Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction is unlike any other
introductory textbook on the market. Targeting students with strong
formal/mathematical skills, but assuming no particular previous
background, this book focuses on the development of precisely
formulated grammars whose empirical predictions can be directly tested.
The book begins with the inadequacy of context-free phrase structure
grammars, motivating the introduction of feature structures, types and
type constraints as ways of expressing linguistic generalizations. Step
by step, students are led to discover a grammar that covers the core
areas of English syntax that have been central to syntactic theory in
the last quarter century, including: complementation, control, 'raising
constructions', passives, the auxiliary system, and the analysis of
long distance dependency constructions. Special attention is given to
the treatment of dialect variation, especially with respect to African
American Vernacular English, which has been of considerable interest
with regard to the educational practice of American school systems.