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Comparative Grammar
The analysis and comparison of the grammatical structures of related languages. Contemporary work in comparative grammar is concerned with "a faculty of language that provides an explanatory basis for how a human being can acquire a first language . . .. In this way, the theory of grammar is a theory of human language and hence establishes the relationship among all languages." (R. Freidin, Principles and Parameters in Comparative Grammar. MIT Press, 1991) 2. Generative Grammar The rules determining the structure and interpretation of sentences that speakers accept as belonging to the language. "Simply put, a generative grammar is a theory of competence: a model of the psychological system of unconscious knowledge that underlies a speaker's ability to produce and interpret utterances in a language." (F. Parker and K. Riley, Linguistics for Non-Linguists. Allyn and Bacon, 1994) 3. Mental Grammar The generative grammar stored in the brain that allows a speaker to produce language that other speakers can understand. "All humans are born with the capacity for constructing a Mental Grammar, given linguistic experience; this capacity for language is called the Language Faculty (Chomsky, 1965). A grammar formulated by a linguist is an idealized description of this Mental Grammar." (P. W. Culicover and A. Nowak, Dynamical Grammar: Foundations of Syntax II. Oxford Univ. Press, 2003) 4. Pedagogical Grammar Grammatical analysis and instruction designed for second-language students. "Pedaogical grammar is a slippery concept. The term is commonly used to denote (1) pedagogical process--the explicit treatment of elements of the target language systems as (part of) language teaching methodology; (2) pedagogical content--reference sources of one kind or another that present information about the target language system; and (3) combinations of process and content." (D. Little, "Words and Their Properties: Arguments for a Lexical Approach to Pedagaogical Grammar." Perspectives on Pedagogical Grammar, ed. by T. Odlin. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994) 5. Performance Grammar A description of the syntax of English as it is actually used by speakers in dialogues. "[P]erformance grammar . . . centers attention on language production; it is my belief that the problem of production must be dealt with before problems of reception and comprehension can properly be investigated." (John Carroll, "Promoting Language Skills." Perspectives on School Learning: Selected Writings of John B. Carroll, ed. by L. W. Anderson. Erlbaum, 1985) 6. Reference Grammar A description of the grammar of a language, with explanations of the principles governing the construction of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. Examples of contemporary reference grammars in English include A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, by Randolph Quirk et al. (1985), the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (1999), and The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002). 7. Theoretical Grammar The study of the essential components of any human language. "Theoretical grammar or syntax is concerned with making completely explicit the formalisms of grammar, and in providing scientific arguments or explanations in favour of one account of grammar rather than another, in terms of a general theory of human language." (A. Renouf and A. Kehoe, The Changing Face of Corpus Linguistics. Rodopi, 2003) 8. Traditional Grammar The collection of prescriptive rules and concepts about the structure of the language. "We say that traditional grammar is prescriptive because it focuses on the distinction between what some people do with language and what they ought to do with it, according to a pre-established standard. . . . The chief goal of traditional grammar, therefore, is perpetuating a historical model of what supposedly constitutes proper language." (J. D. Williams, The Teacher's Grammar Book. Routledge, 2005) 9. Transformational Grammar A theory of grammar that accounts for the constructions of a language by linguistic transformations and phrase structures. "In transformational grammar, the term 'rule' is used not for a precept set down by an external authority but for a principle that is unconsciously yet regularly followed in the production and interpretation of sentences. A rule is a direction for forming a sentence or a part of a sentence, which has been internalized by the native speaker." (D. Bornstein, An Introduction to Transformational Grammar. Univ. Press of America, 1984)


Universal Grammar The system of categories, operations, and principles shared by all human languages and considered to be innate. "Taken together, the linguistic principles of Universal Grammar constitute a theory of the organization of the initial state of the mind/brain of the language learner--that is, a theory of the human faculty for language." (S. Crain and R. Thornton, Investigations in Universal Grammar. MIT Press, 2000) If ten varieties of grammar aren't enough for you, rest assured that new grammars are emerging all the time. There's word grammar, for instance. And relational grammar. And that brings to mind arc pair grammar. Not to mention cognitive grammar, lexical functional grammar, head-driven phrase structure grammar . . . and many more.

A theory of language structure which holds that grammatical knowledge is largely a body (or network) of knowledge about words. See also: Ten Types of Grammar. Etymology: Introduced by linguist Richard Hudson in the 1980s Observations:

"[Word Grammar theory] consists of the [following] generalization: 'A language is a network of entities related by propositions.'" (Richard Hudson, Word Grammar. Blackwell, 1984)

"In WG, syntactic structures are analyzed in terms of dependency relations between single words, a parent and a dependent. Phrases are defined by dependency structures which consist of a word plus the phrases rooted in any of its dependents. In other words, WG syntax does not use phrase structure in describing sentence structure, because everything that needs to be said about sentence structure can be formulated in terms of dependencies between single words." (Eva Eppler, "Word Grammar and Syntactic Code-Mixing Research." Word Grammar: New Perspectives, ed. K. Sugayama and R. Hudson. Continuum, 2006)

