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Arrangement of items (syntax) 1a The meaning of this sentence is obviously created by words such as gave, sister, sweater and

birthday. But there are other words (I, my, a, for, her) which contribute to the meaning, and, additionally, aspects of the individual words and the way they are arranged which enable us to interpret what the sentence means. For example, we know it is I who gave the sweater, not my sister, because I comes before the verb (gave). In English, subjects (the doers of actions) come before verbs in statements. We also know the relationship between the indirect object, my sister, and the direct object, a sweater, (that the sweater was given and my sister was the recipient) because indirect objects come before direct objects. We also expect my to come before sister, not after. These aspects of the arrangement of things in sentences is referred to as syntax. Syntax is one of the two basic principles of grammar. Structure of items (morphology) 1b The example sentence also illustrates the other basic principle of grammar. I and my are two different forms, one with a subject meaning, the other with a possessive meaning, even though they both refer to the same person. Gave refers to past time, in contrast to give(s), which refers to present time. Sweater is singular; if there were more than one sweater, the form would be sweaters. These small items of meaning, such as I, my, the past form gave, a plural -s ending, are called grammatical morphemes, and come under the heading of morphology. Morphology is concerned with the structure of words and phrases. It is the second basic principle of grammar. Phrases1e Our initial example sentence may also be seen as composed of units or building blocks of different sizes, not just individual words and their endings. For example, the sentence could be divided up thus: I | gave | my sister | a sweater | for her birthday. We have now divided the sentence into its constituent phrases (items which have individual functions in the sentence). It is the phrase a sweater which acts as the object, not just the word sweater, and the whole phrase for her birthday indicates the reason or circumstances of the giving. Clauses1f We could extend the example sentence: I gave my sister a sweater for her birthday and she bought me a CD for mine. We can now see two larger building blocks (in green) in the sentence, connected by and. These are clauses (separate units containing their own verbs: gave/bought). Grammar is concerned with how the constituent units of sentences (morphemes, words, phrases and clauses) are put together to form sentences. Classes of word, phrase and clause1g Words are not all of the same type. Some, such as sweater and sister, are nouns (words referring to entities: persons, things, animals, abstract concepts); some, such as gave and bought, are verbs (words referring to actions, events or states); and so on. These words belong to different classes. Equally, the phrases belong to different classes: for her birthday and for mine are prepositional phrases (phrases introduced by prepositions). Clauses too belong to classes: some are declarative (they have the subject first and typically make statements), some are interrogative (they have a verb such as do, be or have first, and typically ask questions). Grammar is concerned with how units and classes relate to one another. Functions1h The noun phrases my sister, a sweater are types of object in our example sentence in 1f, and for my birthday and for mine are operating as phrases indicating the circumstances. They are referred to as adjuncts. The terms subject, verb, object, adjunct refer to the functions the different phrase-types carry out in the clause. Grammar describes what the acceptable functions are.

How sentences are spoken is also relevant. The sentence I do like your car, on the face of it, seems to break the rule that do is not used in statements. However, if the sentence is spoken with appropriate stress, then it becomes acceptable. This is the emphatic do, which may be used in statements: I do like your car. Phonology (the sound systems of a language) is therefore also connected in important ways with grammar and lexis, and influences the interpretation of sentences. Grammar as structure and grammar as choice2d The book regularly draws attention to the implications of different grammatical choices and gives the user opportunities to observe and learn about grammatical choices in relation to particular contexts in which the language is used. The Cambridge Grammar of English (CGE) makes a distinction between grammar as structure and grammar as choice. Grammar as structure means: What rules does one need to know in order to construct a sentence or clause appropriately? An example of a structural rule would be that the determiner none must be followed by of (none of my friends, as opposed to none my friends). On the other hand, grammar frequently involves ellipsis, which is the absence of words which can be understood from the surrounding text or from the situation. For example the ellipsis of the subject noun or pronoun in expressions such as Looking forward to seeing you, Dont know and Think so is largely the speakers/ writers interpersonal choice. Interpersonal choices are choices which are sensitive to the relationship between the speaker/writer and the listener/reader. In such a case as this, grammar as choice means: When is it normal to use ellipsis? Are some forms of ellipsis more likely to be used in spoken than in written modes? What kinds of relationship does it project between speakers and listeners? Are the forms linked to greater or lesser degrees of intimacy and informality? Another example of grammar as choice would be the use of the past simple and the past progressive tense in reported speech. For example, the most frequent form of speech report is the past simple, as in: She said the central heating needed to be repaired. But the past progressive form can also be used. This is especially common in spoken rather than in written English as speakers can choose to express reports as pieces of news rather than as representations of peoples words: She was saying that shes going to quit her job. Both forms of say are acceptable but the progressive form is less frequent. It is, however, a choice which speakers or writers can make in particular contexts. In this book, both grammar as structure and grammar as choice are treated, and the grammar of choice is as important as the grammar of structure. Nouns: forms 156a Nouns are the largest class of words. They denote classes and categories of things in the world, including people, animals, inanimate things, places, events, qualities and states. For example, accident, cat, club, competition, conscience, garage, soldier, pride, James, Paris are nouns. Suffixes Nouns are not usually identifiable by their form. However, common derivational suffixes which may enable words to be recognised as nouns include: The suffixes can be added to verbs and adjectives to form nouns: Conversion Conversion can also occur from verbs to nouns. Examples include: a desire to do something a lack of something a cheat a long walk

