A Semantic Approach to English Grammar, second Edition, Brown K., Clark E.V., McMahon A., Miller J., Milroy L., 2005


A Semantic Approach to English Grammar, second Edition, Brown K., Clark E.V., McMahon A., Miller J., Milroy L., 2005.

Preface.

When I first became interested in linguistics, in 1961, it was with the idea that it should be possible to put forward the kind of description and explanation which is attempted in this book. I was thinking about the meanings of words and how their grammatical properties should be a function of those meanings. I thought: there really ought to be a discipline, perhaps called linguistics, which deals with such things. Then I found that there actually was a subject called linguistics. It was not immediately obvious that linguists at the time were interested in the interrelation between meaning and grammar. Nevertheless, I settled down—in a state of some excitement—to study the principles of linguistics. This was at the University of Edinburgh, under the fine tutelage of Michael Halliday and Angus Mcintosh.

A Semantic Approach to English Grammar, second Edition, Brown K., Clark E.V., McMahon A., Miller J., Milroy L., 2005


1.1. Grammar and semantics.

A language consists of words and grammar. Grammar itself has two parts: Morphology deals with the structure of words, e.g. the fact that un-friendli-ness consists of four parts (called 'morphemes'), each of which has a meaning, and laugh-ing of two morphemes. If a morpheme is added to a word and yields a word of a different kind this is called a derivation, e.g. the formation of adjective beautiful from noun beauty, noun decision from verb decide, verb widen from adjective wide, and verb untie from verb tie. If a morpheme just adds some extra element of meaning to a word which is required by the grammar of the language, then it is called an inflection, e.g. the verb kill inflects for past tense, becoming killed, and the noun horse inflects for plural number, becoming horses.

Contents.

List of tables.
How to read this book.
Preface.
List of abbreviations.
Part A Introduction.
Part B The Semantic Types.
Part C Some Grammatical Topics.
Appendix: List of adjective and verb types, with sample members.
References.
Books by R. M. W. Dixon.
Index.



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