Mar 05, 2008
Introduction to grammar
1. What is Grammar? 2. Is grammar a set of rules? 3. Is grammar changeable?
Making Decisions on Grammaticality
Look at the sentences below. a. In your opinion, label each sentence as G for grammatical, N for ungrammatical, and ? for “not sure” or “don’t know”. b. For those sentences you labeled as N , identify the element or elements that you think are ungrammatical and explain why you think they are ungrammatical. c. For those sentences you labeled as ? , if you can, discuss why you are unsure. 1. She had less problems with the move to a new school than she thought she would. 2. She lays in bed all day whenever she gets a migraine headache. 3. My sister Alice, who is older than me, still lives at home. 4. Everyone needs to buy their books before the first day of class.
What can you conclude from this activity?
More Decisions on Grammaticality
Look at the sentences below. a. Based on your opinion, label each sentence as G for grammatical, N for non-grammatical, and ? for “not sure” or “don’t know”. b. For those sentences you labeled as N , identify the element or elements that you think are ungrammatical and explain why you think they are ungrammatical. c. For those sentences you labeled as ? , if you can, discuss why you are unsure. 1. Jackie says she don’t know if they can come. 2. I’m not going to do nothing about that missing part. 3. We sure don’t have any problems with the phone company. 4. Shoppers are used to standing on long lines at this store.
What can you conclude from this activity?
From the linguist’s point of view , grammar is not a collection of rules that must be taught, but rather a set of blueprints that guide speakers in producing comprehensible and predictable language.
Every language, including its dialects or variants, is systematic and orderly. Languages and their variations are rule-governed structures , and are therefore “ grammatical .”
Consider the following string of words. How many sentences can you come up with using these words and only these words?
the, came, girl, baskets, home, with
There are two very different conceptions of grammar . There is one school of thought that views grammar as a collection of rules that must be learned in order to use language “correctly.” The correct rules must often be learned and practiced, and may at times be contrary to what even educated native speakers use in formal language contexts. This is the prescriptive school of grammar.
Prescriptive grammar is the grammar taught in school, discussed in newspaper and magazine columns on language, or mandated by language academies. It attempts to tell people how they should say something, what words they should use, when they need to make a specific choice, and why they should do so—even if the rule itself goes against speakers’ natural inclinations.
Descriptive grammar rules, in contrast to prescriptive rules, describe how adult native speakers actually use their language. From this perspective, grammar is what organizes language into meaningful, systematic patterns. These rules are inherent to each language and are generally not conscious rules . Descriptive grammar, unlike prescriptive grammar, does not say, “this is right” or “this is wrong.”
This is not to say that there should be no grammar rulebooks, manuals of style, or standards of usage; on the contrary, there is a need for standards, especially in formal language contexts and when we are learning English as non-native speakers.
Discovery Activity 3: complexities of language Look at the following sentences. How would you explain the italicized words in these sentences to a learner of English? 1. The child painted a big, beautiful, wooden box. but not : The child painted a wooden beautiful big box. 2. The pencil I have doesn’t have an eraser. 3. That is a stone fence.
4. Mary drove fast but stopped quickly at the red light.
┌─────────┼─────────┐ NP VP PrepP Det N Aux Adv MV Prep Det N
These under-graduate-s are rapid-ly improv-ing in their writ-ing
Grammar is the structural system of a language. The grammar of English is organized into five ranks: the sentence , the clause , the phrase , the word and the morpheme . Each rank is composed of one or more than one grammatical unit of the immediate lower unit. A full sentence can generally be segmented rank by rank down to its smallest constituents--- the morphemes .
1. Morphemes( 词素 ) The morpheme is the minimum or smallest grammatical unit, also the smallest meaningful element of speech. Morphemes fall into two categories: free morphemes ( 自由词素 ) and bound morphemes ( 粘附词素 ). Free morphemes （自由词素） : a free morpheme has a complete meaning and can stand by itself as a simple word. It can sometimes act as a complete utterance in connected speech.
