Langauge elements are related to one another in a system rather than being mere collection of individual items is charactheristic of what has come to be known as the structural approach to linguistic analysis. According to the structuralists, individual sounds, words or parts of sentecnes have no linguistic significance in themselves; they have significance in the patterns of a linguistic system. Structuralism has two distinct senses. Firstly, it is based on belief that each language is a unique relation structure, and it is best to study the elements of a language not in relation but as parts of a systemic whole. In second, it indicates a characteristic preoccupation with form rather than meaning. The term ‘taxonomic’ refers to the type of linguistic analysis which is concerned mainly with the segmentation and classification of uttrerances, without reference to ther ‘deeper’ more abstract level of linguistic organization. It means the inductive classificatory procedure on which such grammars were mainly based. Taxonomic linguists based their work on the assumption that grammatical categories should be defined not in terms of meaning but in terms of distribution and the structure of each language should be described without reference to alleged universality of such categories as tense, mood and parts of speech. A taxonomic description is said to be formal in the sense that the units of the analysis are defined in relation to each other. The sturctural framework of English by Fries is made upl of four major ‘form classes’ and fifteen groups of function words . The Fries form classes and the traditional parts of speech do not coincide exactly. By basing his description on distributional criteria rather than on meaning, Fries avoids the need ofr subjective decisions and tries to ensure that every part of the analysis can be tested and verifed, not only by the linguist who made the description, but by anyone who choose to consult it or to make a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document