"The conclusions so far, then, are more or less uncontroversial:

Language is a system of interconnected elements. Language is conceptual in the sense that it is 'in the mind,' even if there is also a sense in which it is 'in society.' [T]he idea of language as a conceptual network actually leads to new questions and highly controversial conclusions. The words network and conceptual are both contentious. We start with the notion of language as a network. In WG, the point of this claim is that language is nothing but a network--there are no rules, principles, or parameters to complement the network. Everything in language can be defined formally in terms of nodes and their relations. This is also accepted as one of the main tenets of cognitive linguistics." (Richard Hudson, Language Networks: The New Word Grammar. Oxford Univ. Press, 2007)

A theory of descriptive grammar in which syntactic operations (or relationships, such as those between subject and object) rather than syntactic structures are used to define grammatical processes. Put another way, relational grammar (RG) conceives of a clause as a network of grammatical relations. See also:

What Is Grammar? Generative Grammar Ten Types of Grammar

Etymology: Developed by linguists David Perlmutter and Paul Postal in the 1970s and '80s. Observations:

"The central idea of Relational Grammar is that there is a limited number of grammatical relations (Subject [SU], Direct Object [DO], and Indirect Object [IO]), such that one term can bear more than one such relation at different levels or 'strata' of the structure underlying the clause." (Simon C. Dik, The Theory of Functional Grammar, Part 1: The Structure of the Clause. Walter de Gruyter, 1989)

"Relational grammar represents a . . . reaction to early Transformational Grammar. It is not a single level theory, but a multilevel one in which the initial stratum is analogous to deep structure, and revaluations to transformations. The principle difference between the two approaches is that RG conceives of a sentence in terms of labelled relations borne to a predicate. In TG the nuclear relations are not represented directly, but are derivable from a structural configuration, the subject being the relation held by the noun phrase immediately dominated by the verb phrase. . . . It is interesting to speculate how RG might capture the fact that the object is more closely related to the verb than the subject." (Barry J. Blake, Relational Grammar. Routledge, 1990)

Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction, by Ronald W. Langacker (Oxford University Press, 2008)

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We Want to Read Your BookUnited States Publisher Seeks Books by Nigerian Authors. All Genres.DorrancePublishing.com Presessional English: LSEPrepare for university study in central London at the LSEwww.lse.ac.uk/languages Walden UniversityComplete A Degree, Masters Or PhD Walden Accredited Online Universitywww.WaldenU.edu Definition: A usage-based approach to grammar that emphasizes symbolic and semantic definitions of theoretical concepts that have traditionally been analyzed as purely syntactic. See also: cognitive linguistics. Etymology: Introduced by Ronald W. Langacker in his two-volume study Foundations of Cognitive Grammar (Stanford University Press, 1987/1991) Examples and Observations:

"Portraying grammar as a purely formal system is not just wrong but wrong-headed. I will argue, instead, that grammar is meaningful. This is so in two respects. For one thing, the elements of grammar--like vocabulary items--have meanings in their own right. Additionally, grammar allows us to

construct and symbolize the more elaborate meanings of complex expressions (like phrases, clauses, and sentences). It is thus an essential aspect of the conceptual apparatus through which we apprehend and engage the world." (Ronald W. Langacker, Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction. Oxford Univ. Press, 2008)

"A Cognitive Grammar is based on the following assumptions . . .: 1. The grammar of a language is part of human cognition and interacts with other cognitive faculties, especially with perception, attention, and memory. . . . 2. The grammar of a language reflects and presents generalizations about phenomena in the world as its speakers experience them. . . . 3. Forms of grammar are, like lexical items, meaningful and never 'empty' or meaningless, as often assumed in purely structural models of grammar. 4. The grammar of a language represents the whole of a native speaker's knowledge of both the lexical categories and the grammatical structures of her language. 5. The grammar of a language is usage-based in that it provides speakers with a variety of structural options to present their view of a given scene."

(G. Radden and R. Dirven, Cognitive English Grammar. John Benjamins, 2007)

Main Types of Grammar Theory: Traditional Grammar - analyses the parts of a well-formed sentence, focusing on surface structure, not meaning. It gives students a basic understanding of the building blocks of language, which can help in improving their writing skills. Prescriptive Grammar - codifies and enforces rules governing grammar, mechanics, and usage Descriptive Grammar - observes and records how language is used in function, and advocates teaching the function of grammatical structure Contemporary Linguistics - are a collection of specialty areas and theories designed to correct problems with traditional grammar (ex. morphology [study of word structure], syntax [study of word order], semantics [study of intensive meaning in words and sentences]) Discussion Questions: -Where and how should grammar be taught (or should it be taught at all)? -How are writing and cognition related and what implications does this have for grammar instruction? -Current grammar theory advocates teaching grammar not in isolation, but "in writing:"

what does this mean and how can we do it? -How can we help students see that learning grammar can improve their writing (and is this true)?