bound morphemes （粘附词素） are mostly affixes. They are also meaningful, but the meaning is not complete in itself unless it is attached to some other form. Therefore, a bound morpheme cannot stand by itself: it only exists as an inflectional( 曲折变化的 ) or derivational( 派生的 ) affix. 本身没有完整意义，不能单独使用，必须粘附在自由词素或其他形式上才能表示出意义的词素。 Examples : anti-war Marxist unlucky
postwar movement co-existence
Allomorphs( 词素变体 ) : the same morpheme in different contexts may take different phonological( 语音的 ) or orthographical( 拼写的 ) forms. The variants of the same morpheme are called “allomorphs”. 表示相同意义的词素在不同的环境中可有不同的变体，这叫做词素变体。 inactive immature illegal irrational
Incoherent immortal illogical irregular
2. Words 词 The word is composed of one or more than one morpheme. Words can be classified in two ways: 1) Classified in terms of word-formation 根据构词法，可分为： 又叫“单词素词”（ morpheme word), 由单一自由词素构成，多半是一些短小的词，如： at, by, foot, take, make 等 由词根加派生词缀构成，同一词根加不同词缀可表示不同的意义或不同的词性。如： unfair, nonsmoker, misjudge, overeat, international, belittle 等
通常由两个或两个以上自由词素构成。如： deadline, handbook, driveway, toothpick, downfall 等
2) Classified in terms of grammatical function In terms of grammatical function, words can be divided into two main groups: closed words ( 封闭词类 )and open-class words ( 开放词类 ).
英语的词就其语法功能来说，分为 closed words ( 封闭词类 )and open-class words ( 开放词类 ).
-refer to those sets of words whose items are “closed” or limited in number and are only exceptionally extended by the creation of additional members, such as prepositions, pronouns, determiners, conjunctions, auxiliaries, etc. 封闭词类指所有的功能词。这一类词没有完整的词汇意义，但有语法意义；它们数量有限，比较稳定，很少增生，因而词项序列不能随便延伸，所以叫做“封闭词类”。 介词 (Preposition), 如 ： in, of, on, without
代词 (Pronoun), 如 ： you, he, one, which 定词 (Determiner), 如 ： a, the, this 连词 (Conjunction), 如 ： and, or, but 助动词 (Auxiliary), 如 ： do ， can, may
-refer to those sets of words whose items are indefinitely extendable. New items are constantly being created and old items are giving place to new ones, such as nouns, adjectives, adverbs, main verbs( 主动词 ). 开放词类指各种实义词 (Content Word) 。这一类词是随着社会、经济、文化的发展不断丰富和发展的。在这一类词中，新词不断出现，旧词不断消失或获得新意，因而词项序列可以不断延伸，所以叫做“开放词类”。
包括： 名词 (Noun) ， 如： man, Paris, drama 形容词 (Adjective), 如： old, big, cheap 副词 (Adverb), 如： here, there, late 主动词 (Main Verb), 如： work, give, make
c) There is another class existing between the two, which includes cardinal numeral, ordinal numeral, interjection, etc.
此外还有基数词 (Cardinal Numeral) ，序数词 (Ordinal Numeral) ，感叹词 (Interjection) 是介乎“封闭”与“开放”之间的词类
the way a word is used in a sentence determines which part of speech it is. For example: Noun: I ate a fish for dinner. Eight parts of speech
Verb: We fish in the lake on every Tuesday.
1. The outside of the boat needs scraping. (c) Adverb (d) Preposition 2. You should scrape the boat without outside help. Multiple-Choice Questions (a) (b)
(c) Adverb (d) Preposition
3. Let’s sit outside and laugh at you as you work in the blazing sun. (c) Adverb (d) Preposition 4. The ambulance is parked right outside the yard, next to the beehive. (c) (d)
(c) Adverb (d) Preposition
5. The politician repented of his past mistakes. (c) Adverb (d) Preposition 6. Turn right past the store with the neon sign in the window. (b) (d)
(c) Adverb (d) Preposition
7. Did you hear that song before ? (a) Conjunction (b) Adjective (c) Adverb (d) Preposition 8. Always follow through with what you start. (a) Interjection (b) Conjunction (c) (c)
(c) Adverb (d) Preposition
9. The remark went right through one ear and out the other. (c) Conjunction (d) Preposition 10. The gardener mowed the lawn after he reread Lady Chatterly’s Lover. (a) Conjunction (b) Adjective (d) (a)
(c) Adverb (d) Preposition
Phrases 词组 The phrase is composed of one or more than one word. Generally, the phrase is a group of words organized in a specific way with a key word as its head( 中心词 ). The word class of the head determines the class of the phrase and the way in which the words are organized. The noun phrase is a phrase with a noun as its head. The general pattern of a noun phrase is: (determiner +) (premodifier +) noun(+postmodifier)
the tall boy sitting in the corner
The verb phrase is a phrase with a main verb （主动词） as its head. A verb phrase can be simple or complex . A simple verb phrase is just a main verb or “modifier + main verb”. A complex verb phrase is a main verb preceded by an auxiliary (or auxiliaries) (+modifier).
