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In
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

linguistics
, the grammar of a
natural language In neuropsychology Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology. It is concerned with how a person's cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Professionals in this branch of psychology often focus on ...
is its set of
structural A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A sy ...

structural
constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of
clauses In language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to inscribe the ...
,
phrase In syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word order. The ter ...

phrase
s, and
words In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis inclu ...

words
. The term can also refer to the study of such constraints, a field that includes domains such as
phonology Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular language variety. At on ...

phonology
,
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines * Morphology (archaeology), study of the shapes or forms of artifacts * Morphology (astronomy), study of the shape of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies ...
, and
syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word order. The term ''syntax'' ...

syntax
, often complemented by
phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. The field of phon ...

phonetics
,
semantics Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another o ...
, and
pragmatics In linguistics and related fields, pragmatics is the study of how context (language use), context contributes to meaning. The field of study evaluates how human language is utilized in social interactions, as well as the relationship between the ...
. There are currently two different approaches to the study of grammar,
traditional grammar A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes about the wo ...
and theoretical grammar. Fluent speakers of a
language variety In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and context (language use), context, on the way language is used, and socie ...
or ''lect'' have effectively internalized these constraints, the vast majority of which – at least in the case of one's native language(s) – are acquired not by conscious study or instruction but by hearing other speakers. Much of this internalization occurs during early childhood; learning a language later in life usually involves more explicit instruction. In this view, grammar is understood as the cognitive information underlying a specific instance of language production. The term "grammar" can also describe the linguistic behavior of groups of speakers and writers, rather than individuals. Differences in scales are important to this sense of the word: for example, the term "English grammar" could 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 Variation or Variations may refer to: Science and mathematics * Variation (astronomy), any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite, particularly of the moon * Genetic variation thumb File:Genetic Variation and Inhe ...
. At a smaller scale, it may refer only to what is shared among the grammars of all or most English speakers (such as
subject–verb–object In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for ...
word order in simple declarative sentences). At the smallest scale, this sense of "grammar" can describe the conventions of just one relatively well-defined form of English (such as
standard English In an English-speaking country This article is intended to provide details and data regarding the geographical distribution of all English speakers, regardless of the legislative status of the countries where it's spoken. The English language is o ...
for a region). A description, study, or analysis of such rules may also be referred to as a grammar. A
reference book A reference work is a work, such as a book or periodical literature, periodical (or electronic publishing, their electronic equivalents), to which one can refer for information. The information is intended to be found quickly when needed. Such ...
describing the grammar of a language is called a "reference grammar" or simply "a grammar" (see
History of English grammars The history of English grammars begins late in the sixteenth century with the ''Pamphlet for Grammar'' by William Bullokar William Bullokar was a 16th-century printer who devised a 40-letter phonetic alphabet for the English language Englis ...
). A fully explicit grammar which exhaustively describes the
grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
constructions of a particular speech variety is called a descriptive grammar. This kind of
linguistic description In the study of language, description or descriptive linguistics is the work of objectively analyzing and describing how language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning ...
contrasts with
linguistic prescription Linguistic prescription, or prescriptive grammar, is the establishment of rules defining preferred usage The usage of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestur ...
, an attempt to actively discourage or suppress some grammatical constructions, while codifying and promoting others, either in an absolute sense or about a
standard variety A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a population for public communication. The term ''standard langua ...
. For example, some prescriptivists maintain that sentences in English should not end with prepositions, a prohibition that has been traced to
John Dryden '' John Dryden (; – ) was an English poet, , translator, and playwright who was appointed England's first in 1668. He is seen as dominating the literary life of to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the ...

John Dryden
(13 April 1668 – January 1688) whose unexplained objection to the practice perhaps led other English speakers to avoid the construction and discourage its use. Yet
preposition strandingPreposition stranding, sometimes called P-stranding, is the syntax, syntactic construction in which a preposition with an object (grammar), object occurs somewhere other than immediately adjacent to its object; for example, at the end of a sentence. ...
has a long history in
Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian sub ...

Germanic languages
like English, where it is so widespread as to be a standard usage. Outside linguistics, the term ''grammar'' is often used in a rather different sense. It may be used more broadly to include conventions of spelling and punctuation, which linguists would not typically consider as part of grammar but rather as part of orthography, the conventions used for writing a language. It may also be used more narrowly to refer to a set of prescriptive norms only, excluding those aspects of a language's grammar which are not subject to
variation Variation or Variations may refer to: Science and mathematics * Variation (astronomy), any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite, particularly of the moon * Genetic variation thumb File:Genetic Variation and Inhe ...
or debate on their normative acceptability. Jeremy Butterfield claimed that, for non-linguists, "Grammar is often a generic way of referring to any aspect of English that people object to."


