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date: 17 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

As one way to survey the long and diversified history of the study of English grammar, Chapter 1 presents five case studies of scholars’ different conceptualizations of a fundamental matter on which any grammar-writer must take a stand. That matter is the question of what language material a grammar must account for, and what a legitimate source of that material is. The case studies span two hundred years of analysis of English, from Lindley Murray through Henry Sweet, Otto Jespersen, and Randolph Quirk to Noam Chomsky—each of whom established a distinctive grammaticological stance, designed to satisfy a distinctive understanding of the identity and provenance of the data a grammarian works with. The chapter compares treatment of one particular construction, the English ‘double negative’, as a microcosm of differences across the five case studies.

Keywords: history of English grammar, grammaticology, double negative, Lindley Murray, Henry Sweet, Otto Jespersen, Randolph Quirk, Noam Chomsky

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