Influence of normative grammars

Frans Wilhelm, in his PhD dissertation English in the Netherlands (2005), distinguishes three aspects that might help in determining a grammar’s influence: frequency of publication, circulation time, availability (p. 315). This seems a worthwhile approach, and for English grammars published before 1800 I can see that Alston’s bibliography would give information on the first two of these, but how would you find out about a book’s availability?

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  1. Frans Wilhelm

    The criterion ‘availability’ concerns the selection of textbooks for closer inspection. It does not refer to contemporary, but to present-day availability. In other words, it is only an obvious, ‘external’ criterion for selecting textbooks that are expected to have exerted some influence. In this sense it is different from the other two criteria, frequency of publication and circulation time, which may be labelled ‘internal’ criteria.

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