Etymology

The word ''grammar'' is derived from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(''grammatikḕ téchnē''), which means "art of letters", from (''grámma''), "letter", itself from (''gráphein''), "to draw, to write". The same Greek root also appears in
graphics Graphics () are visual The visual system comprises the sensory organ A sense is a biological system A biological system is a complex network which connects several biologically relevant entities. Biological organization spans several s ...

graphics
,
grapheme In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...

grapheme
, and photograph.


History

The first systematic grammar, of
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
, originated in
Iron Age India In the prehistory of the Indian subcontinent, an "Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the ...
, with Yaska (6th century BC),
Pāṇini , era = ;;;6th–5th century BCE , region = Northwest Indian subcontinent , main_interests = Grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structu ...
(6th–5th century BC) and his commentators
Pingala Acharya Pingala ('; c. 3rd/2nd century BCE) was an ancient Indian poet and mathematician, and the author of the ' (also called ''Pingala-sutras''), the earliest known treatise on Sanskrit prosody. The ' is a work of eight chapters in the late Sū ...
(c. 200 BC), Katyayana, and
Patanjali ( sa, पतञ्जलि) was a sage in ancient India, thought to be the author of a number of Sanskrit works. The greatest of these are the '' Yoga Sutras'', a classical yoga text. There is doubt as to whether the sage Patañjali is the a ...

Patanjali
(2nd century BC).
Tolkāppiyam ''Tolkāppiyam'' ( ta, தொல்காப்பியம், ''lit.'' "ancient poem") is the most ancient extant Tamil grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, ...
, the earliest
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils, an ethnic group native to India, Sri Lanka and some other parts of Asia **Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil people native to Sri Lanka **Tamil Malaysians, Tamil people native to Malaysia * Tamil language, a Dravidian languages, ...

Tamil
grammar, is mostly dated to before the 5th century AD. The
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
ns also made some early attempts at language description. Grammar appeared as a discipline in Hellenism from the 3rd century BC forward with authors such as Rhyanus and
Aristarchus of Samothrace Aristarchus of Samothrace ( grc-gre, Ἀρίσταρχος ὁ Σαμόθραξ ''Aristarchos o Samothrax''; c. 220 – c. 143 BC) was a grammarian Grammarian may refer to: * Alexandrine grammarians, philologists and textual scholars in Hellen ...

Aristarchus of Samothrace
. The oldest known grammar handbook is the ''
Art of Grammar ''The Art of Grammar'' ( el, Τέχνη Γραμματική - or romanized, Téchnē Grammatikḗ) is a treatise on Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the He ...
'' (), a succinct guide to speaking and writing clearly and effectively, written by the ancient Greek scholar
Dionysius Thrax Dionysius Thrax ( grc-gre, Διονύσιος ὁ Θρᾷξ ''Dionysios o Thrax'', 170–90 BC) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, ...
( 170– 90 BC), a student of Aristarchus of Samothrace who founded a school on the Greek island of Rhodes. Dionysius Thrax's grammar book remained the primary grammar textbook for Greek schoolboys until as late as the twelfth century AD. The Romans based their grammatical writings on it and its basic format remains the basis for grammar guides in many languages even today.
Latin grammar Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it b ...
developed by following Greek models from the 1st century BC, due to the work of authors such as Orbilius Pupillus,
Remmius Palaemon Quintus Remmius Palaemon or Quintus Rhemnius Fannius Palaemon. was a Roman grammarian and a native of Vicentia. He lived during the reigns of Emperors Tiberius and Claudius Claudius ( ; Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 1 August ...
,
Marcus Valerius Probus Marcus Valerius Probus, also known as M. Valerius Probus Berytius or Probus the Berytian ) or Laodicea in Canaan (2nd century to 64 BCE) , image = St. George's Cathedral, Beirut.jpg , image_size = , alt = , caption ...
,
Verrius Flaccus Marcus Verrius Flaccus (c. 55 BCAD 20) was a Roman grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clause ...
, and Aemilius Asper. A grammar of
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
originated in the 7th century with the
Auraicept na n-Éces ''Auraicept na n-Éces'' (, "the scholars' 'éices''primer 'airaiccecht''; in the modern Gaelic languages: ga, Aiceacht na nÉigeas, gd, Uraiceachd nan Éigeas) was historically thought to be a 7th-century work of Irish grammarians, written ...
.
Arabic grammar Arabic grammar or Arabic language sciences ( ar, النحو العربي ' or ar, عُلُوم اللغَة العَرَبِيَّة ') is the grammar of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language ...
emerged with
Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali Abu or ABU may refer to: Places * Abu (volcano) is the name of a group of shield volcanoes located on the coast of Japan on the southwest end of the island of Honshū. It is primarily based in the city of Hagi, Yamaguchi, Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefect ...
in the 7th century. The first treatises on
Hebrew grammar Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic language Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have emerged from Proto- ...
appeared in the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
, in the context of
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah. ...
(exegesis of the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, with a f ...

