The importance of studying theoretical grammar
English is generally acknowledged to be the world’s most important language. Why?
1) One criterion is the number of speakers of English, which is more than three hundred million, and English ranks well below Chinese. 2) The second is the geographical dispersal of the language. 3) The third criterion is that it is the language of Shakespeare 4) English is a language of powerful, productive and influential nations.
Language is a means of understanding ourselves and our society. The problem is how the language is constructed. The central role in the structurizing any language is played by grammar. It is a framework, a “skeleton” of it. That’s why defining the main goal of the subject one can say that it is а system analysis.
Its necessary to study grammar:
1) it plays a central role in the structure of language; 2) grammar can be used to demonstrate the enormous creative power of language.
3) Learning grammar contributes to identifying similarity and difference of languages.
4) for foreign language learners.
The meaning of grammar.
In the history of linguistics grammar had various meanings. At a very start grammar was understood as an art of reading and spelling letters. The American linguist Noam Chomsky writes that a grammar is “a device for producing the sentences” (1957, 11). But traditionally there are two quite distinct applications of the term “grammar”, yielding a specific
sense and a
general sense. The specific sense is more traditional, when grammar is presented as just one branch of language structure, distinct from phonology and semantics
The general sense of the term, popularized by Chomsky, includes all aspects of sentence patterning, including phonology, semantics and syntax. So we see that
David Crystal distinguishes six types of grammar, though it’s necessary to say that all of them fall into prescientific and scientific. 1) Traditional grammar
The tradition is over 2000 years old, and includes the works of classical Greek and Roman grammarians, Renaissance writers and 18th century prescriptive grammarians.
2) Descriptive grammar
An approach that describes the grammatical constructions that are used in a language without making any evaluative judgments about their standing in society. These grammars are commonplace in linguistics, where it is standard practice to investigate a “corpus” of spoken or written material.
Prescriptive grammar lays down rules governing the socially correct use
of language. These grammars were popular in Europe and America in 18th and 19th century.
4) Reference grammar/Explanatory grammar.
A grammatical description that tries to be as comprehensive as possible. The bestknown description is one compiled by the Danish grammarian Otto Jespersen.
5) pedagogical grammar
For teaching a foreign language and for developing an awareness of the mother tongue there were specifically designed “teaching books” or “teaching grammars”
Speaking about scientific approach to language study it’s important to
mark theoretical grammar. This approach goes beyond the study of individual languages. It can be applied in the investigation of any human
language and of linguistic universals. The problem of linguistic universals is very curious/inquisitive and important as it focuses our attention on similarity and difference of languages, explains the nature of ...
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