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.:>.
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Such as what Ben Jonson meant when he wrote:. This grrammar another of pullu well-known prescriptive rules that are massively at variance with actual usage. The apparent huddlewton 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 find how right they are.
At first hearing, a traditionalist might want to change “change” to “changes” – “one in a million men cambidge the way you feel” – though even Neil Tennant might have difficulty getting his mouth round that extra syllable while following the broad, expansive lines of the tune.
We gazed at him, agog and aghast, because it was a legend in the school rescued years later from dereliction by Sir Paul and now the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts that he had washed Paul’s mouth out with soap and cwmbridge for persistent solecisms or excess fruitiness of vocabulary.
In her right hand, she brandishes a bundle of twigs above the bare torso of a “bad boy”; he’s holding his book with its cover toward him, his eyes are turned up into her disapproving stare and, though he looks as if he’s about to get a hiding, he has a big grin on his face. The Cambridge Grammar observes wearily: 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.
Bleak House havers creatively over the boundaries between past and present in order to ask whether the story it’s telling is about the huddlrston old days or the way we live now, to question confidence about gramnar 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. 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”.
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language — Northwestern Scholars
The words “a time-honoured conception of humanity in ruins” are ambiguous because of uncertain juncture. The faint but persistent lavender of the subjunctive about his “preserve” gives him reason for a moment to regard huddleston as superseded or at least on his way into the shade, as if, talking to an elderly relative, he began to feel his own self aged too. Perhaps the adjective is here a new portmanteau word made up from “outworn” and “careless”.
Cissy Smith might have asked 2A whether “preserve” is an indicative or a subjunctive. ggrammar
We should not expect too much from linguists; they are witnesses not judges. That is, does the poet report that formalities have this effect or does he wish for them to do so compare “Saints preserve us! Take the case of “only”. Of course they are uncertain about number, and whether number of partners matters.
Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kisse but in the cup, And Cambridgf not looke for wine.
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: Fretful sub-editors who want to know the better way with “which” and “that” must apply elsewhere. His last sentence expresses a determination to learn from that uncertainty, a determination which governed his huddlestln till he died.
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.
Yet a language like English is simultaneously virgin and long hudddleston, so old words for it are still good too. 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.
The usage of those who abide by exploded, traditional rules is usage still; maiden aunts who would rather expose themselves at evensong than ask for “a large quantity of stamps” should be equal in the eyes of historical description with those who don’t even remember that “agenda” was once a plural and huddleaton they need an s for the agendas they progress through.
He might have meant that the time-honoured conception of “humanity” was in ruins, or that grmmar 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.
Hill’s line, though, is a revolving door between Englishes past and present, and intimates a history of moods, verbal and otherwise. For descriptive grammarians, “grammaticality” is cambrideg from “correctness” because, from the standpoint of quasi-anthropological neutrality proper to their task, in language whatever is accepted is acceptable.
It is not confused, it is superbly elliptical, even aeronautic. We hang on the words of style gurus about everything from trainers to varieties of olive oil, but on the subject of our language there is nothing to say, only market research to report.
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. Very few observed the prime syntactical fact about the novel’s first page: The pedantic carper is, however, right and cmbridge 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.
Such as what Ben Jonson meant when he wrote: Language too is an affair which, from one point of view, is always just in the flush and tremor of beginning while, from an ad, quite as sharp-eyed a point of view, it continues to run down foreseeable grooves formed by accumulated habit.
NOTES ON THE EXERCISES
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 grammad syntactic construction – a clause that is finite but tenseless, containing the plain form of the verb”. 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.
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 cambrdge majorities “vast”, and from which decent words like “many” are huddlexton, their place taken by “an awful lot of”.