Unformatted text preview: Chapter 9 Chapter 9 Phrases and Sentences: Grammar Grammar
Grammar A way of describing the structure of phrases and sentences which will account for all of the grammatical sequences and rule out all the ungrammatical sentences. Grammar
Grammar The busy students = grammatical phrase
* students the busy = not grammatical
* busy the students = not grammatical
An asterisk is used in linguistics to indicate an ungrammatical/illformed sentence or phrase (one that would not be uttered by a native speaker). Grammar
Grammar How would you explain to a nonnative speaker why “students the busy” and “busy the students” are not grammatical in English?
What do these examples say about the ordering of the components of a noun phrase in English? Definitions of Grammar
Definitions of Grammar Mental grammar: a form of internal linguistic knowledge which operates in the production and recognition of appropriately structured expressions in any given language.
Descriptive grammar (language specific): the study and analysis of the structures found in a specific language, usually with the aim of describing how the structures of that language differ from the structures of other languages
Prescriptive grammar: do’s and don’ts of language usage. Identification of the “proper” or “best” structures to be used in a language. Parts of Speech
Parts of Speech Nouns: words used to refer to people, places, objects, creatures, qualities, phenomena, and abstract ideas as if they were all ‘things’ (table, science, Louisiana).
Adjectives: words that are usually used with nouns to provide more information about the ‘things’ referred to by the nouns (tall, funny).
Verbs: words used to refer to various kinds of actions and states involving the ‘things’ in events (run, throw, think).
Adverbs: words used to provide info about actions and events (“walk quickly” v. “walk”) or to modify adjectives (“very short” v. “short”). Parts of Speech
Parts of Speech Prepositions: words used with nouns within phrases to provide information about time (in the afternoon), place (on the desk), etc… (above, about, against, at, between, by, for, in, of, since, through, with, within, to).
Pronouns: words used in place of nouns within a discourse context. (personal, reflexive, possessive, interrogative, demonstrative, indefinite, relative)
Conjunctions: words used to connect and indicate relationships between events and things (and, or, nor, but, although, if, yet).
Articles: (a, an, the) Traditional Grammar
Traditional Grammar The names for the parts of speech Developed to describe Latin and Ancient Greek and imposed upon modern languages Traditional Grammar
Traditional Grammar Agreement: Number, person, tense, voice and gender; describe the forms of words and sentences. Traditional Grammar
Traditional Grammar Number Person Singular Plural
First person (involving the speaker)
Second person (involving the hearer)
Third person (involving someone else) Tense Present
Past Traditional Grammar
Traditional Grammar Voice Active Passive Gender Grammatical gender Natural gender Prescriptive Grammar
Do’s and don’ts of language usage When early English grammarians imposed the grammar of Latin and Ancient Greek on our language, the fit was not always a good one. The result is that some of the do’s and don’ts of prescriptive grammar make sense in terms of their Latin roots but don’t make much sense in English. Knowing the history helps you figure out which rules you can ignore. Prescriptive Grammar
Prescriptive Grammar It makes more sense to say that English and Latin infinitives are different rather than saying it is bad English to not always make English infinitives look like Latin infinitives.
Many rules of usage are about clarity and efficiency and getting your point across. There are times when it is important to follow conventional rules of language usage, especially in your writing. Techniques of Descriptive Grammar
Techniques of Descriptive Grammar Structural analysis: investigates the distribution of forms in a language
Immediate constituent analysis: used to show how the small constituents within a sentence or an utterance go together to form larger constituents Techniques of Descriptive Grammar
Techniques of Descriptive Grammar Constituent analysis works for other languages too. Gaelic example in book. Gaelic word order is different from English word order. In Gaelic the verb comes first in the sentence and the adjectives follow rather than precede nouns. Gaelic grammar
Gaelic grammar “Chunnaic an gille an cu dubh.” Literally: Saw the boy the dog black. The English translation is “the boy saw the black dog.” One difference between the two languages is that in terms of basic word order English is an SVO language, but Gaelic is a VSO language. Gaelic grammar
An immediate constituent analysis of the Gaelic sentence would look like this:
[Chunnaic] [an] [gille] [an] [cu] [dubh] The ultimate goal of immediate constituent analysis is to make explicit the structure of grammatical sentences in a given language which allows us to compare its structure with that of other languages and see how they are similar and different. ...
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- Fall '08
- Grammar, Passive voice, Grammatical number, traditional grammar