April 09, 2004

Culicover on CGEL

The March 2004 issue of the LSA's journal Language has a review article by Peter Culicover about Huddleston & Pullum's Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Culicover describes CGEL, and gives many reasons to buy it or to put it on your next gift-occasion wish list:

... a monumentally impressive piece of work... ‘one of the most superb works of academic scholarship ever to appear ... a monumental work that offers easily the most comprehensive and thought-provoking treatment of English grammar to date. Nothing rivals this work, with respect to breadth, depth and consistency of coverage’ ... Huddleston, Pullum and their collaborators definitely deserve a prize for this achievement.

Culicover's review article -- covering 15 pages of the journal -- builds on its discussion of CGEL to raise a number of interesting issues about English grammar, and the theory and practice of grammar in general. It's well worth reading on its own terms, and to Culicover's great credit, it's largely accessible to non-specialists. Since Language is rarely available on corner newstands, and unfortunately is not web accessible, Peter has been kind enough to put a .pdf of the review up on his web site. There's more to say about all this, and no doubt some of it will be said here. But for now, if you're at all interested in language, go read the article!

Posted by Mark Liberman at April 9, 2004 03:15 PM