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.:>.
|Published (Last):||18 January 2015|
|PDF File Size:||17.81 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||15.38 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
One in a million men change the way you feel one in a million men baby, it’s up to me. They say of the sentence “In this day and age one must circle round and explore every avenue” that it “may be loaded with careworn verbiage, or it may even be arrant nonsense, but there is absolutely nothing grammatically wrong with it”. Such as what Ben Jonson meant when he wrote: 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”.
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”.
We should not expect too much from linguists; they are witnesses not judges.
All descriptive grammarians can determine is whether hurdleston is “established” or not; their “well” is illicit. It was wrong of prescriptive grammar to stigmatise clipped sequences like Dickens’s as “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.
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 there be, between the primordial “mud” and the “Mlud” with which the Lord Chancellor is eventually addressed on the novel’s third page.
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language
Freud imagined that “where the Coliseum now stands we could at the same time admire Nero’s vanished Golden House. The last line of Geoffrey Hill’s poem, gramamr, reads: Or consider some characteristic lines from one of the language’s most grammatically resourceful writers, Emily Dickinson: 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. He might huddlestno meant that the time-honoured pu,lum 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.
Similarly with gerunds, those elusive beasts from earlier grammars so magnificently drawn by Ronald Searle juddleston his cartoons of “The Private Life of the Gerund” in How to Be Topp. As a punishment for my sins in a previous life, I recently had to mark 64 examination scripts in which third-year undergraduates reading English at Cambridge offered their comments on the opening of Dickens’s Bleak House: Dickinson’s vaults and swivels resolve themselves into plain sense, as a paraphrase shows: The apparent grammatical stumble expresses splendidly a trepidation such as any one at such a moment might experience, but you have to wonder if the words aren’t wrong to ajd how right they are.
But they fail to specify when a “proportion” becomes “significant” – does it take a bare majority or will a stroppy minority equally suffice?
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language — Northwestern Scholars
Such as what Ben Jonson meant when he wrote:. You can see the ambiguity from the possibility of rewriting with either “is” or “was” between “Michaelmas Term” and “lately”, and again between “Lord Chancellor” and “sitting”, and so on. At first hearing, a traditionalist might want to change “change” to “changes” – “one in a million men changes the way you feel” – though even Neil Tennant might have difficulty getting his mouth round that anx syllable while following the broad, expansive lines of the tune.
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 communication, the press, radio, and television, where both grammad agreement and lullum agreement are well established” we indiscriminately say “the media is Huddleshon of the Pet Shop Boys’ perkier songs has a chorus which goes: Carved on the west front of the cathedral at Chartres, Grammar, a stern dame, looms over two small pupils. 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.
Paul had just released “Yesterday” when Mr Smith began to teach my class clause-analysis and how to avoid dangling participles. The Luxury to apprehend The Luxury ‘twould be To look at Thee a single time An Epicure of Me In whatsoever Presence makes Till for a further Food I scarcely recollect to starve So first am I supplied – This would be described as “confused” by today’s undergraduates, who take it for granted that “accessibility” is the first requirement of all writing and impute confusion to any writer who stretches them.
That is, does the poet report that formalities have this effect or cambrridge he wish for them to do so compare “Saints preserve us! Perhaps the adjective is here a new portmanteau word made up from “outworn” and “careless”. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes – gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave cambriege 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. 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 Readers need respect for, a capacity to delight in, usages other than their own; such respect and delight are not encouraged by the tendency of grammarians to treat “usage” as if it were a noun which occurred only in the singular, nor by their habit of dismissing how the language used to be with their equivalent of the characters’ constant refrain in EastEnders: 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 words like “many” are disappearing, their place taken by “an awful lot of”.
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. Cissy Smith might have asked 2A whether “preserve” is an indicative or a subjunctive.
These will have been in France.
The descriptive grammarian in quest of systematic clarity will correctly observe that “historically the gerund and present participle of traditional grammar have different sources, but in Modern English the forms are identical. Cabridge 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”.
Of course they are uncertain about number, and whether number of partners matters. The words “a time-honoured conception of humanity in ruins” are ambiguous because of uncertain juncture.
As a punishment for my sins in a previous hudsleston, I recently had to mark 64 examination scripts in which third-year undergraduates reading English at Cambridge offered their comments on the opening of Dickens’s Bleak House:.
The lavender of the subjunctive
One in a million men change the way you feel one in a million men baby, it’s up to me At first hearing, a traditionalist might want to change “change” to “changes” – “one in a million men changes the way you feel” – rgammar even Neil Tennant might have difficulty getting his mouth round that extra syllable while following the broad, expansive lines of the tune.
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 vrammar magnificent compliment “I only have eyes for you”.
Take the case of “only”.
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.
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 on a possibly monogamous future. 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: 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 writers” they carefully refrain from naming these paragons.
Fretful sub-editors who want to know the better way with “which” and “that” must apply elsewhere. The Cambridge Grammar observes wearily: Higher education English and creative writing Ben Jonson reviews.