She ought to have told him about it.
In terms of grammatical form, a verb phrase can be finite （限定动词词组） or nonfinite （非限定动词词组） . A finite verb phrase is initiated by a finite form, that is, a verb form that changes according to tense or subject. A nonfinite verb phrase is a phrase initiated by a nonfinite form, that is, a verb form that does not change according to tense or subject.
We went there to see a film.
3) The adjective phrase 形容词词组 The adjective phrase is a phrase with an adjective as its head. The general pattern of an adjective phrase is: (modifier+) adjective (+postmodifier/complementation) You are not careful enough . 4) The adverb phrase 副词词组 The adverb phrase is a phrase with an adverb as its head. The general pattern of an adverb phrase is: (modifier+) adverb (+postmodifier)
He speaks very clearly indeed .
5) The prepositional phrase 介词词组 The prepositional phrase is a phrase with a preposition as its head. The general pattern of a prepositional phrase is: (modifier+) preposition + complementation （补足成分）
They followed close behind me .
1. What is the adjective phrase in this sentence? (a)
Put that box of heavy books on the counter, please.
2. What is the adverbial phrase in this sentence? The hang glider soared over the cool green lake. (c)
(c) Over the cool green lake
3. What is the participle phrase in the following sentence? The toast, thoroughly burnt, sent a foul odor through the house, but Skip ate it anyway. (c) Sent a foul odor through the house (b)
(d) But Skip ate it anyway
4. What is the italic word group in the following sentence called? (b)
Waiting for the train exhausted her patience.
5. What is the italic word group in the following sentence called? (c)
The visitors forgot to give their address .
Clauses 分句 The clause is composed of one or more than one phrase. A full-fledged( 完整的 ) clause is structurally a sequence of phrases and logically a construction of “ subject + predicate ”. 分句是一个或一个以上的词组在一定上下文中结成一种带有描述性的“主语 + 谓语”的语法结构。
The producers are able to supply a small part of our needs .
1) Independent and dependent/subordinate clause 独立分句和从属分句 In terms of grammatical function, a clause can be independent or dependent. An independent clause is a clause that can stand by itself and act as a complete utterance, as distinguished from dependent clause that forms only part of another clause or of a phrase. 分句按其不同句法功能可分为独立分句和从属分句。独立分句是指不依附于其他结构而独立存在的分句。从属分句指从属于其他结构的分句。 He knows everything about it . （独立分句）
I don’t think he knows everything about it . （从属分句）
2) Main and subordinate clauses 主句和从句 In a complex clause, the clause that takes another clause as its element is the main clause, while the clause that forms part of the main clause is a subordinate clause.
He complained that what you said was not true.
3) Finite and nonfinite clauses 限定分句和非限定分句 A clause can be finite or nonfinite. A finite clause is one with a finite verb phrase as its predicate verb or predicator; a nonfinite clause is a clause with a nonfinite verb phrase as its predicator. 以限定动词词组作谓语动词的分句叫做限定分句。以非限定动词（即动词不定式、 -ing 分词、 -ed 分词）作谓语动词的分句叫做非限定分分句。 I don’t remember which of your answers were correct .( 限定分句 )
I signed the paper to get the license .( 非限定分句 )
4) Verbless clauses 无动词分句 When a clause is marked by the absence of any form of verb element, it is a verbless clause. A verbless clause is just a construction of “subject + predicate” without any form of verb element. 一个主谓结构如果不带任何形式的动词词组作谓语动词便是“无动词分句”。 Hungry and exhausted , the climbers returned.
Christmas then only days away , the family was pent up with excitement.
1. What is the independent clause in this sentence? If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it? (a) How come they have to pay you to do it (a)
(b) If work is so terrific
2. What is the dependent clause in this sentence? If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting? (a) If all the world is a stage (a)
(d) Where is the audience sitting
The sentence is the highest rank of grammatical unit. Based on one or more than one clause, the sentence is also the basic linguistic unit of connected discourse; it can stand alone and perform a function in social communication. Thus, a sentence can be defined as a grammatical unit that can stand by itself and perform a communicative function .
