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Review of the Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (First Edition) by S. Chalker and E. Weiner 1994 Oxford: Oxford University Press

Review of the Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (First Edition) by S. Chalker and E. Weiner 1994 Oxford: Oxford University Press
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Transcript Downloaded: 11 Oct 2011IP address: about Sigmund Freud, while he is not consideredworthy of an entry. Similarly, the entry  EXETER only mentions  Exeter carpet  (made in this 'city inSW England', as the etymology informs us) and Exeter Hall  (a building in London given a full 3-line description).Overall, this is a beautifully crafted dictionary,handy if slightly heavy, with attractive presenta-tion and reliable content. I believe it will becomea good friend. D  dmirably lucid and clear Sylvia Chalker Edmund Weiner,  The  xford  ictionary  of  English  Grammar Oxford UniversityPress, 1994. pp. x+448 pages, £15.95Review by Bas Aarts, University College London There are now several types of reference workavailable for those interested in language and lin-guistics, ranging from the recent monumental 10-volume  Encyclopedia  of  Language  and  Linguistics (1994, Pergamon Press, edited by R. E. Asher) tosmaller one-volume dictionaries such as DavidCrystal's  Dictionary of  Linguistics  and Phonetics (1992, 3rd edition, Blackwell) and R. L. Trask's Dictionary of  Grammatical  Terms in Linguistics (1993,  Routledge). The scope of these works isdifferent. Thus, while the Pergamon encyclopediaand Crystal cover the field of linguistics as awhole, the former in article form, the latter in theform of short dictionary entries, Trask covers onlygrammatical terms, where grammar is understoodas comprising syntax and morphology.Sylvia Chalker and Edmund Weiner narrow thefield down even further and have written a dictio-nary of terms that covers specifically the grammarof English. This dictionary, so the blurb informs us,  offers the interested general reader, the lan-guage professional, and the student alike,straightforward and immediate access to 1,000grammatical terms and their meanings: it is bothan A-Z reference and guide to the subject. Whilemost of the terms are from 'current mainstreamgrammar 1  (which we can take to mean the tradi-tion of the Quirk  et  al grammars), there are alsoterms from semantics, pragmatics and phonetics.Some traditional terms are also listed, as are gen-eral terms from theoretical linguistics. The latterseem to have been collected somewhat haphaz-ardly from only one or two theoretical frame-works, chiefly systemic grammar, and, to a lesserextent, generative grammar. While the exclusionof the more technical jargon of recent theories isdefensible in a work such as this, there are one ortwo terms which should not have been left outbecause they have gained general currency overthe last few decades (e.g.  X-bar Syntax, Move-ment). The dictionary is well produced, pleasantly laidout and easy to use. Headwords are printed inbold, and different senses of headwords are num-bered. As in any dictionary of this type, there areplenty of cross-references which are indicated bysmall capitals or by a mixture of small capitalsand italics. The latter system is used for  cross ref erences to words or phrases inside a main entry.Within the entries, use is also made of single ordouble bullets. This practice is not explained, butso far as I have been able to ascertain the singlebullet indicates alternative forms of the headentry (e.g.  tone/«tonicity),  while the double bul-let indicates an expanded form of the headword(e.g.  corpus/* corpus linguistics). A  novel feature of the dictionary is that at timesit quotes, sometimes at length, from textbooks,grammars and other scholarly publications, inorder to (further) elucidate a particular term.While in some cases this is useful, in other casesthe quotations are redundant. Thus, in the entryfor  concession  the following sentence from Quirk et  al is quoted:1985 R. QUIRK et al. Clauses of concession areintroduced chiefly by  although  or its moreinformal variant  though. In the immediately following main entry for  con-cessive  we then find the following: A  concessive clause  (or  clause  of  concession isusually introduced by a  concessive  conjunction e.g.  although though whereas while. It would have been more felicitous if the twoentries had been merged, dropping the quotation,and with  concessive  a 'single bullet entry under concession.  In yet other cases the quotations addconfusion. What is the reader to make of thequote added to the term  redundant? 1954  G.  