LIN204 reading notes _ Ch 2 How do we study English Grammar..
LIN204 reading notes _ Ch 2 How do we study English Grammar.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Safieh Moghaddam

Ch 2 How do we study English Grammar? July-04-13 10:25 AM 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  Logic  History  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 - 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 @ - - "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
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