CAMBRIDGE GRAMMAR OF ENGLISH
Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy
Cambridge University Press, 2006, 974 pages – with CD-ROM
Compre na Disal.
Ron Carter and Michael McCarthy’s groundbreaking grammar gives speech unprecedented prominence. Most of CGE’s examples are transcribed from naturally-occurring interactions in CANCODE, the Cambridge and Nottingham Corpus of Spoken English, one of the several corpora in the Cambridge International Corpus (CIC). An example is found in “Parallelism and Repetition” (Topic 138): [a group of young females are chatting on a Sunday evening in their shared accommodation]
A: I like Sunday nights for some reason, I don’t know why.
B: [laughs] Cos you come home.
C: I come home.
B: You come home to us.
108 words such as “about” and “then” are singled out in “From word to grammar: an A–Z” and followed by twelve extensive chapters transcending the traditional view of grammar at word and sentence level and placing a strong focus on discourse and social contexts.
Which is not to say that written English is not treated with due respect: the whole of CIC was extensively mined for examples of written discourse. The spoken-written continuum and Internet discourse are also examined.
Other features are: nine appendices, including a compilation of differences between British and North American grammatical usage; a glossary of grammatical terms, and a bibliography on the CANCODE project. Last but not least there is an easy to install CD-ROM with the entire content of the CGE plus the added conveniences of a search engine, recorded samples, and abundant cross-reference hyperlinks.
The CGE is an extremely useful reference book for users and lovers of English, a welcome open window looking into the realities of the spoken language.
Compre na Disal.
Inara Couto is Course Development Coordinator for the CEL-LEP group. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org