An Historical Syntax of the English Language (4 vols)
The aim of this study is to provide an outline of the development, from the earliest times to the present day, of all the English syntatical constructions with a verbal form as their nucleus.
Professor Visser's description is based on a very extensive collection of documentary material covering every kind of writing in prose and poetry in the Old, Middle and Modern periods, drawing on quotations illustrating syntactical phenomena in Bosworth & Toller, O.E.D., M.M.E.D., E.D.D., and D.O.S.T., but also making reference to obsolete usages not found in any grammar, and to the views of English and American grammarians of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries on the various syntactical constructions.
The volumes of this work originally appeared in the early sixties and seventies and were well received by readers and reviewers. Volumes 1 and 2 underwent correction in the light of these early reactions. We should like to think that this work will continue to be available to the scholarly world without great increases in the price. We are however only reprinting the individual volumes in small numbers, and so we have decided that in order to guarantee a consistent reprint and pricing policy for the future, the work should be available henceforth only as a set of four volumes.