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Palgrave Macmillan

Theories of Syntax

Concepts and Case Studies

ISBN 9780230216938
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Do you want a deeper understanding of syntax and grammar?

Theories of Syntax: Concepts and Case Studies is an indispensable student companion. Starting with basic concepts of syntax, Kuiper and Nokes then delve deeper by explaining how we understand syntactic phenomena, and show us how to use different theoretical frameworks.

Theories of Syntax:
■ Explores syntactic phenomena through a scientific lens
■ Shows how syntactic models are shaped by theoretical frameworks
■ Summarizes four theories of syntax: Systemic Functional Grammar, the Principles and Parameters Framework, Lexical Functional Grammar and Minimalism
■ Illustrates seven sets of syntactic phenomena through case studies

With questions for revision, reflection and discussion in each chapter, this is an ideal book for students who want to further their studies.

Koenraad Kuiper is Professor Emeritus at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has been a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies and held two Fulbright fellowships in the United States. He has either authored or edited fourteen books.

Jacqui Nokes is a part-time lecturer and PhD Candidate at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

1. Studying Syntax
2. A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Syntax
3. Seven Syntactic Phenomena
4. Systemic Functional Grammar
5. The Principles and Parameters Framework
6. Lexical Functional Grammar
7. Minimalism
8. Syntax and its Theories


"The air in New Zealand is amazingly clear and objects appear sharper and brighter than in the northern hemisphere. Kiwi clarity and sharpness have found their way into this excellent book by Koenraad Kuiper and Jacqui Nokes, the sort of explanatory and comparative account that is all too rare in theoretical syntax. In clear, smooth prose, with memorable examples and metaphors, they set out the workings of four formal models: Principles and Parameters, Minimalism, Lexical Functional Grammar and Systemic Grammar. For each model, they explain its goals and the reasons why particular analyses are or are not appropriate. They compare and contrast the models without parti pris and without polemics. They offer senior undergraduate students and beginning postgraduate students a general view of the field, and for readers who choose Minimalism, LFG or Systemic Grammar they supply a sound basic account of the model chosen. The book is a delight to read." Jim Miller, University of Edinburgh, UK
"Theories of Syntax will be an excellent text for a course whose aim it is not to train syntactic 'mechanics', but rather to give non-beginner students a sound understanding of what it involves to approach syntactic phenomena from different views of what scientific work is about." Rudolf Botha, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and Utrecht University, The Netherlands
'This book presents some fundamental concepts of syntax and then some key directions for their analysis in terms of major recent syntactic approaches such as Systemic Functional Linguistics, Principles and Parameters, Lexical-Functional Grammar, and the Minimalist Program. Clearly written, with review questions and further reading at the end of each chapter, this book will be useful to students and practitioners of syntax in providing the fundamental ideas of basic syntactic analysis, and the leading ideas of different theoretical approaches.' Peter Sells University of York, UK
'This book by two inspired linguists is the most delightful introduction to syntax I have seen in many years, a didactic and very well-informed masterpiece, a must in every elementary linguistics course. It is also the first book of its kind that I know of which aims at an even-handed survey of a variety of opposing syntactic theories on the market, stressing the similarities besides the dissimilarities. Useful not only for beginners but also for teachers and even those who act as protagonists in the field.' Pieter Seuren, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands
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