This textbook provides a thorough and precise account of all the major areas of English grammar. For practical reasons the author concentrates on Standard English and only selected aspects of its regional variation. The book is written for students who may have no previous knowledge of linguistics and little familiarity with 'traditional' grammar. All grammatical terms, whether traditional or more recent, are therefore carefully explained, and in the first three chapters the students is introduced to the theoretical concepts and methodological principles needed to follow the later descriptive chapters. Nevertheless, the book is more than a straightforward 'grammar of English'. Rodney Huddleston does not espouse any formalised contemporary model of syntax and morphology, but he adopts the framework of modern 'structural' linguistics, in a very broad understanding of that term. The grammatical categories postulated derive from a study of the combinational and contrastive relationships the words and other forms enter into, and Dr Huddleston pays particular attention to the problem of choosing between alternative analyses and justifying the analysis he proposes.
In this sense his book is addressed to the student of linguistics, who will find Introduction to the Grammar of English a much needed foundation for more advanced work in theoretical linguistics.