Language_, *the* current definitive grammar of the language.
Why are so many of you prepared to settle for less than the best - some
of the suggestions made here are pretty third-rate. (A further attraction
to CGE is that there's a British version of it: Greenbaum's _An
Introduction to English Grammar_ (Longman, London, 1991). I taught CGE
at the university of Michigan two years ago with a senior major class,
and it worked very well - amittedly I had some pretty bright and
demanding kinds in the class (also some pretty obnoxious ones , too!).
So, Tim, if I were you, I'd get on to Longman rigt away and ask for
an inspection copy.
Dennis Preston draws attention to Burton-Roberts's _Analysing
Sentences_ - it, too, is an excellent book (prehaps because it ultimately
comes out of the Quirk stable) but it doesn't give the bredth of
description that the Greenbaum grammrs do. BR is excellent for convincing
students about the interplay between structure and function, and for lots
of other reasons, but it's more 'linguistic syntax' than 'English grammar'.
I reviewed it at length in _Lore and Language_, vol. 9, no. 2, June 1990
(but appeared only in 1993], pp. 92-94.
The Queen's University of Belfast
ENG0997[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]QUB.AC.UK