SUMMARY: Syntax textbooks

Harry Howard howard at TULANE.EDU
Wed Apr 14 17:30:45 UTC 2004

Dear Typologists,

I received 30 replies to my request for recommendations of a syntax
textbook from a typological perspective. By far the three most highly
recommended were, roughly in order:

Maggie Tallerman (1998) Understanding Syntax. London, Edward Arnold.
Thomas E. Payne (1997) Describing Morphosyntax: A Guide for Field
Linguists. Cambridge University Press.
RD van Valin Jr. (2001) An Introduction to Syntax. Cambridge University Press.

After perusing copies of all three, I decided to use Tallerman as the
textbook, and to supplement my lectures with material from from Payne
and Van Valin.

Other recommendations included the following:

RD van Valin Jr, Randy J. LaPolla (1997) Syntax: Structure, Meaning,
and Function. Cambridge University Press.
Lindsay J. Whaley (1996) Introduction to Typology: The Unity and
Diversity of Language. Sage Publications.
Bernard Comrie (1989) Language Universals and Linguistic Typology:
Syntax and Morphology 2e. University of Chicago Press.
CROFT, W. 2003. Typology and universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
SONG, J.J. 2001. Linguistic typology: morphology and syntax. Harlow
and London: Pearson Education.
T. Givon, (1984) Syntax. A functional-typological introduction.
Graham Mallinson & Barry Blake (1981) Language typology.
cross-linguistic studies in syntax.

For what it's worth, something called the Faculty Center
<> ranks textbook adoptions (in the
USA?) and has Tallerman's book among the top four syntax textbooks,
which are as follows:

Syntax : A Generative Introduction. Carnie, Andrew
Syntax Handbook : Everything You Learned About Syntax but Forgot.
Justice, Laura M. / Ezell, Helen K.
English Syntax : From Word to Discourse. Berk, Lynn M.
Understanding Syntax.Tallerman, Maggie

I would like to thank all of those who replied to my message for your
help in this task.

Harry Howard, Associate Professor
Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese, Director of Graduate Studies
Program in Cognitive Studies
Program in Latin American Studies
Program in Linguistics
Program in Neuroscience

voice: +504-862-3417
fax: +504-862-8752
email (this should keep the spambots at bay):

postal mail:
Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese
322-D Newcomb Hall
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA  70118-5698, USA

  "If everything's under control, you're not going fast enough."
                                              Mario Andretti (?)
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