This widely acclaimed textbook provides a complete introduction to the syntax of human languages ideal for readers with no prior knowledge of the subject. Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, Understanding Syntax discusses and illustrates all the major terms and concepts essential to the study of sentence structure in the world's languages. 'Noun' and 'verb' are explained, and the properties of these categories are discussed. The reader discovers what a finite verb is, what 'first person singular' means and what relative clauses look like. Concepts such as 'subject', 'object', 'gender', 'case', and 'subordination' are introduced and exemplified. Initial illustration is from English, with extensive additional material from several other languages. 'Exotic' constructions not found in related European languages are fully covered, so that verb serialization, ergative languages and head-marking languages are all included. This new edition has been updated and revised to meet the needs of today's students. Difficult points are given fuller explanation, references have been updated, and new exercises have been introduced to enable students to consolidate their learning. In addition, new case studies give overviews of the grammar of numerous languages and language families allowing students to form a meaningful comparative understanding of syntax.