Distinctions are all-important to grammatical description. Terms and concepts
cannot be defined without them. Yet, linguists may disagree on which
distinctions to make, where, and on which grounds. A grammarian may have
a tendency to either split categories or lump them together, and may prefer to
draw either sharp or blurred dividing lines between forms, usage types, or
areas of study.
This volume sheds new light on several topics in English grammar by
introducing, redrawing or questioning boundaries between grammatical
classes, between synchrony and diachrony, and between semantics and
pragmatics. It is dedicated to Renaat Declerck, emeritus professor of English
linguistics who retired from Belgium’s University of Leuven in 2009. While
Declerck’s main contributions lie in his detailed study of the English tense
system, he has dissected a vast range of grammatical phenomena in
English. The first part of the book discusses distinctions in the grammar of
the English verb phrase, dealing with tense, modality, and -ing forms and
nominalisations. The second part is devoted to distinctions in the grammar of
the sentence and utterance in English, exploring issues related to word order
and information structure, reasoning, and dialogic interaction.
Insightfully written by European and Japanese scholars in honour of Renaat
Declerck’s careful descriptive approach and many achievements, the fifteen
original papers collected in this book will reward anyone studying or
describing the grammar of English.