Based upon a ground-breaking research project by the authors to analyze the ways in which English grammar is really used, this is a corpus-based reference grammar of English. It looks at both the occurrence and distribution of grammatical features across a range of different genres, taking four text types to illustrate the way in which the language is used: conversation, fiction, news reportage and academic prose. The book reports statistical findings as well as examining the reasons which condition a particular grammatical choice. The grammar examines grammatical behaviour from lexis to discourse, and reports on many other aspects of the language, such as differences between British and American English. Natural conversation is analyzed in each chapter, based on analysis of the real, everyday conversations in the British National Corpus and the Longman Spoken American Corpus.
Douglas Biber is Professor of Applied Linguistics (English Department) at Northern Arizona University. His books and articles deal with language use in spoken and written discourse.