Cook and Newson have written an extremely clear and highly comprehensible introduction to current syntactic theory. This text makes accessible many subtleties of linguistic argumentation, and explains in plain Eenglish the reasoning involved. The second edition greatly improves on the first edition, both in depth and scope, with much new material added and many confusing points clarified. The chapter on the “Minimalist Programme” is the most lucid explication of Chomsky's reccnt writings that I am aware of,Steven Franks, Indiana University .
Chomsky's Universal Crammar introduces both the general concepts of the theory particularly its goals of describing the knowledge of language and of accounting for how it is acquired, and the main areas of syntax such as X-bar theory, movement and government. Like the first edition, it puts the technicalities of the theory in the context of its wider ideas in a manner that makes them accessible to the student. The new edition is based on the current model of syntax that is most widely accepted, incorporating Barriers syntax, functional categories, and Relativized Minimality, and their implications for language acquisition. Further, it provides a sketch of the model in the process of development, the Minimalist Programme, with its attempt to reduce the theory to the minimal essentials.