Grammaris the field of linguisticsthat covers the rulesgoverning the use of any given natural language. It includes morphology and syntax, often complemented by phonetics, phonology, semantics, and pragmatics. Each language has its own distinct grammar. "English grammar" is the rules of the English language itself. "An" English grammar" is a specific study or analysis of these rules. A reference bookdescribing the grammar of a language is called a "reference grammar" or simply "a grammar". A fully explicit grammar exhaustively describing the grammatical constructions of a language is called a descriptive grammar, as opposed to linguistic prescriptionwhich tries to enforce the governing rules how a language is to be used. Grammatical frameworks are approaches to constructing grammars. The standard framework of generative grammaris the transformational grammarmodel developed by Noam Chomskyand his followers from the 1950s to 1980s.
The word "grammar," derives from Greek "γραμματική τέχνη" ("grammatike techne"), which means "art of letters," from "γράμμα" ("gramma"), "letter," and that from "γράφειν" ("graphein"), "to draw, to write" [ [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=grammar&searchmode=none Online Etymology Dictionary] ] .
The first systematic grammars originate in
Iron Age India, with Yaska(6th c. BC), Panini (4th c. BC) and his commentators Pingala(ca. 200 BC), Katyayana, and Patanjali(2nd c. BC). In the West, grammar emerges as a discipline in Hellenism from the 3rd c. BC forward with authors like Rhyanusand Aristarchus of Samothrace, the oldest extant work being the " Art of Grammar" ( _gr. Τέχνη Γραμματική), attributed to Dionysius Thrax(ca. 100 BC). Latin grammardeveloped by following Greek models from the 1st century BC, due to the work of authors such as Orbilius Pupillus, Remmius Palaemon, Marcus Valerius Probus, Verrius Flaccus, Aemilius Asper.
Tamil grammatical tradition also began around the 1st century BC with the
A grammar of Irish originated in the 7th century with the
Auraicept na n-Éces. Arabic grammaremerges from the 8th century with the work of Ibn Abi Ishaqand his students.
The first treatises on
Hebrew grammarappear in the High Middle Ages, in the context of Mishnah(exegesis of the Hebrew Bible). The Karaitetradition originates in Abbasid Baghdad. The " Diqduq" (10th century) is one of the earliest grammatical commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. [G.Khan , J. B. Noah, "The Early Karaite Tradition of Hebrew Grammatical Thought" (2000)] Ibn Barunin the 12th century compares the Hebrew language with Arabic in the Islamic grammatical tradition. [Pinchas Wechter, Ibn Barūn's Arabic Works on Hebrew Grammar and Lexicography (1964)]
Belonging to the "trivium" of the seven
liberal arts, grammar was taught as a core discipline throughout the Middle Ages, following the influence of authors from Late Antiquity, such as Priscian. Treatment of vernaculars begins gradually during the High Middle Ages, with isolated works such as the First Grammatical Treatise, but becomes influential only in the Renaissanceand Baroqueperiods. In 1486, Antonio de Nebrijapublished "Las introduciones Latinas contrapuesto el romance al Latin", and the first Spanish grammar, "Gramática de la lengua castellana", in 1492. During the 16th century Italian Renaissance, the "Questione della lingua" was the discussion on the status and ideal form of the Italian language, initiated by Dante's " de vulgari eloquentia" ( Pietro Bembo, "Prose della volgar lingua" Venice 1525).
Grammars of non-European languages began to be compiled for the purposes of
evangelizationand Bible translationfrom the 16th century onward, such as "Grammatica o Arte de la Lengua General de los Indios de los Reynos del Perú" (1560), and a Quechuagrammar by Fray Domingo de Santo Tomás. In 1643 there appeared Ivan Uzhevych's "Grammatica sclavonica" and, in 1762, the "Short Introduction to English Grammar" of Robert Lowthwas also published. The "Grammatisch-Kritisches Wörterbuch der hochdeutschen Mundart", a High Germangrammar in five volumes by Johann Christoph Adelung, appeared as early as 1774.
From the latter part of the 18th century, grammar came to be understood as a subfield of the emerging discipline of modern
linguistics. The Serbian grammar by Vuk Stefanović Karadžićarrived in 1814, while the "Deutsche Grammatik" of the Brothers Grimmwas first published in 1818. The "Comparative Grammar" of Franz Bopp, the starting point of modern comparative linguistics, came out in 1833.
Development of grammars
Grammars evolve through usage and also due to separations of the human population. With the advent of written representations, formal rules about language usage tend to appear also. Formal grammars are codifications of usage that are developed by repeated documentation over time, and by
observationas well. As the rules become established and developed, the prescriptive concept of grammatical correctness can arise. This often creates a discrepancy between contemporary usage and that which has been accepted, over time, as being correct. Linguists tend to believe that prescriptive grammars do not have any justification beyond their authors' aesthetic tastes; however, prescriptions are considered in sociolinguisticsas part of the explanation for why some people say "I didn't do nothing", some say "I didn't do anything", and some say one or the other depending on social context.
