on 16 October 2010
Noel Burton-Roberts makes a topic many would think of as dull hugely enjoyable. The analysis is fascinating and very accessible to complete beginners, making it a perfect resource for students of English Language and Linguistics. I would highly recommend this book, and don't be put off by the initial complexity because it soon becomes second nature! Brilliant.
on 13 September 2015
As a teacher of English as a foreign language, it's important for me to have an understanding of English syntax beyond the piecemeal rules presented in coursebooks. This book is an outstanding introduction to a linguistics-based approach to syntax. The arguments are clear and concise. What makes this a truly excellent textbook is the exercises at the end of each chapter. I strongly recommend readers to work through all of the exercises and further exercises. They provide a thorough drilling and revision of the content of each chapter. The fact that I was almost always able to exactly reproduce the answers given at the end of the exercises is a testament to the strength of the instruction given in the chapters.
The material covered in the book is intrinsically fascinating and gives a sense of the wonder of the natural phenomenon of language. The fact that all the examples are entirely clear, yet based entirely on native-speaker intuition, raises a fascinating theoretical question.
The material is also presented in an efficient yet entertaining style. The example sentences read like extracts from a satirical novel written by W. Somerset Maugham and Stanislaw Lem after a weekend of psychedelic adventures. I can't wait to find out what happens to the woman with the purple hair.