The main goal of this lecture is to deepen the understanding of the difference between prescriptive and descriptive approaches to the structure of English. After an initial brief reminder of it, we will discuss certain historical aspects in the raise of prescriptivism to then develop specific analyses of constructions that are often considered colloquial, but nonetheless constitute part and parcel of the English language as it is used by native speakers. They thus require an understanding and analysis. Such constructions include preposition stranding, different types of topicalization, amalgams, or the how come construction. Participants should ideally have taken introductions to syntax before attending the lecture.
Main textbook reference (further references will be distributed in the lecture):
Radford, A. (2018). Colloquial English: Structure and Variation (Vol. 158). Cambridge Studies in Linguistics. Cambridge University Press.