From Otto Jespersen to Case for Case, to Government and Binding Theory, to Semantic Grammar, the traditional study of grammar and syntax echoes the idea that the noun (the subject noun phrase) in a sentence governs the verb. Even though authors like C. Fillmore and R. Dixon assert that the verb is the central grammatical category, the analysis ends up being morphological with categories such as Noun Phrase, Verb Phrase, and Prepositional Phrase.
Live Grammar fundamentally argues that the verb, not the subject, is the center of the sentence (the main linguistic entity), and as such, should be the center of the linguistic analysis. The central thesis is that the grammatical category pertains to morphology; the verb pertains to syntax; and the sentence pertains to semantics. A theoretical framework is explained and exemplified using songs from The Beatles Lyrics (1992), then the first 25 songs are used to illustrate the notions expounded, and finally four Beatles’ songs and a short story are analyzed to show Live Grammar in action.
ISBN 9783862883493. LINCOM Studies in English Linguistics 18. 70pp. 2012.