Ch 2 How do we study English Grammar?
Why do people disagree about grammar?
Who IS the authority?
- Many of our English grammar rules were handed down to us from 18thc grammarians
○ who based their decisions about right & wrong on
Comparison to Classical Latin & Greek
○ Those who believe these are the final rules called = "Grammatical purists"
- Practical view on language and contemporary lives of real people
○ Look at contemp sources, teachers, editors, dictionaries, grammar handbooks, online blogs, websites
What role do traditional dictionaries play?
- Widely used dictionaries:
○ Webster's Third New International dictionary
○ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
○ The American Heritage Dictionary
○ Encarta World English Dictionary
○ **Oxford English Dictionary
Online Grammar sources
- 21st c.
○ Grammar opens up and widely discussed
○ Largely self-appointed "experts" in English
- Some are "prescriptive"
○ Follow close to rules of 18thc grammar
○ Offer instruction in terms of what is correct / not
- www.GrammarBook.com is an example
- Another blog: "After Deadline" (assoc with NYT)
○ Concerned with identifying correct usage and style
○ Discusses whether you may split an infinitive or use pronoun "they" to refer to singular antecedent
- "Grammar Slammer" is a blog to help people learning Eng as 2nd language
- "Grammar Girl"
○ Answers questions about grammar & usage @ www.grammar.quickanddirtytips.com
- "Motivated Grammar"
Why is there no ONE standard?
- Modern English is spoken all over the world by hundreds and millions of people
- Perceptions of correctness vary - even among most educated and influential
- As English spreads - it develops diff standards
- There is no one way to spell a word
○ e.g. check / cheque, center / centre
- There is more than one way to pronounce a word
○ e.g. schedule, lieutenant
- British and American English are 2 more influential standards around the world
Why do language change?
- Language change over time + changes in judgments of language
- Modern linguists argue
○ Change is inherent to all languages
- Humans are evolving - because they are the ones using language - language must also evolve with them as a result
- Language users are receptive to the enrichment of added vocab
- Grammatical systems are based on rules / patterns
○ There are exceptions
- No matter how much english changes it must allow us to identify and make reference to things, people and ideas
○ It must be able to describe actions and tell when they happened
○ It must allow us to give descriptions of things, people and ideas
○ It must allow u