Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
Different views of grammar
There are a plethora of theoretical and practical views about the meaning, function and understanding of grammar. .These views often conflict, while there are also numerous areas of intersection and comparison. This paper will focus on two of the main theoretical trajectories in contemporary understanding of what grammar is.; namely the formalist-mentalist and functionalist views.
It may however be cogent to firstly discuss various underlying definitions and views of the meaning of grammar as these fundaments tend to provide an avenue of understanding of the central theories involved. The word grammar derived from grammatike or grammatike techne, which in classical Greek meant "the art of writing." ( Ezzaher, Lahcen E. 2001)
It is important to note that the meaning of 'grammar' was originally focused on "writing" and not speech. This is a crucial aspect as many of the contending linguistic and grammatical theories tend to privilege writing over speech in their understanding of what grammar essentially is. This factor can also be brought to bear in an understanding of the underling difference between the formalist and functionalist approach -- as will be discussed in this paper.
The primacy of writing over speech therefore can be seen as starting point in understanding the different views on grammar.
....in a widely literate society such as ours, we are presented with the challenge of the primacy of writing over speech. Current spoken language, particularly in the academy, is subjected to the rules of traditional grammar. Secondly, written language is the language of education and power.
( Ezzaher, Lahcen E. 2001)
The fact that "... grammatical correctness is presented as a body of rules normalizing language use," and that "Such rules come from outside of the form of discourse to be added to it ... " ( ibid) is a pointer, for example, of much of the underlying thought of the formalist approach to the meaning of grammar. Therefore, underlying many of the different theories about grammar are assumptions and perceptions about the nature of language.
2. Various meanings of the term grammar
There are many different interpretations of the word grammar. For many it is the correctness of speech and writing that forms the cardinal attribute of a grammar. From another point-of-view grammar refers to the inflections or the word endings common in many languages. Another view is that the central characteristic of grammar is that it is the way that ideas are structured and organized into words. In essence however, the term grammar is most commonly seen as a term that "describes how we choose and arrange our words."
(Kies, D. 2005) A common perspective of the meaning of grammar is succinctly stated as follows. "Grammar is about how units of language are sequenced." (Kies, D. 2005) Grammas is therefore a means of expressing various meaning and organizing ideas conceptually
However there are very different and sometimes seemingly diametrically opposed views of what grammar is and how it functions. As was mentioned in the introduction to this paper, it is often the case that these different perceptions and theories have their foundations in different beliefs and views of reality and the nature of language itself.
The various modern theoretical views of what constitutes grammar can be seen to begin with the reaction against structuralism. The structuralist tradition which includes the important work of Bloomfield (1933), focused on the classification of the various elements of a particular language. ( Bourke JM.)
'The structuralist grammarian simply collects samples of the target language and classifies them in much the same way as a biologist classifies butterflies." (Bourke JM.)
Furthermore, the structuralist views grammar as essentially a means of " ... bringing order to the set of external facts that make up the language. (Bourke JM.) This view of grammar was rejected by Chomsky and others. Chomsky viewed this perception of grammar as E-language or externalized language. He conceived of true grammar as I-language or internalized language. This view was based on the underlying belief that grammar must be psychologically real. Chomsky states that a grammar " ... must capture and explain language knowledge in terms of the properties of the human mind." (Cook, 1988, p. 12).
The move away from the structuralist perception of grammar can be described as a move from a prescriptive to a descriptive form of grammar. Descriptive grammar describes language as it is in reality and not as it should be ideally seen.
Another view that is often seen as being the polar opposite of the view that Chomsky proposed, is Systemic Functional Grammar. SFG views language primarily in terms of its context and function and in relation to society and social interaction. This view is in contradistinction to the more formalistic views of grammar which are relatively unrelated to social factors and see grammar as having a deeper intuitive structure which is common to all language groups. A prime example is the work of Noam Chomsky, whose methods were largely derived from those of his neo-Bloomfieldian teacher Zellig Harris, and were related to the maintenance of the " .... non-functional approach of Bloomfield, and its concentration on the forms or expressions of language, with relative neglect of the relationships between form and function. " (Langbrain: Interview with Sydney Lamb. 1998)
Between these two extremes are various other views and theories of grammar. One of these, for example, is neurocognitve linguistics which looks at language primarily in its relation to the brain. However, in general terms theories of grammar tend to fall into two main categories; these are the formal and functional views of grammar. Simple stated, formal grammar places emphasis on linguistic form and structure, while functional theories " ... focus on language as a functional system which people deploy for particular purposes or goals." (McGregor, 1997, p. 4) This is an important distinction that will be discussed in detail in this paper.
