Modern english grammar


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Modern English Grammar and Usage

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  • PPT prepared for Ph.Dcourse work in English
  • Modern english grammar

    2. 2. WHAT IS GRAMMAR  Boring or interesting?  Etymologically “grammar” related to “glamour”.  An interesting, exciting subject of study.  Dictionary defines “ grammar as the rules by which words change their forms and are combined in other senses.  English grammar is the body of rules that describe the structure of expressions in the English language. This includes the structure of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. 2
    3. 3. GRAMMAR Use of word grammar in other senses: As a subject A book of grammar Proficiency/ mastery in the language Transformational generative grammar as a linguistic theory Consciously learned explicit set of rules for learning a foreign language. In mother tongue rules are subconsciously internalised. 3
    4. 4. GRAMMAR IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT Unacceptable sentences Due to wrong use of plural, article, preposition, noun etc One who can make acceptable sentences but cannot explain why they are unacceptable has implicit knowledge of grammar. Those who can distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable and also explain the rule that have been violated has explicit knowledge of grammar. 4
    5. 5. LINGUISTIC ABILITY Ability to use the language and produce acceptable sentences- Grammar A Implicit or internalized knowledge of rules (native speakers) Use the metalanguage to explain the rules and process involved- Grammar B explicit knowledge of rules formal or technical talk -Grammar B (native /foreign language learners) 5
    6. 6. PRESCRIPTIVE GRAMMAR Speech of educated native speakers of English. Unacceptable or rejected as incorrect or bad English by some grammars. Other grammars consider them as acceptable -found in current usage. Prescriptive grammar lays down the rules for use of a language. 6
    7. 7. DESCRIPTIVE GRAMMAR States the facts of a language as they exist and are spoken by a large number of people. Contains rules / conventions that actually underlie the usage of native speakers. Records the violations or deviant features in an objective way as a part of changing or current usage. Distinctions like the natural laws and the laws of the government. 7
    8. 8. TYPES OF GRAMMAR Linguist’s grammar  Study language as a system of signs. Learner’s grammar  Is meant to help the learner to learn the language. Teacher’s grammar  Contains more information than a learner, higher knowledge.  Occupies a middle ground between the linguist and the learner. 8
    9. 9. NEED TO STUDY GRAMMAR  Why should teacher’s/ research scholar’s study grammar?  There has been a debate  Should formal grammar be taught to the learner’s (in Indian situation)?  How much of grammar is to be taught?  How is grammar to be taught?  The knowledge of grammar may be useful in teaching, testing, writing research papers, locating problem areas in learning designing a syllabus . 9
    10. 10. RECOMMENDED READING  Quirk, Randolf. “On Conceptions of Good Grammar”, in The English Language and Images of Matter. London: Oxford University Press. 1972.  Quirk, Randolf, et al. A Grammar of Contemporary English. London: Longman. 1972.(Sections 1.8to 1.14) 10
    11. 11. USAGE: GRAMMATICALITY  In Linguistics, conformity to the rules of a language as formulated by a Grammar based on a theory of language description.  The concept became prominent with the rise of Generative Grammar in the 1960s, whose primary aim has been the construction of rules that would distinguish between the grammatical or well- formed sentences and the ungrammatical, deviant, or ill- formed sentences of a language. 11
    12. 12. GRAMMATICALITY AND ACCEPTABILITY  Grammaticality should not be confused with notions of correctness or acceptability as determined by prescriptive grammarians.  Grammaticality has been differentiated from ACCEPTABILITY, which is based on the judgements by native speakers as to whether they would use a sentence or would consider it correct .  Judgements about what is acceptable may reflect views that a sentence is nonsensical, implausible, illogical, stylistically inappropriate, or socially objectionable. 12
    13. 13. CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTABILITY We expect a grammar of a language to clearly say what is “acceptable” and “unacceptable” in the language? “Correct” and “incorrect” suggest absolute norms, deviations in black and white. “Acceptable” and “unacceptable” suggest relative norms, fluid and variable according to usage, suggests the possibility of many grey areas. 13
    14. 14. DIFFERENT LEVELS OF UNACCEPTABILITY.  Sentences: Ungrammatical not well formed, violating some rule or convention of grammar.  Inappropriate: Linguistic Factors:  Use of non standard English – dialects.  Informal/ inappropriate registeral variations.  Collocational devices. Use of derogatory words  Non linguistic Factors: Psychological, Sociological, Aesthetic- Ambiguous statements.  Semantically odd: not appropriate to the situation. 14
    15. 15. CRITERIA FOR ACCEPTABILITY  Grammar books generally give us the idea of “grammaticality” i.e. What constitutes acceptable sentences on the basis of grammatical rules and conventions.  For dialect, register features, and collocations, standard dictionaries generally give some help for exhaustive knowledge we have to depend on our familiarity with the language.  Social cultural or aesthetic appropriateness is a relative and variable criteria. 15
    16. 16. GRAMMAR AND USAGE  Grammar is, or should be, a description of usage.  Grammar and usage are not different.  Traditional prescriptive school grammar presents rules which militate against actual usage.  Modern descriptive grammar has another handicap- usage is various and keeps on changing. Difficult to furnish all the details of usage.  As teachers/ scholars of English we should be conversant with the facts of English usage. 16
    17. 17. RECOMMENDED READING  Hosali, Priya and Ray Tongue. A Dictionary of Collocations for Indian Users of English. 1989  Leech, Geoffery, et al. English Grammar for Today. London: Macmillan. 1982. (Part A Introduction)  Nihalani, P, et al. Indian and British English: A Handbook of Usage and Pronunciation. New Delhi: OUP. 1979  Trudgill, Peter and Joan Hannah. International English: A guide to Varieties of Standard English. London: Edward Arnold. ( pages 106-111.) 17
    18. 18. THANK YOU Dr. Abha Pandey Professor and Head Department of UG, PG and Research in English Govt. Mahakoshal Arts and Commerce Autonomous College , Jabalpur 18