English Grammar

Grammar  is the set of srtuctural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes phonology, morphology, and syntax, often complemented by phonetics , semantics, and pragmatics.

For linguists, grammar refers to cognitive information underlying language use. Speakers of a language have a set of internalized rules for using that language. These rules constitute grammar, and the vast majority of the information in the grammar is—at least in the case of one’s native language—acquired not by conscious study or instruction, but by observing other speakers. Much of this work is done during early childhood; learning a language later in life usually involves a greater degree of explicit instruction.

The term “grammar” can also be used to describe the rules that govern the linguistic behaviour of a group of speakers. The term “English grammar”, therefore, may have several meanings. It may refer to the whole of English grammar, that is, to the grammars of all the speakers of the language, in which case, the term encompasses a great deal of variation. Alternatively, it may refer only to what is common to the grammars of all, or of the vast majority of English speakers (such as subject-verb-object word order in simple declarative sentense). Or it may refer to the rules of a particular, relatively well-defined variety of English (such as standard English for a particular region).

A specific description, study or analysis of such rules may also be referred to as a grammar. A reference describing the grammar of a language is called a “reference grammar” or simply “a grammar” (see History of English Grammar). A fully explicit grammar that exhaustively describes the grammar constructions of a language is called a descriptive grammar. This kind of linguistic description contrasts with linguistic prescription, an attempt to discourage or suppress some grammatical constructions, while promoting others. For example, preposition strandingoccurs widely in Germanic language and has a long history in English.

Outside linguistics the term grammar is often used in a rather different sense. In some respects, it may be used more broadly, including rules of spelling and punctuation, which linguists would not typically consider to form part of grammar, but rather as a part of orthography, the set of conventions used for writing a language. In other respects, it may be used more narrowly, to refer to prescriptive grammar only and excluding those aspects of a language’s grammar that are not subject to variation or debate.

6 types of English Grammar

1. Descriptive grammar 
    An approach thatdescribes the grammatical construction of alanguage, from a    point of view of linguists. It isused to investigate a ‘corpus’ of spoken andwritten material. 
2. Pedagogical grammar
   This is the kind of grammar we think about because it is used for teaching a FL or for raising awareness of thelearners’ L1. 
3. Prescriptive grammar
   Focuses on theconstruction of language as certain people think itis or isn’t correct.
 4. Reference grammar

   Grammatical descriptionsthat can be used as reference for those interesting inestablishing grammatical facts. 
5. Theoretical grammar 
   Studies individuallanguages, and determines what the required constructis in order to do any grammatical analysis. 
6. Traditional grammar
   Summarizes the attitudesand methods found in the period before the advent of linguistic science.
  On the other hand, Dr. Richard Nordquist, Full Professor of English atthe Armstrong Atlantic State University in Georgia, mentions about 10different ways of analyzing the structures and functions of language.
For example: 
  1. Comparative grammar – consists of the analysis and comparison of the grammatical structures of related languages.
  2. Generative grammar – refers to the unconscious knowledge of aspeaker’s use of language. 
  3. Mental grammar – is considered the generative grammar stored in thebrain and which allows a speaker to use language in an understandableway.
  4. Pedagogical grammar – simplified grammar designed and used for SLinstruction.
  5. Performance grammar – is a description of the waywords are organized to form sentences and paragraphs.
  6. Transformational grammar – accounts for theconstructions of a language by linguistic transformationsand phrase structures.
  7. Universal grammar – is the system of categories,operations, and principles shared by all humanlanguages and considered to be innate.
  8. Reference
  9. Theoretical
  10. Traditionalgrammar, and these are mentioned in Crystal’sdescription.
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