Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English by Oliver Kamm


By Oliver Kamm

Are criteria of English o.k. - or should still that be very well? To knowingly break up an infinitive or to not? And what approximately finishing a sentence with preposition, or for that topic starting one with 'and'? We study language through intuition, yet reliable English, the pedants let us know, calls for ideas. but, as Oliver Kamm demonstrates, the various purists' prohibitions are bogus and will be cheerfully left out. ACCIDENCE WILL take place is an authoritative and deeply reassuring advisor to grammar, type and the linguistic conundrums all of us face.

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Extra resources for Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English Usage

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Guerrero, Lilián. 2006. The Structure and Function of Yaqui Complementation. Munich: Lincom. Jackendoff, Ray & Culicover, Peter W. 2003. The semantic basis of control in English. Language 79(3): 517–556. Jackendoff, Ray. 1972. Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press. Jones, Charles. 1991. Purpose Clauses: Syntax, Thematic and Semantics of English Purpose. ­Dordrecht: Springer. Heath, Jeffrey. 2008. A grammar of Jamsay. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Landau, Idan. 2000.

Consider the following examples from Tlachichilco Tepehua: (13) a. ʔu-ɬ stapu eat-pfv beans ‘s/he ate beans’ (14) a. ʔiʃ-ʔoq-ya pst-drink-ipfv ‘s/he was drinking it’ The Undergoer in each of the (a) sentences is a referring expression. However, in the (b) sentences, the syntactic object is non-referential so cannot be the Undergoer. While the (b) sentences are S-transitive, they are M-intransitive. Note in (14c), however, that when the direct object is not expressed by an NP, it invariably has a definite anaphoric reading.

Following a significant cross-linguistic tradition in both European and ­American linguistics, the differences between a transitive and intransitive clause has been attributed to the verb of the sentence. In the generative tradition, the . I am very grateful for comments from two anonymous referees which have resulted in significant improvements in this paper.  James K. Watters head of a phrase has an argument structure that is “projected” onto the phrase. Similarly, though theories differ in the details, ultimately the verb’s argument structure or valence is projected onto the clause, determining the syntactic transitivity of the clause.

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