This book is intended primarily for undergraduate students of English, though it will also be useful for undergraduates in linguistics focusing on English. It shows how a restricted set of principles can account for a wide range of the phenomena of English syntax.
While the main focus of the book is empirical, it introduces important theoretical concepts: theta theory, X-bar theory, case theory, locality, binding theory, economy, full interpretation, functional projections. In doing so it prepares the student for more advanced theoretical work. The authors integrate many recent insights into the nature of syntactic structure into their discussion. They present information in a gradual way: hypotheses developed in early chapters are reviewed and modified in subsequent ones. The authors also pay attention to the relation between structure and interpretation and to language variation, and particularly to register variation. They include a wide range of diverse exercises, giving the student an opportunity for creative individual work on English.