Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts : A Discourse-Based Approach to English Grammar book cover
1st Edition

Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts
A Discourse-Based Approach to English Grammar

ISBN 9781138785274
Published May 8, 2018 by Routledge
492 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts: A Discourse-Based Approach to English Grammar is a book for language teachers and learners that focuses on the meanings of grammatical constructions within discourse, rather than on language as structure governed by rigid rules. This text emphasizes the ways in which users of language construct meaning, express viewpoints, and depict imageries using the conceptual, meaning-filled categories that underlie all of grammar. Written by a team of authors with years of experience teaching grammar to future teachers of English, this book puts grammar in the context of real language and illustrates grammar in use through an abundance of authentic data examples. Each chapter also provides a variety of activities that focus on grammar, genre, discourse, and meaning, which can be used as they are or can be adapted for classroom practice. The activities are also designed to raise awareness about discourse, grammar, and meaning in all facets of everyday life, and can be used as springboards for upper high school, undergraduate, and graduate level research projects and inquiry-based grammatical analysis. Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts is an ideal textbook for those in the areas of teacher education, discourse analysis, applied linguistics, second language teaching, ESL, EFL, and communications who are looking to teach and learn grammar from a dynamic perspective.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Meaning Beyond Syntax: Discourse and Conceptualization

Chapter 2. The Nuts and Bolts of Grammar

Chapter 3. The Basic Grammar for Mentioning People, Ideas, Values, Objects, Concepts, and Things: Nouns and their Meanings in Discourse

Chapter 4. Referring to, Identifying, Specifying, Underspecifying, Possessing, and Quantifying Things, People, and Ideas in Discourse: Determiners

Chapter 5. Alternate Ways to Identify, Specify, Underspecify, Focus On, and Quantify Things, People, and Ideas in Discourse: Pronouns

Chapter 6. The Grammar of Events, States, Identities, Actions, Power, Control, and Spontaneity in Discourse: Verbs

Chapter 7. The Grammar of Time, Fact, Habit, Changeability, Permanence, Sequence, and Relevance in Discourse: Tense and Aspect

Chapter 8. The Grammar of Directives, Permissions, Obligations, Opinions, and Mitigations: Imperatives and Modals

Chapter 9. The Grammar of Agency, Control, Responsibility, Passivity, Non-Agency, and Non-Accountability: Voice

Chapter 10. The Grammar of Juxtaposing, Contrasting, Denying, Excluding, Contradicting, and Reversing: Negation

Chapter 11. The Grammar of Inquiry and Apparent Inquiry in Discourse: Yes-No Questions, Wh-Questions, Alternative or Choice Questions, and Tag Questions

Chapter 12. The Grammar of Situating Entities in Space, Time, and Abstractness, Hanging On, Burning Up, and Cooling Down: Prepositions and Phrasal Verbs

Chapter 13. The Exquisite Grammar of Descriptions—Being Bellicose or Bubbly, Feckless or Fearless: Adjectives

Chapter 14. The Grammar of Connecting, Adding, Conjoining, Contrasting, Indicating Alternatives, and Expressing Stance: Conjunctions

Chapter 15. The Grammar of Exquisitely Evoking Events, How Things Happen, When Things Happen, If Things Happen, and How We Portray Such Views in Discourse: Adverbs

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Susan Strauss is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Asian Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, USA. Her research interests center on the interface of discourse, cognition, interaction, and culture, often from a cross-linguistic/cross-cultural perspective. She is co-author of Discourse Analysis: Putting our Worlds into Words (Routledge, 2014).

Parastou Feiz is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of English at California State University, San Bernardino, USA. Her research focuses on comparative analyses of grammatical structures across languages, particularly Persian and English. She is co-author of Discourse Analysis: Putting our Worlds into Words (Routledge, 2014).

Xuehua Xiang is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA. Her research focuses on using empirical lenses, such as discourse analysis, corpus tools, and cognitive-functional perspectives to study the interaction of language, culture, and communication.


"This is a remarkable textbook on English grammar, approaching it not as ‘rules’ and ‘structure’, but rather as it emerges in a principled way from discourse, from the way people all over the world use language in their everyday activities. Linguistic forms are discussed in the context of how speakers and writers assign responsibility, organize thoughts, ideas, and experiences, and convey perspectives, opinions, and information. The presentation is clear and accessible, appealingly and engagingly written, and rich in up-to-date examples from actual language use. The focus on genre and register is welcome, and the practice and review exercises are thoughtful, imaginative, and relevant. Of special note are the book’s orientation to languages other than English and to multilingual students. For professors and students alike, this revolutionary new way of approaching grammar will go a long way towards re-conceptualizing grammar as a fascinating human adaptation to the social, cultural, and physical environment in which they find themselves."
Sandra A. Thompson, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

"In this richly informed, yet always lively, thought-provoking, and hands-on textbook, Strauss, Feiz, and Xiang make a convincing case that grammar and its major categories should be viewed as a highly adaptable system of meaning-making. Drawing on a multiplicity of discourse types and sources, they engage teachers and learners alike to create sophisticated and critically aware language users in the contemporary world."
Heidi Byrnes, Georgetown University, USA

"Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts is more than just an invaluable resource: its contents and organization give new and veteran teachers a great opportunity to take a detailed look at how grammar affects discourse, and how discourse affects grammar choices."
Eli Hinkel, Seattle Pacific University, USA