It should be pointed out that between these two extremes of grammatical and linguistic theory there are a variety of different views which places emphasis on one or another of these two main views. These include the following theoretical stances: generalized phrase structure grammar (GPSG) and extreme functionalism; lexical functional grammar (LFG), relational grammar (RG), role and reference grammar (RRG), cognitive grammar (CG), Dik's functional grammar (FG) and semiotic grammar (SG). (McGregor, 1997, p. 4)
The functional view of language has a number of characteristics that need to be explicated in order to make the distinction between the views of Chomsky and Halliday clear. Firstly, functionalism views grammar as essentially non-autonomous. In this view grammar is not " ... An autonomous, self-contained system." (McGregor, 1997, p. 4) In other words the language and grammatical system are viewed as being co present and coterminous with social accessibility and expression." Language does not exist in and of it, but is an integral part of human semiotic activity." (McGregor, 1997, p. 4) For the functional theorist there is no autonomous syntax and semantics are not essentially divorced from one another
Another very significant difference between formal and functional approaches to grammar is that, from a functionalist perspective, the distinction between deep and surface structures does not exist, as it does in Chomsky's view of language and grammar. Functionalist theories also emphasize the multifunctional aspects of linguistic phenomena as a normative factor.
Formal theories of the Chomskyan type regard language as a well-defined system. By this is meant that ": ... The acceptable (grammatical) sentences of a given language form a well defined set: given any string of words and/or morphemes in the language it is possible to decide whether or not that string is a member of the set of grammatical sentences, (McGregor, 1997, p. 5) While Semiotic grammar, a stance similar to Systemic Functional Grammar, adopts a social-interactionist rather than a mentalist point-of-view about the meaning and function of grammar, in that language is seen as essentially a social phenomenon (McGregor, 1997, p. 5)
3. Chomsky and Halliday
Chomsky is recognized as one of the foremost modern innovators in linguistics and language theory. In his doctoral thesis he began to develop some of his linguistic ideas. These ideas were elaborated in the book Syntactic Structure, published in 1957. This was one of his best known works in linguistics. Not only is he regarded by any as the founder of modern linguistics, but he is also acknowledged as the main proponent of the field of transformational-generative grammar. This area is strongly related to logic and philosophy. (Cowley, J. 2003)
An essential aspect that characterizes his early work was his opposition to behaviorist theory. "His works in generative linguistics contributed significantly to the decline of behaviorism and led to the advancement of the cognitive sciences." (Wikipedia: Noam Chompsky.)
To summarize his views, Chomsky begins from the view that although different groups of people speak different languages, yet all human language is essentially governed by common rules, or principles, that are universal. " Every language has rules that govern pronunciation, word formation, and sentence construction,…[continue]
"Grammar Different Views Of Grammar There Are" (2005, October 13) Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/grammar-different-views-of-there-69613
"Grammar Different Views Of Grammar There Are" 13 October 2005. Web.25 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/grammar-different-views-of-there-69613>
"Grammar Different Views Of Grammar There Are", 13 October 2005, Accessed.25 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/grammar-different-views-of-there-69613
To this end, it requires them to give primary attention to meaning and to make use of their own linguistic resources, although the design of the task may predispose them to choose particular forms. A task is intended to result in language use that bears a resemblance, direct or indirect, to the way language issued in the real world. Like other language activities, a task can engage productive or
E. cursing, swearing) and not using discriminatory language or language that is "racist, sexist, ageist" (Caldwell, 2004) or so forth. The concept of 'communicative competence" (Caldwell, 2004) is described as grammar that "relates to the nature of language teaching" in an approach." (Caldwell, 2004) that is fairly universally advocated in L2 teaching." (Caldwell, 2004) the mistakes that are made may either be in "form" due to lack of knowledge or
Chomsky Noam Chomsky and His Theory of Universal Grammar Noam Chomsky name is not unknown to the world. Though he is not a psychologist or a psychiatrist but his contributions in the fields of psychology and linguistics has a great impact. His theory of generative grammar has been regarded as one of the most considerable contributions to the field of theoretical linguistics (Berger, 2005). As a Person Noam Chomsky, a well-known politician and an
CAPM There are several different models that can be used to help determine the cost of capital for a company. Each is based on a model, and can be understood not only in terms of its formula but also in terms of its underlying assumptions. These assumptions will provide the foundation for the model, and will inform the financial manager about the strengths and weaknesses of each model. This report will
Leadership Management Effective Approaches Leadership Management Different personalities practice different management styles, while different management styles are suited to different personalities. It is very important for a manager to make sure that their employees are motivated and their work rates are up to the mark. The employees of any organization need to be motivated in order to maintain a fair attendance at the office along with enough motivation that employees would
Leadership There are many different concepts of leadership, and much of what a person does as a leader is related to the concept to which that person subscribes. Some leaders are more interested in their followers than others, while other leaders are more focused on what they can do for the company and the bottom line. Neither option is necessarily the right option, because there are many ways in which
Information Technology Customization and Standardization: A View of Cloud and Grid Computing Sequencing a genome, storing vast video libraries, or utilizing a non-essential application for occasional use are all functions performed within the realm of information technology. Meeting a particular task need was once the challenge of the end user or organization to ascertain their current and future use to guide their technology purchases. In the not so distant past, limitations of