A Grammar of Speech

A Grammar of Speech

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This book provides an innovative analysis of English grammar in the spoken form. Hitherto, most grammars of English have relied heavily on the written language, and this excludes much normal spoken discourse. This work offers an alternative view of the structure of spoken English based on naturally-occurring language data. A Grammar of Speech has relevance for many areas related to linguistics, such as Artificial Intelligence, computational linguistics, and machine translation. First Prize English Speaking Union's Duke of Edinburgh Book Competition
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 160 x 230 x 20mm | 399.17g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • line illustrations
  • 019437193X
  • 9780194371933

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; The author and series editors; Foreword; Transcription notations; Introduction; An exploratory grammar; Starting assumptions; Why do we want a linear grammar?; Discourse analysis; What is a sentence grammar?; Product and process; Why speech?; Who is it for?; 1. The argument and organization of the book; Communicating in time; Immediate constituent grammars; Finite state grammars; Summary of the argument; Development of the description; 2. Used language; Sample of data; Used speech is purposeful; - Going through the motions; - Interaction; - What can be told or asked?; - Communicative need; Participants co-operate; - Dealing with mismatches; - Projecting a need; Existential values; - Meaning and value; - Existential antonyms; Scholarly background; Process and product; - The purposeful increment; 3. Telling and asking exchanges; The telling increment; Minimum requirements for telling: syntactic; Minimum requirements for telling: intonational; 4. The simple chain; Initial, Intermediate, and Target States; - Three-element chains; Four- and five-element chains; A set of sequencing rules; Some implications of the sequencing rules; The simple chain; Sample of data; 5. Non-finite verbal elements; Non-finite forms; Extensions; - Chains representing more than one telling increment; Suspension; Suspension in simple chains; - Characteristics of suspensions; - Suspensive non-finite verbal elements; - Suspensive elements before chain-initial N; Extensions and suspensions compared; Sample of data; 6. The relationship between elements; The relationship among constituents; Post-verbal and post-nominal functions; Indeterminacy and ambiguity; Non-significant differences; Indeterminacy in chains with non-finite verbal elements; Unrestricted reference; A finite-state account; Non-finite verbal elements as suspensions; 7. The timing of events; The two time continua; Event time and moment of utterance; Differentiated and undifferentiated time reference; Perfective and imperfective verbs; Exploitation; Non-finite verbal elements; - Event time with the -ing form; - Event time with the to form; - Event time with the pp form; Linearity; The effect of suspension; Non-finite verbal elements with post-nominal function; 8. Selection and communication; Prominence and selection; Existential values; Tone units with two prominent syllables; The nature of prominence; Selection in two-prominence tone units; Sample of data; 9. More on verbal elements; Analysis of multi-word elements; Selectional possibilities of auxiliary have; - Communicative deficiency; - Auxiliary have followed by non-finite forms; Auxiliary be; - Events and conditions; - Auxiliary be followed by non-finite forms; Longer verbal sequences; 10. Modals and the plain infinitive; Modals; Base form of non-finite elements; Modals in sequence with non-finite forms; Conversational use of modals; Verbal element do; Plain infinitives following other verbal elements; Sample of data; 11. More extensions and suspensions; Reduplication; - The + symbol; Preposition/nominal elements; Indeterminacy resulting from reduplication; Same or different referent?; Reduplicative N as extension or suspension; Finite second predication; Summary; 12. Zero realization; Second mention; The O symbol; Zero realization in finite second predications; Who; Optional elements; Uses of zero realization compared; 13. Open selectors; The pertinence of selection; Open selectors in telling increments; Functional indeterminacy of open selectors; Selection by equation; Prominent and non-prominent W; Selection by predication; Suspensions; Slot-filling who; Sample of data; 14. Nominal elements; Events and things; Characterizing and identifying; Speaker's choice; Post-nominal specification; - Other kinds of post-specifiers; Pre-nominal specification; - Ordering of adjectival elements; - Intonation of pre-specified nominal elements; 15. Talk about talk; What does the discourse count as?; Retrospective labelling; Unlabelled intentions; Essential and incidental items; Secondary purposes of increments; Illocutionary force; Explicit and implicit purposes; What is the discourse about?; Discrete labelling; 16. More talk about talk; Non-discrete labelling; Pre-empting the purpose; Tone choice; Suspensions at the beginning of the chain; Theme; Temporal precedence; 17. Asking exchanges; Who knows what?; Initiating increments; - Finding out or making sure?; Question types; Responses; Extended responses; 18. What can go wrong?; Chains that do not occur; Categories of constraint; Absolute constraints; Probable constraints associated with particular words; Category 3 constraints; On-line amendments; 19. A version of the story analysed; A linear analysis; - Comments; 20. Uses of a linear account of grammar; Principles; The sentence; A user's model?; Psychological reality?; Purposeful language and psycholinguistics; Language acquisition; Language learning and teaching; - Seeing the wood for the trees; - Learning to use a language or learning about it? ; Appendix; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
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