a pay rise Occasionally, adjectives may be converted to nouns: Hes a regular at our local pub. The clubs are mostly full of young singles. Prefixes and compounds New nouns can be formed by other means, for example by prefixes (e.g. non-event, pre-meeting) and by compounding (e.g. mousepad, website). 258268 Word structure and word formation for further details Singular and plural Most nouns have a singular and plural form which can be distinguished by different inflectional endings. The most common plural form is -(e)s. For example, catcats, wishwishes. Some nouns have irregular plurals, mainly because they reflect older English forms or are derived from foreign words. Examples of these are: oxoxen, alumnusalumni. Gender The gender of nouns is significant in some languages. Nouns in English do not in themselves have masculine or feminine gender. They do, however, sometimes refer to male or female people or animals, or consist of a pair where one is used as the neutral term covering both sexes and the other is more marked. For example, host hostess, fathermother, widowerwidow, dogbitch (where dog is the neutral term). Nouns: types 156b Nouns differ in their types of meaning, for example common nouns (e.g. table, boy and most nouns) versus proper names (e.g. Joanna, New York), or concrete nouns (cup, bus) versus abstract nouns (love, beauty). The major grammatical distinction in English nouns is between count nouns and noncount nouns. English treats some things as units which can be counted and some things as indivisible wholes. Count nouns refer to people and things which can be counted. Non-count nouns refer to things which are treated as indivisible wholes which cannot be broken down in order to be counted: count nouns a dog dogs church churches non-count nouns butter, oil, advice, furniture, belongings, trousers For some nouns the singular and plural forms are the same (e.g. sheep, series, deer). Nouns: syntactic characteristics156c Nouns can be recognised by the following syntactic characteristics: They may be preceded by determiners: the young boy my two cats They may be modified by adjectives: a large pizza those lovely flowers They may be premodified by other nouns: a university degree a computer programmer When a noun is head of a subject noun phrase, it agrees in person and number with the tensed verb of the clause: My throat is sore. (agreement between singular noun and the present tense of be) Their apologies were accepted. (agreement between plural noun and the past tense of be) Noun phrases: form157a Nouns act as the main words, or heads, of noun phrases. A noun phrase usually consists of a head along with modifiers or a complement. Modifiers occur before the head (premodifiers) and after the head (postmodifiers). Premodifiers include determiners (words such as a, an, the, this, all, any, some), adjectives (blue, cautious, economic, old) and other nouns (government, school).

Noun phrases: functions157b Noun phrases can act as the subject (s), object (o) or complement (c) of a clause (noun phrase in green, head in bold): Her brother mended our car. You're a good friend. Noun phrases can be the complements of prepositions: I did it for the children. Less often, noun phrases may occur as clause adjuncts (modifying the clause in some way, most typically in terms of time): I saw him the following day. 167175 The noun phrase; 176196 Nouns and determiners; 197212 Pronouns Postmodifiers include prepositional phrases (the cafeteria in the building, an insurance policy with profits), relative clauses (the student who needed to speak to you, the report that was published in 1997) and adverb phrases (the room upstairs the lecture yesterday). Complements occur after the head and function to complete the meaning of the noun (the body of a young woman, the suggestion that we should refuse to pay). Postmodifiers give extra information and are not necessary for the meaning to be completed. Complements complete the meaning of the noun. In the following examples, the whole of the noun phrase is green and the head is in bold: The problem cannot be solved. All the offices in the building are closed. He is an old man who lives near us. Divorce was inevitable. The head of a noun phrase can also be a pronoun instead of a noun: She was very unhappy in her new job. Someone was looking for you earlier.