Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bas Aarts, grammatologist

Oxford has recently published the Oxford Modern English Grammar by Bas Aarts. It is a relatively slim and accessible reference grammar at a reasonable price. It is modern both in that it looks at modern English and that it takes account of modern linguistic description. If you find the CGEL daunting, this might be a good alternative for you. Although Aarts has not adopted all the innovations in the CGEL, he does follow it in many respects.

Interestingly, Aarts is described on the OUP website as "one of Britain's leading grammatologists." This word was new to me, but when I looked it up, the OED has, of grammatology

  1. The study of writing systems and orthography. 
  2. Literary Theory. The critical analysis of the relation between text, spoken language, and meaning.

As far as I can tell, neither of those descriptions applies to Aarts, a linguist who seems to focus on syntax. Any guesses?
[Update: April 4. The word has now been changed to grammarian. I guess it was just a mistake.]

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