Despite a history of hundreds of years of research analysing aspects of English grammar, there are still open problems which continue to baffle language researchers today. Such ‘grammar mysteries’ arise for a number of reasons: because the language is changing; because different speakers of the language adhere to distinct norms and thus introduce and maintain variation in the system; because there are differences between the grammar of spoken and written English. This book illuminates some of the complexities of the subject, the areas where new discoveries await and why it matters.
Through a series of accessible and engaging case studies on various aspects of grammar, from multiple negation to possession, the authors present grammar as an intellectual challenge. This book brings out into the open questions about language usage to which we still do not have good answers in a bid to make variation overt and to revel in the mystery of the English language.
Both aimed at the interested general reader and the beginning student of English language and linguistics, this is a fresh take on grammar.