Parts of speech: solid citizens or slippery customers?

Fri 10 May 2013, 17:15 - 18:45

The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

The ‘parts of speech’ which have played a fundamental role in most descriptions of grammar, from primary school curriculum to advanced linguistic theory, are explored in this lecture. Professor Denison invites us to look at some intriguing changes in recent everyday English which challenge traditional assumptions about the definition and usefulness of word classes such as  ‘pronoun’, ‘adjective’ and ‘noun’. He raises important questions about what happens at the boundaries between these word classes and look at how we can answer these questions – potentially changing the  direction of both future linguistic research and pedagogical practice.

About the Speaker
David Denison holds the Smith Chair in English Language at the University of Manchester and has held visiting professorships at universities in Europe and North America. Internationally recognised as a leading expert on the evolution of English grammar, he has published widely on historical and present-day change in grammatical categories and constructions and has advised on the preparation of materials for teaching grammar in schools.


Professor David Denison
Smith Chair in English Language, University of Manchester

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