The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language

Errata et Corrigenda

The table below gives a complete guide to all the known typographical errors in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Those identified with "+" in the leftmost column have already been corrected in recent reprintings of the book, but might be wrong in your copy if you bought it early. Most of the errors are (or were) very small: one-character spelling mistakes, spacing errors, character transpositions, and the like. On page 1036, in a fit of typographical nerdiness, we even correct an en dash (–) to a hyphen (-)!

Only one or two errors are substantive (and one of those, on page 518, involves not grammar but geography). The substantive errors that relate to the English language are minor, like citing moth as having only an [s] plural when in fact the [z] plural is quite common (page 1587). Errors where we say something suggesting a wrong analysis are very rare, but here are two examples:

First, on page 560, in [21], the use of laureate as a postpositive adjective is illustrated with Nobel laureate, but in that phrase the noun laureate is the head and Nobel is an attributive modifier. We should have put poet laureate, where the head noun is poet and laureate does function as a postpositive adjective. (Notice that the plural of Nobel laureate is Nobel laureates. The plural of poet laureate (rare, because any given country selects a unique poet for that title) would be poets laureate under the analysis we are talking about, though many people now treat the phrase as if it had the same structure as Nobel laureate, and write poet laureates. This shows clearly that laureate as an adjective is being lost from the language, even in postpositive function with the head noun poet.)

Second, on page 912, the term "Determinative whose" is incorrectly used, twice: whose is the genitive inflected form of the pronoun who, so although it functions as determiner, it belongs to the pronoun category, not the determinative category.

Even with these two substantive mistakes, however, the correction involves changing just a single word.

There is a second table following the main one which shows a couple of entries that we now think should have been in the lexical index but were missed in the first printing (they were added in the second), and a few further entries that we now think should have been added.

Some of the errors have been spotted by the authors, and others by alert readers around the world (literally: we have heard from readers in the UK, Germany, Nigeria, China, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Canada, and the USA). We particularly thank Adam Albright, Randy Alexander, Michael J. Corrigan, Peter Culicover, Stephen Drage, Vanja Dunjko, Simon Goodwin, Benson Ibe, Dae-Ho Kim, Audrey Laroche, Chungmin Lee, Geoffrey Leech, Stan Legacy, Maurice McCallum, Joybrato Mukherjee, Will Oxford, Paul Postal, Brett Reynolds, Adrian Stenton, Roland Sussex, and Jonathan Swinton.

Although there were originally about 77 typos and minor content errors in the first printing, recent reprintings now have only about 25 that we know of, in a book of 1,860 pages. That's about one error every 75 pages.

The authors would be grateful for messages about any further errors that might be discovered. They should be emailed, preferably to with as copy recipient. (We have both changed email addresses as well as homes and offices in the eventful years since CGEL was published. In fact GKP has changed email addresses, offices, universities, and home addresses about ten times (he can no longer remember). We apologise if you have ever sent us a message we did not respond to. Please send your message again. We always acknowledge messages on this topic.)

