The English Language: From Sound to Sense

By Gerald P. Delahunty and James J. Garvey
Designed and copy edited by David Doran

The English Language: From Sound to Sense, by Gerald P. Delahunty and James J. GarveyGrounded in linguistic research and argumentation, The English Language: From Sound to Sense is written to help readers become independent language analysts capable of critically evaluating claims about the language and the people who use it. Written in a clear style, it guides its readers on topics including basic assumptions about language and discourse, pronunciation, word-formation strategies, parts of speech, clause elements and patterns, how clauses may be combined into sentences, and how clauses and sentences are modified to suit speakers' and writers' discourse purposes.

The English Language avoids presenting the language as a set of arbitrary facts by grounding its conclusions in the analytic methods that have characterized the best grammatical and linguistic practices for hundreds of years. Although its perspectives derive from modern-traditional and generative grammar, its goal is to provide its readers with a broad spectrum of basic knowledge about English. Each chapter contains a glossary of terms, a list of readings, and numerous exercises.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter

1. Introduction to the Linguistic Study of Language

2. Conceptions of Language and Grammar

3. A Skeletal Introduction to English Grammar

4. Phonetics and Phonology

5. Morphology and Word Formation

6. The Major Parts of Speech

7. The Minor Parts of Speech

8. Word Meaning

9. Phrases

10. Basic Clause Patterns

11. Modifications of Basic Clause Patterns

12. Multi-Clause Sentences


About the Authors

Gerald P. Delahunty is Associate Professor of Linguistics and English and Assistant Chair of the Colorado State University Department of English, where he teaches courses on all aspects of linguistics and occasional courses on Irish literature. He has published on syntactic theory, English syntax, sociolinguistics, and Irish archaeology. James J. Garvey taught linguistics and literature courses in the English Department at Colorado State University. He died tragically in 2006.

Publication Information: Delahunty, Gerald P., and Garvey, James J. (2010). The English Language: From Sound to Sense. Perspectives on Writing. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press. Available at

Publication Date: May 21, 2010

Contact Information:
Gerald P. Delahunty:

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editor: Susan H. McLeod, University of California, Santa Barbara

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It is also available in print at Parlor Press.

Copyright © 2010 Gerald P. Delahunty. 480 pages, with index and illustrations. Available in paper and cloth formats direct from Parlor Press online, or at any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in PDF format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another Web site. For permissions to use materials from this book in other publications, contact Gerald P. Delahunty.