Email * Prompt for Questions 1-16
Consider the following statements about language and definitions of 'grammar." What understanding of grammar does each one represent: prescriptive, descriptive, generative, or performance?
1. "Each language has its own scheme. Everything depends on the formal demarcations which it recognizes." 2. "The language faculty is a component of the mind/brain, part of the human biological endowment. Presented with data, the child ... forms a language, a computational system of some kind that provides structured representations of linguistic expressions that determine their sound and meaning." 3. "In colloquial speech, 'like' is sometimes used as a conjunction .... but cultured speakers prefer 'as,' 'as if,' or 'though." 4. "Linguists have increasingly realized that the context of an utterance plays an important part in determining its meaning, as do beliefs that are shared by a speaker and a hearer." 5. "The material in the exercises in correcting substandard English comes from ... (Preface to grammar book). 6. " Someone who says 'he don't' for 'he doesn't' has a systematic way of relating sound and meaning." 7. "In keeping with all these excellent qualities would you please see that the grammar used in describing your clothing is of equal quality. I am sure you are quite aware that a garment doesn't 'wash easy.' Is this use of adjectives in the place of adverbs an affectation or is it a stylistic quirk?" (Letter to the editor of a mail-order catalog) 8. "The proper use of a language in sentence structure and word use as defined by the academia of the region." 9. "Grammar includes the rules in which sentences are put together in a language. There are different aspects of grammar, but it all works together for the proper formation of sentences." 10. "Grammar is the structure and content of words. It varies according to language (English, Russian, etc.), regions, individuals, and environments (workplace, home, bar). Includes punctuation, word order, sound, word choice, etc. 11. “The rules and structures by which a language must comply.” 12. "A broad terminology used to encompass syntax, usage.” 13. “Grammar is what you use to decide how to talk to your parents versus how to talk to your friends.” 14. “Grammar is the rules of writing correctly.” 15. “I see grammar as sort of the ‘government’ of words. It contains rules and regulations that help words get along with each other.” 16. “Grammar is our usage of words in order to communicate well what we are trying to say or explain.” 17. What would a prescriptive grammarian say about these sentences, if anything: A) John hurt himself. B) John hurt hisself. C) John hurt heself. 18. What would a descriptive grammarian say about these sentences, if anything: A) John hurt himself. B) John hurt hisself. C) John hurt heself. 19. What would a generative grammarian say about these sentences, if anything: A) John hurt himself. B) John hurt hisself. C) John hurt heself. 20. What would a performance grammarian say about these sentences, if anything: A) John hurt himself. B) John hurt hisself. C) John hurt heself.