A recording of all of the dialogues will be available on the internet Whys & Therefores aids the reader to arrive at generalizations for the shape of the English language: words, grammar, meaning, sound and spelling. The format adopted throughout is that of a light-hearted ongoing Socratic dialogue between a mentor and a pupil. The intended effects of such activity are: awareness of what it means to 'kw' a language; reliance upon native-language intuition; discovery of what one didn't kw that one already 'kws' about the language; use of ungrammaticality as an investigative tool; healthy questioning of received facts about language from so-called experts; and usefulness of language play. Whys & Therefores can be read as a book,dipped into at random, expanded upon, even acted out. The language phemena treated therein are indexed and tabbed to the dialogues where they are discussed, making Whys & Therefores a valuable source of reference. Whys & Therefores is intended as an entertaining yet serious do-it-yourself book about aspects of English language form and meaning. However, it will also prove useful to schools as classroom material to be further exploited by the instructor in free-range dialogue form, and to institutions offering teacher training in rational-based instructional procedures for English language education in the schools.
William Rutherford is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Southern California. His main educational interests have represented an intersection of research in language acquisition, in grammatical theory, and in psycholinguistic theories of language learnability. For ten years Professor Rutherford was co-general editor of the monograph series Language Acquisition and Language Disorders and in 1995 he was the recipient of a festschrift, The Current State of Interlanguage: Studies in Honor of William E. Rutherford (Benjamins). From 1998 until his retirement he was engaged in the application of computer tools in the service of computerized data-bases of L2 learner language designed to serve L2 acquisition researchers. Among his books are Second Language Grammar: Learning and Teaching (Longman) and Workbook in the Structure of English: Linguistic Principles and Language Acquisition (Blackwell). Professor Rutherford's current interest is the potential for early education of rational inquiry as an investigative tool of the sciences and especially cognitive science (e.g. linguistics).