Linguistics, grammar,

linguistic analysis of language features

(or whatever you call it)



"A language is a dialect with an army and a navy"

(In 1945, the linguist
Max Weinreich formulated this much quoted metaphor, in Yiddish:
"A shprakh iz a diyalekt mit an armey un a flot")

Studying linguistics for the exam

2002/07/17 – These preliminary remarks will soon be replaced, I hope, with something more substantial. Grammar, or linguistics, is one field where the "agrégation" shifts up quite a few gears compared to the CAPES. For the short grammar section of the CAPES orals I was quite happy with the Garnier/Guimier book (see bibliography below). But the "agrégation" with linguistics being the bulk of one of the 6h written exams, not to mention the option for the orals, is a different matter entirely. Right now I'm just starting to disentangle the various courants énociativistes – utterance-based approaches – and their respective terminology.


Henri Adamczewski's home page (si, si!). Particularly interesting (for starters and those who've not bathed in the French approaches to English linguistics since their "licence" year): The Linguistic Credo of Metaoperational Theory (in English).

Another site apparently dedicated mostly to M. Adamczewski. The link BE+ING superstar on the left-hand side takes you to a collection of articles (in French, most of them) on BE+ING, by a number of eminent names (among them Dairine O'Kelly : La Forme "progressive" : un point de vue guillaumien; apparently the site's not sectarian).

A colloquium on modality and modal verbs and a paper on TO (in French) on the one of the ALAES sites (Association des linguistes anglicistes de l'enseignement supérieur).

Two collections of papers on articles et on interrogation (in French) respectively, on a different ALAES site.

The site of the English department of Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour with a small collection of linguistics papers. (The main entrance to the English department is here.)

USA based resources: The Linguist List home page.

As for the role of linguistics in our teaching practice see Danielle Chini's PhD thesis Quelques aspects de la problématique lingustique de l'enseignement de l'anglais dans le secondaire (parts of the text come out in Greek characters in Opera, but the page works fine in MSIE).


Garnier, Georges et Guimier, Claude: L'épreuve de linguistique au CAPES et à l'agrégation d'anglais. Nathan, Paris 1997. – Wonderfully readable introduction that gets you through the CAPES. The approach is eclectic, so you won't learn anything about the various schools of linguistic thought.

Cotte, Pierre et al.: Les théories de la grammaire anglaise en France. Hachette, Paris, 1993. – Just the opposite of the Garnier/Guimier book: Doesn't take you far into linguistics but spells out the main approaches to English grammar.

More advanced books to be added soon!



© 2002 Chris Waigl. Last modified 17th July, 2002.