A. MILLER et al. If a language  is  highlyredundant, the relative information per symbolis much lower than it would be if successivesymbols in a message could be chosenindependently.This quotation is clearly taken out of context.Notice also that the page reference is omitted,making it hard for users of the dictionary to findthe srcinal passage, if they wanted to. In manycases, instead of quotations, it would have beenmore useful if the authors had supplied a fewitems of suggested reading in the entries.While a publication like this is of course subjectto space limitations, the authors might consider,for a future edition, to include short entries on thevarious grammars of the so-called Great Tradition, as  well as on the grammarians that wrote them. REVIEWS DISPLAYS55 Downloaded: 11 Oct 2011IP address: Despite the qualms mentioned above, the defin-itions in this dictionary are admirably lucid andclear, and good explanations are given of the dif-ferent use that is made by linguists of certainterms. In short, this book will be a useful refer-ence manual, especially for those who do notneed, or want, a more 'technical' dictionary, suchas Crystal's or Trask's, but a guide whichexpounds the terminology in an informal but clearway. It will be welcomed by students of English inschools and colleges, as well as by learners of Eng-lish as a foreign language. • Recent titles A thematic list of books received in recent months,with publishing details, quotations, examples, andcomments, compiled by ROSHAN McARTHUR. Style manuals ^- John Grossman, Managing Editor,  The  Chicago Manual of Style 14th (centennial) edition,University of Chicago Press (Chicago & London), 1993,  pp. ix + 921, hb 0-226-10389-7, US$40.00. • The style book of the University ofChicago Press - the leading style guide in theUnited States - was first published at the end ofthe 19th century. Largely the result of the effortsof a lone proofreader, it has had as its goal the'renunciation... of an authoritarian position infavor of common sense and flexibility'. This princi-ple guides the centennial edition, along with 'arespect for the author's individuality, purpose,and style, tempered though it is with a deeply feltresponsibility to prune from the work whateverstylistic infelicities, inconsistencies, and ambigui-ties might have gained stealthy entrance'(Preface). There are four parts:(1)  Bookmaking:  the parts of a book, manuscriptpreparation and copyediting, proofs, rights andpermissions.(2)  Style:  punctuation, spelling, names and terms,numbers, foreign languages, quotations, illustra-tions, captions, legends, tables, mathematics,abbreviations, documentation, indexes.(3)  Production  and printing:  design and typogra-phy, composition, printing, binding, papermaking.(4)  Back  matter:  a glossary of technical terms, bib-liography, index.For the 14th edition, die number and variety ofexamples have been increased, with a broaderoverview of publishing and a particular focus onthe role of computers within it. The chapters ondocumentation, copyrights and permissions, quo-tations, names and terms, and foreign languages(to include Hebrew) have been revised for thisedition, as have die tabular spelling guide (forcompound words and words witli  prefixes/suf fixes), die bibliography and index.^  Style  Manual  for Authors Editors  and Printers 5di Edition, Australian Government PublishingService (Canberra), 1994, pp. xi + 468, hb 0-644-29770-0, Aus $39.95, pb 0-644-29771-9, Aus$24.95. * First published in 1966 as a referencebook for public servants of the Commonwealth,this manual is now widely used in other walks ofAustralian life. It 'offers rules, recommendationsand information for authors, editors, graphicdesigners and printers' (Introduction, p. xi). Itsstructure is as follows:(1)  Writing and  editing:  principles of good writ-ing, copy-editing, spelling and usage, capitals,italics, punctuation, shortened forms, non-dis-criminatory language, notes, references and bibli-ographies, numbers, measurement, and the lawrelating to publication.(2)  Preparing copy  for  printing:  aspects of copypreparation, typographical style, die parts of apublication, illustrations, heraldic and otherdevices, proofreading, and indexes.(3)  Publishing  and  bookmaking:  publishing, type-setting and printing, paper, binding.(4)  Appendices:  titles, honours and forms ofaddress, paper sizes, standard page dimensions,metric conversion tables.(5)  Back  matter:  glossary, bibliography, index.All chapters have been updated, with particularattention paid to non-discriminatory language,writing, proofreading, indexing, and notes, refer-ences, and bibliographies (including where rele-vant changes in electronic media). Note  Where die Chicago volume has a solid, tradi-tional 'oak-panelled' feel to it, the Australian vol-ume is bright, glossy and avant-garde in itsappearance and approach. Usage books • Edward Carney,  A Survey of  English  Spelling Roudedge (London   New York), 1994, pp. xxvii+ 535, hb 0-415-09270-UK 1, £50.00 (no USprice available). * An occasionally presecriptive'functional exploration of the spelling regularitiesand markers that underpin literacy in English'(cover). The author has used a database to findand describe irregularities in the English writingsystem, 'to see how traditional orthographyworks, or fails to work' (Preface). In seven sec-tions: an introduction; 'a critical survey of themethods and problems involved in describing the 56 ENGLISH TODAY 40 October 1994
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