The book introduces the reader to the central areas of English linguistics. The main sections are: the English language and linguistics - sounds - meaning-carrying units - sentences: models of grammar - meaning - utterances - variation. Notably, the book is written from a foreign student's perspective of the English language, i.e. aspects relevant to foreign language teaching receive particular attention. A great deal of emphasis is put on the insights to be gained from the analysis of corpora, especially with respect to the idiomatic character of language (idiom principle, valency approach). In addition, the text offers basic facts about the history of the language and elaborates on the differences between British and American English. The author demonstrates that a linguistic fact can usually be described in more than one way. To this end, each section contains a chapter written for beginners providing a broad outline and introducing the basic terminology. The remaining chapters in each section highlight linguistic facts in more detail and give an idea of how particular theories account for them. The book can be used both from the first semester onwards and as perfect study aid for final B.A.-examinations.
Thomas Herbst, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.