Constituent Structure

Author Andrew Carnie. Edition First. Publisher Oxford University Press. Pages 292. Price £24.99. ISBN 9780199262007.

May 22, 2008

The cover states that this is an "ideal introduction" to constituency. It's ideal only if you like pondering over artificial examples such as "anti anti missile missile missile" or "I bought a basket of flowers with an azalea in it with a large handle". Not that you'd be alone in enjoying these examples: they are very much part of what mainstream formalist grammarians (roughly, Chomskyans) base their theories on.

Useful though Andrew Carnie's book is as an overview of Chomsky-style theorising, he completely glosses over alternative, functional-cognitive approaches that rely on aspects of real language use such as self-repair or sequentiality in discourse.

Who is it for? Committed soldiers of Noam Chomsky's Galactic Empire.

Presentation - Clear diagrams; however, there are too many typos and a hopeless author index and references.

Would you recommend it? As a member of the functional-cognitive Rebel Alliance, I wouldn't.

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