The formal study of grammar is an important part of
educationfor children from a young age through advanced learning, though the rules taught in schools are not a "grammar" in the sense most linguists use the term, as they are often prescriptiverather than descriptive. Constructed languages (also called planned languages or conlangs) are more common in the modern day. Many have been designed to aid human communication(for example, naturalistic Interlingua, schematic Esperanto, and the highly logic-compatible artificial language Lojban). Each of these languages has its own grammar.
No clear line can be drawn between syntax and morphology.
Analytic languagesuse syntaxto convey information that is encoded via inflectionin synthetic languages. In other words, word order is not significant and morphology is highly significant in a purely synthetic language, whereas morphology is not significant and syntax is highly significant in an analytic language. Chinese and Afrikaans, for example, are highly analytic, and meaning is therefore very context – dependent. (Both do have some inflections, and have had more in the past; thus, they are becoming even less synthetic and more "purely" analytic over time.) Latin, which is highly synthetic, uses affixes and inflections to convey the same information that Chinese does with syntax. Because Latin words are quite (though not completely) self-contained, an intelligible Latin sentence can be made from elements that are placed in a largely arbitrary order. Latin has a complex affixation and simple syntax, while Chinese has the opposite.
Various "grammar frameworks" have been developed in
theoretical linguisticssince the mid 20th century, in particular under the influence of the idea of a " Universal grammar" in the USA. Of these, the main divisions are:
*Principles and Parameters Theory (P&P)
*Lexical-functional Grammar (LFG)
*Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar (GPSG)
Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar(HPSG)
Dependency grammars (DG)
Role and reference grammar(RRG)
Prescriptivegrammar is taught in primary school( elementary school). The term " grammar school" historically refers to schools teaching Latin grammarto future priests. The standard languagetaught contrasts with dialects or vernaculars which may be the objects of study in descriptive grammarbut which are not taught prescriptively. The standardized " first language" taught in primary education may be subject to political controversy, since it establishes a standard defining nationalityor ethnicity.
The pre-eminence of
Parisian French has reigned largely unchallenged throughout the history of modern French literature. In British English, the standard Received Pronunciationis based on the language of the upper classes in the Londonarea, and is based on the sociolectthat comes out of the British private boarding schools. In the United States, there are variations of American Englishthroughout but the General Americanaccent is considered unofficially standard because it is perceived as accentless by most Americans; it is based on Midwestern English and is closest to the accent of Omaha, Nebraska.
Standard Italian is not based on the speech of the capital,
Rome, but on the speech of Florencedue to the influence of Florentines had on early Italian literature. Similarly, standard Spanish is not based on the speech of Madrid, but on the one by educated speakers from more northerly areas like Castile and León. In Argentinaand Uruguaythe Spanish standard is based on the local dialects of Buenos Airesand Montevideo( Rioplatense Spanish).
Portuguese has two official written standards, respectively
Brazilian Portugueseand European Portuguese.
Norwegian has two standards, "
Bokmål" and " Nynorsk" the choice between which is subject to controversy: Each Norwegian municipality can declare one of the two its official language, or it can remain "language neutral". Nynorsk is endorsed by a minority of 27% of the municipalities. The main language used in primary schools normally follows the official language of its municipality, and is decided by referendum within the local school district. Standard Germanemerged out of the standardized chancellery use of High German in the 16th to 17th centuries, until about 1800 almost entirely a written language but now so widely spoken that most former German dialects are near-extinct. Standard Mandarinhas official status as the standard spoken form of the Chinese languagein the People's Republic of China(PRC), the Republic of China(ROC) and the Republic of Singapore. Pronunciations of Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialectof Mandarin Chinese, while grammar and syntax are based on modern vernacular Chinese.
Modern Standard Arabic is directly based on
Classical Arabic, the language of the Qur'an. The Hindustani languagehas two standards, Hindiand Urdu.
USA, the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar has designated March 4, 2008 as National Grammar Day. [ [http://nationalgrammarday.com/ National Grammar Day] ]
Fremdsprachen und Hochschule
Government and binding
Systemic functional grammar
Role and reference grammar
Notes and references
* American Academic Press, The (ed.).
William Strunk, Jr., et al. "The Classics of Style: The Fundamentals of Language Style From Our American Craftsmen". Cleveland: The American Academic Press, 2006. ISBN 0978728203.
* Rundle, Bede. "Grammar in Philosophy". Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. ISBN 0198246129.
* [http://pt.wikibooks.org/wiki/Grammar:_%C3%8Dndice English Grammar (Gramática da Língua Inglesa)] , wikibook in English and Portuguese
* [http://www.roadtogrammar.com Online Grammar Practice]
* [http://www.grammarboard.com GrammarBoard] : a free online grammar community with Grammar Q&A's, ESL, and other help.
* [http://www.grammarguard.org Grammar Guard] : a community of grammarians acting as grammar watchdog.
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