English Language and Linguistics

Review Article

A new Gray's Anatomy of English grammar 1

a1 Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT g.leech@lancaster.ac.uk

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Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey Pullum, The Cambridge grammar of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Pp. xviii + 1842. Hardback, ISBN 0 521 43146 8. £120.

This article reviews Huddleston & Pullum (2002) from the viewpoint of a co-author of Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech & Svartvik (1985). (This author, however, makes no claim whatsoever to represent the views of the other authors of Quirk et al.) Particular attention is paid to some of the more controversial aspects of Huddleston & Pullum's analysis. It is argued that the two grammars, although similar in their comprehensively wide coverage of English, are not strictly comparable, in that Huddleston & Pullum's grammar is more theory-oriented and Quirk et al.'s grammar is more observation-oriented. These different orientations go with different strengths and weaknesses. In some areas Huddleston & Pullum's more up-to-date account has manifest advantages over that of Quirk et al., but there are also arguably areas where Huddleston & Pullum have not moved with the times.

(Received September 30 2003)


1 In writing this review article, I have gratefully received comments and corrections from Bas Aarts, Costas Gabrielatos, Magnus Levin, Joybrato Mukherjee, and Randolph Quirk.