The errors

(A prefixed + means "has been corrected in recent reprintings"; "\\" signifies a line break.)
 PageWhere Erroneous textCorrected text
+viiiline 7 ÜniversitätUniversität
+xiiline 14(p. 48) (p. 49)
+xiiiline 11 up [24] what you insisted that we need 1098 [24] what you insisted that we need 1089
+11fn. 3 the London/Oslo/Bergen (LOB) corpus the Lancaster/Oslo/Bergen (LOB) corpus
+245 lines up the  photographs the  photographs
+473 lines below [3] the passive [iiib] the passive [iiia]
 50tree [8b] PredComp PredComp:
 62line 6 a request to close the door. a request to close the window.
+79line 8 in Ch. 16, §10.3 in Ch. 16, §10.1.3
+1406 lines below [3] T12 Tr2
 150line 11 the accepting her offer the accepting of her offer
 1675th line below [13] if Kim's situation had been conceptualised if Jill's situation had been conceptualised
+1762 lines above [5] it important it is important
+21711 lines up (text) think in a passive clause consider in a passive clause
+2184 lines below [6] think consider
+219line 2 die leave
+241example [11],
line (f)
/   X   /   X N/A   N/A   N/A   X
+2474 lines below [4] her Jo
 2524th line of last full paragraph the be of [3i] the be of [3a]
+261example [26] almost raw almost raw
+349example display at line 12 [51] [53]
+412example [7b] Nom: Nom
 440lines 6-7 The one exception is the noun denizen... There are no known exceptions.
+446example [13ii] fifty miles an hours fifty miles an hour
+446line 10 indefinities indefinites
+479below example [63] the suffix's attaches the suffix  's  attaches
+518line 9 the Bronx naming a district in Manhattan the Bronx naming a borough of New York City
+5296 lines below example [3] An adjectives that All adjectives that
 5303 lines below example [7] predicative PPs with idiomatic meanings, such as in a bad predicative PPs with idiomatic meanings, such as in a bad
+53012 lines up Predicative adjuncts in front position . . .  Predicative adjuncts in front position . . .
+547example [33ii] It surely isn't [That important] It surely isn't [that important]
+560in [20], second line drunk drunk BrE
+560 line 3 up (not counting footnote) a Nobel laureate the poet laureate
+560line below [20] Those in [20] have to do with medical health or condition. Those in [i] have to do with medical health or condition.
+561line 9 We take these to involved We take these to involve
 588 line before [45] the relevant concept is not "except", but "more than" the relevant concept is not "except", but "no more than"
+599line 8 Adj Ps AdjPs
 620tree (c) in example [9] NP (at the right child of the root PP node, under Comp:) PP
+626bottom line of text In [i] the In [a] the
+627line 2 in [ii] in [b]
+629example [7] ii a. you can certainly rely __ oni you can certainly rely on __i
 640line 11 require a complement – a for phrase require a complement – a from phrase
+692line 1 [iii] even has a path [ii] even has a path
+912line 10 up, header (a) Determinative whose Determiner whose
+912line 5 up With determinative whose, With determiner whose,
+10362 lines below [8] gerund–participials gerund-participials
+1037line 20 The meaning in both [i] and [ii] The meaning in both [ii] and [iii]
 1043example [20] ii I felt the need \\ need of a better knowledge of Hebrew and archaeology.] I felt the need \\ of a better knowledge of Hebrew and archaeology.]
 1045example [32] iii [where they went last year ___i]. [where they went ___i last year].
 1050example [51] iii the knoll behind the missioni, the knoll behind the missioni,
 1105line 5 more satisfactorily than we did last year better than we did last year
+1173example [2] iii subordinate embedded in a larger clause
 1218line 2 of text whereas in [ii] whereas in [b]
+1229example [14] help (B) NS help (B) NS
 1232example [28] ackowledge acknowledge
 12472nd line of blue-shaded section but only of convince but only of accept
 126312 lines up Wantstraightforwardly Want straightforwardly
+1276example [5] i [on Monday, on [Monday,
+1276example [5] ii [on Monday on [Monday
+1280example [14] i b. [on Tuesday or Wednesday]. on [Tuesday or Wednesday].
+1284example [28] i [the premiers of Queensland and Tasmania] [the premiers of Queensland and Tasmania]
13893 lines above section header 5.3 (cf. the three days later of [11vi]), (cf. the three days later of [1vi]),
+1587line 4 up length, moth, strength length, strength
+1587line 5 up lath, oath, sheath, lath, moth, oath, sheath,
+1605example [44] thrive thrive R
+1623line 23 consraints constraints
+1725line 23 (' or ' ') (' or ")
 1736 example [4] ii b he did not want have to he did not want to have to
+1755example [11] ii 'She She
1771line 8 Sumney Summey
1777Sumney entry Sumney Summey
+1796column 3 let 208, 271n, let 208, 270n,
+1809line 3, col. 2 tortelleni 1594 tortellini 1594
+1817line 3 co-indexing 49, 68, 1037, 1039, 1085, 1088 co-indexing 49, 68, 1037, 1039, 1085, 1088, 1454
+1823‘fused-head’ entry 384, 384-5,
 1828line 9 of column 2 metalinguistic negation 724, 1101n metalinguistic negation 724, 790, 1101n
+1837line 21, col. 1 1582n 1581n

Additions to lexical index (these references were missing in 2002 but have been added in recent reprintings)
+PageWhere What it said What it should have said
+1784line 6 of column 3 buy 230, 232, 235, 248, 260, 285, buy 220, 230, 232, 235, 248, 260, 285,
+1786nearly halfway down column 2 contain 167-8, 1432 contain 167-8, 220, 1432
+1788line 10, col. 2 dive 296 dive 296, 1604
+1795line 11 of column 2 inquire 975-6, 978, 1027, 1529 inquire 220, 975-6, 978, 1027, 1529
+1806col. 3, below line 14      spit 1604
+1811one third down column 3 wonder 170, 600, 871, 882, 958 wonder 170, 220, 600, 871, 882, 958

Finally, this is as good a place as any to state a general warning that a few lists of lexical items that are claimed not to have some property are longer than they should have been — they get shorter each time we look at a larger corpus. One example is the list of strictly transitive verbs, those take a truly obligatory object (see section (b), Selective obligatoriness, on page 246). We include the verb use as strictly transitive; but in connection with illegal drugs an objectless use has developed (Amy is using again). It looks as if verbs that have truly obligatory objects are extremely rare, especially if one considers secondary forms (occurrences in non-finite clauses like infinitivals or participials).

Another example is the list of monosyllabic adjectives that do not inflect for comparison (see page 1583, [9]). Inflected forms of the adjectives we list there (cross, fake, ill, like, loath, prime, real, right, and worth) are certainly very rare; but crosser definitely occurs (and was more frequent in British writing about a century ago); faker and iller and realer can occasionally be found; and so on. *Worther and *worthest do not appear to exist at all; but in general, monosyllabic adjectives that absolutely never take comparative or superlative inflectional forms are very scarce indeed; we only list ten, and even that is a few too many. We should probably have listed just worth, loath, and perhaps prime.

Last edited Wednesday, 6 January 2016, 15:36:01 by GKP.