Grammar and Grammars
Why study grammar?
Grammar usage in daily life:
We spend the whole life in listening, speaking, reading and writing. So all these things are based on the grammatical, our large utterances, sentences, clauses, phrases, morphemes, even sounds are connected with each other under certain rules and regulations. However we can apply these rules on onomatopoeic sounds (animal sounds etc). Grammar tells us how we should apply the rules for our exact communication.
There are three features of language that are important for the perception of the mature of grammar: it is complex, productive and arbitrary. For example:
Traffic lights are mechanical symbols and these follow certain structure like grammar.
What is Grammar?
“Grammar is the name of the amalgamation of sentences, clauses, phrases, morphemes, and sounds under the certain rules and regulation”
Grammar may be defined as a book written about grammar itself.
School boys enquire the book stalled. May I have a grammar?
According to some advance learner, grammar only deals with the written expression not with spoken.
The point of view may be support by the etymology of grammar. It is derived from Greek word meaning “To Write”
Some languages are the dependent of grammar but some are independent. Those language which are based on sounds are dependent of grammar e.g. English, French, Urdu etc.
But those which deal with the signs expressions they have no grammatical rules e.g. Chinese.
Some people are indifferent to the grammar of their language. While many others acquire the rules and structure of their languages. It implies that a language doesn’t have a grammar until it is made explicit and can be learnt from a grammar book or at school.
Correct and Incorrect:
Correct and incorrect usage of language happen our daily life. Native speakers not having the knowledge of grammar may speak language in wrong way. But the language learner will speak that language in correct way due to having the knowledge of grammar.
The point can be support with the tour of Frank Palmer (Grammarian) in Wales.
He lived in Welsh and made and attempts to learn the Welsh language. One of his Welsh friends on hearing this said “you will learn speak better Welsh than we do – you will have leant the grammar”
First source of normative rules e.g. it is I, It is me:
English grammar is dependent upon the Latin grammar because teaching / learning we have to follow the Latin rules for English. These rules make us confused.
That’s why many people say that Latin is more logical than English because there are many functions or cases of noun e.g.
- Nominative: Ali goes to school (Noun and pronoun as subject)
- Vocative: Ali, where are you going?
- Accusative: Where is Ali?
- Genitive: This is Ali’s book.
- Dative: Ali gave me his book.
There is no reason at all way English should follow the Latin.
A second source of normative rules is ‘logic’. There is noted example of the usage of double negation in English e.g.
- I did not go nowhere. (Wrong)
- I went somewhere. (Correct)
The logic here is based on mathematical rule that two minuses make plus.
Another prominent example of different languages concerns the usage of singular form with the numerals.
Speech and writing:
Speech plays an important role than writing in daily life. It has already mentioned that ‘grammar’ is derived from the Greek word meaning “To Write”.
It shows that grammar deals with the written language. There is totally difference between the spelling and pronunciation of English language. It is the confusion for foreign learners.
The second and most important point which becomes the reason of confusion is intonation.
In intonation we have to follow the tonic variation; rising tone, falling tone etc.
E.g. She is pretty? Instead of is she pretty?
Know coming to the grammatical rules it is clear that grammar paves the way speech and writing.
Morphologically, there is a variation in the formation of plural forms of singular objects or words. In the English number system e.g. there are three common ways of deriving plurals from singular:
Apple – apples, cat – cats
(2) “Zero” endings
Cattle – cattle, fish – fish
(3) Change the vowel
Louse – lice, mouse – mice
Form and meaning:
This heading deals with the semantic and grammar of some language.
There are synonyms, antonyms, homonyms etc. in the vocabulary of some language e.g.
- Wheat ( Uncountable noun)
- Oat, oats
- Hair (Uncountable noun)
Another kind of consideration holds for sex and gender. The romance languages, especially French, have some examples. First in these languages every noun has two sexes; masculine (book) and feminine (door).
But know we have three categories of gender; male, female and neutral.
The last but not the least is tenses or time of any language which leads the language in its exact and fair meanings. E.g. “If you went to Paris, I would present you a gift”