Sentences can be classified in various ways: (1) simple, compound, complex; (2) declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamative ; (3) statement, question, directive, exclamative;
(4) assertion, request, offer, apology, and other kinds of speech act;
1) Full and minor sentences 完全句和不完全句 A full sentence is a sentence with an expressed subject and predicate. This kind of sentence is mostly used in formal speech and writing. e.g. I signed the paper to get the license.
A minor sentence is only a sentence fragment which in specific contexts and situations can stand by itself and perform a communicative function. Minor sentences are extensively used in informational discourses.
2) Simple, compound, complex and compound-complex sentences A simple sentence is a sentence that comprises only one independent clause. 简单句指只包含一个主谓结构而且各个成分均由词组构成的句子。如果构成分句成分的词组本身带有从属分句，那么这个句子仍然是简单句。 The students have made better grades in the past few weeks .
The students I teach have made better grades in the past few weeks .
Two or more coordinated independent clauses make a compound sentence . 两个或两个以上的简单句由并列连词或其他并列手段连接起来便构成并列句。
Miss Linda came to the party, but Mr. And Mrs. Wood did not .
When an independent clause comprises one or more dependent clauses as its element(s), this makes a complex sentence . 若某个句子成分直接由从属分句表示，那么这种句子就是复杂句。
The students would have made better grades if they had studied hard .
compound-complex sentence 并列复杂句 Two or more coordinated independent clauses with at least one complex clause make a compound-complex sentence . 一个并列句，如果包含一个或一个以上的复杂句作为并列成分，这便是并列复杂句。
They watched television and enjoyed themselves immensely, but we couldn’t see the program because our television was broken .
1. To be a sentence, a group of words must have all the following but (a) A subject (b) An adjective (c) A verb (d) A complete thought 2. The four sentence functions in English include all the following except (a) Declarative (b) Exclamatory (b) (c)
(c) Declining (d) Interrogative
3. Which of the following sentences is best classified as exclamatory ? (a) People in Bali remove the wings from dragonflies and boil the bodies in coconut milk and garlic. (b) The birds in my yard help keep the insect population under control. (c) Look at that gorgeous insect on the fence! (c)
(d) Would you eat insects?
4. Which of the following sentences is interrogative ? (a) A new language can come into being as a pidgin. (b) A pidgin is a makeshift jargon containing words of various languages and little in the way of grammar. (c) The leap into a “true” language is made when the pidgin speakers have children! (d)
(d) Is language innate in humans?
5. Which of the following is not a declarative sentence ? (a) Venezuelans like to feast on fresh fire-roasted tarantulas. (b) Eating insects is disgusting! (c) In Japan, gourmets relish aquatic fly larvae sautéed in sugar and soy sauce. (b)
(d) Many South Africans adore fried termites with cornmeal porridge.
6. Which of the following is a simple sentence ? (a) The “ZIP” in zip code stands for “zone improvement plan.” (b) Lyndon Johnson loved the soda Fresca so much he had a fountain installed in the Oval Office that dispensed the beverage, which the president could operate by pushing a button on his desk chair. (c) There was some question as to whether Barry Goldwater could legally serve as president because the Constitution requires presidents to be born in the United States and Goldwater was born in Arizona before it was a state. (a)
(d) Despite being only five stories high, the Pentagon is one of the biggest office buildings in the world.
7. Which of the following is a compound sentence ? (a) Sirimauo Bandranaike of Sri Lanka became the world’s first popularly elected female head of state in 1960. (b) Andrew Jackson was the only U.S. president who believed that the world was flat. (c) Six-time Socialist party candidate for President of the United States Norman Thomas never polled more than 884,000 popular votes in one election, but his influence on American political and social thought was very effective. (c)
(d) The first U.S. president to ride in an automobile was William McKinley.
8. Which of the following is a complex sentence ? (a) George Washington’s false teeth were made of whale bone. (b) George Washington was deathly afraid of being buried alive. (c) Washington’s second inaugural address was 138 words long. (d)
(d) If children are capable of creating grammar without any instruction, then such grammar must preexist in their brains.
9. Which of the following is a compound-complex sentence ? (a) When President Franklin Pierce ran down an elderly woman, the charges against him could not be proven, and the case was dismissed. (b) When George Washington was elected president, there was a king in France, a czarina in Russia, an emperor in China, and a shogun in Japan. (c) George Washington had to borrow money to go to his own inauguration. (a)
(d) James K. Polk was the only president to have been Speaker of the House.
10. Which of the following sentences is correct ? (a) More than one million species of insects and worms exist, and humans can eat about 1,400 of these species. (b) More than one million species of insects and worms exist, humans can eat about 1,400 of these species. (c) More than one million species of insects and worms exist humans can eat about 1,400 of these species. (a)
(d) More than one million species of insects and worms exist so humans can eat about 1,400 of these species.
11. Which of the following sentences is correct ? (a) You know that insects are healthful, but what do they taste like. (b) You know that insects are healthful what do they taste like! (c) You know that insects are healthful, what do they taste like? (d)
(d) You know that insects are healthful, but what do they taste like?
12. Which of the following sentences is correc t? (a) We may think of insects as dirty, they are actually cleaner than other creatures. (b) We may think of insects as dirty they are actually cleaner than other creatures. (c) We may think of insects as dirty, but they are actually cleaner than other creatures. (c)
(d) We may think of insects as dirty since they are actually cleaner than other creatures.
句子的组成成分叫句子成分。在句子中，词与词之间有一定的组合关系，按照不同的关系，可以把句子分为不同的组成成分。句子成分由词或词组充当。 英语的基本成分有七种： 主语（ subject ）、谓语（ predicate ）、表语（ predicative ）、宾语（ object ）、定语 （ attribute ）、状语 (adverbial) 、句子独立成分（ independent element of the sentence ） 。 英语七种基本句型列式如下： 基本句型一： Ｓ Ｖ （主＋谓） 基本句型二： Ｓ Ｖ Ｐ （主＋谓＋表） 基本句型三： Ｓ Ｖ Ｏ （主＋谓＋宾） 基本句型四： Ｓ Ｖ ｏ Ｏ （主＋谓＋间宾＋直宾） 基本句型五： Ｓ Ｖ Ｏ Ｃ （主＋谓＋宾＋宾补）
基本句型六： S+V+C （主语＋谓语＋宾补） 基本句型七： S+V+O+P （主语＋谓语＋宾语＋表语）
1 ） 主语 (subject) 是一句的主体，是全句诉说的对象，常用名词或相当于名词的词担任，一般置于句首。 2 ） 谓语或谓语动词（ predicate or predicate verb ）是说明主语的动作或状态的，常用动词担任、置于主语之后。 “谓语或谓语动词”专指动词部分（包括动词短语）。它与“谓语部分”不同，二者不可混淆。
3 ） 宾语是表示及物动词的动作对象和介词所联系的对象的，常由名词或相当于名词的词担任、置于及物动词或介词之后。
4 ） 补语（ compliment ）和表语（ predicative ） , 补语是用来补充主语和宾语的意义的，一般都注重说明主语或宾语的特征，常由名词或形容词担任，表语就是位于联系动词之后的主语补语。如：
Hill was declared the winner of the fight. 希尔被宣布为这次拳击赛的获胜者。（主语补语） I consider the book expensive. 我认为这本书贵。（宾语补语） John Stuart Mill was an early feminist. 约翰 . 斯图尔特 . 米尔是早期的女权主义者。（表语）
5 ）定语（ attribute ）是限定或修饰名词或相当于名词的词的，常由形容词或相当于形容词的短语或从句担任。形容词常置于名词之前，相当于形容词的短语或从句常置于名词之后。
6 ）状语（ adverbial ）是修饰动词、形容词、副词以及全句的，常有副词或相当于副词的短语或从句担任。修饰动词时，可置于动词之前，亦可置于动词滞后；修饰形容词或副词时，常置于它们之前。
7 ）句子独立成分（ independent element of the sentence ）。它与全句没有语法关系，如感叹词、称呼语和插入语等。 此外，还有一种叫做 [color=Red] 同位语 [/color] 的句子成分。它是当两个指同一事物的成分放在同一个位置的时候，一个成分就被用来说明或者解释另一个成分，前者就叫做后者的同位语。例如：
We have two children, a boy and a girl. 这句话中 a boy and a girl 就是指的 two children, 所以 two children 是 a boy and a girl 的同位语。