Hebrew Bible
). The Karaite tradition originated in
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of and one of the in the , and compared to its large population it has a small area at just 673 square kilometers (260 sq mi). Located along the , near the ruins of the city of and the anc ...

Baghdad
. The ''
Diqduq Hebrew (, , or ) is a of the . Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the and their longest-surviving descendants: the and . It was largely preserved throughout history as the main of (post-) and . Hebrew is the ...
'' (10th century) is one of the earliest grammatical commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. Ibn Barun in the 12th century compares the Hebrew language with Arabic in the
Islamic grammatical tradition Arabic grammar or Arabic language sciences ( ar, النحو العربي ' or ar, عُلُوم اللغَة العَرَبِيَّة ') is the grammar of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language ...
. Belonging to the ''
trivium The trivium is the lower division of the seven liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin "free" and "art or principled practice") is the traditional academic program in Western higher education. ''Liberal arts'' takes the term ''Art ( ...

trivium
'' of the seven
liberal arts Liberal arts education (from Latin "free" and "art or principled practice") is the traditional academic program in Western higher education. ''Liberal arts'' takes the term ''Art (skill), art'' in the sense of a learned skill rather than spec ...
, grammar was taught as a core discipline throughout the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, following the influence of authors from
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
, such as
Priscian 270px, Priscian, or the Grammar, relief from the bell tower of Florence by Luca della Robbia Priscianus Caesariensis (), commonly known as Priscian ( or ), was a Latin grammarian and the author of the ''Institutes of Grammar'', which was the stan ...
. Treatment of vernaculars began gradually during the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
, with isolated works such as the
First Grammatical Treatise The First Grammatical Treatise ( is, Fyrsta málfræðiritgerðin) is a 12th-century work on the phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or signs, in sign langua ...
, but became influential only in the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
and
Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a of , , , , and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s. In the territories of the Spanish and Portuguese empires including the Iberian Peninsula it continued, together with new s ...

Baroque
periods. In 1486,
Antonio de Nebrija Antonio de Nebrija (14445 July 1522) was the most influential Spanish humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...

Antonio de Nebrija
published ''Las introduciones Latinas contrapuesto el romance al Latin'', and the first
Spanish grammar Spanish is a grammatically inflected language, which means that many words are modified ("marked") in small ways, usually at the end, according to their changing functions. Verbs are marked for tense, aspect, mood, person A person (plural ...
, '''', in 1492. During the 16th-century
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civi ...
, the ''Questione della lingua'' was the discussion on the status and ideal form of the Italian language, initiated by
Dante Dante Alighieri (), probably baptized Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri and often referred to Mononymous person, simply as Dante (, also ; – 1321), was an Italian poetry, Italian poet, writer and philosopher. His ''Divine Comedy'', origina ...

Dante
's ''
de vulgari eloquentia ''De vulgari eloquentia'' () "on vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, no ...
'' (
Pietro Bembo Pietro Bembo, ( la, Petrus Bembus; 20 May 1470 – 18 January 1547) was an Italian scholar A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop expertise in an area of Studying, study. A scho ...

Pietro Bembo
, ''Prose della volgar lingua'' Venice 1525). The first grammar of
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
was written in 1583 by Adam Bohorič. Grammars of some languages began to be compiled for the purposes of evangelism and
Bible translation The Bible has been translation, translated into Bible translations by language, many languages from the biblical languages of Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew, Biblical Aramaic, Aramaic and Koine Greek, Greek. the full Bible has been translated into 7 ...
from the 16th century onward, such as ''Grammatica o Arte de la Lengua General de los Indios de los Reynos del Perú'' (1560), a
Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language **Sou ...
grammar by Fray Domingo de Santo Tomás. From the latter part of the 18th century, grammar came to be understood as a subfield of the emerging discipline of modern linguistics. The ''Deutsche Grammatik'' of the
Jacob Grimm Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (4 January 1785 – 20 September 1863), also known as Ludwig Karl, was a German linguist, philologist, jurist, and folklorist Folklore studies, also known as folkloristics, and occasionally tradition studies or fo ...

Jacob Grimm
was first published in the 1810s. The ''Comparative Grammar'' of
Franz Bopp Franz Bopp (; 14 September 1791 – 23 October 1867) was a German linguist known for extensive and pioneering comparative work on Indo-European languages. Early life Bopp was born in Mainz, but the political disarray in the Republic of M ...

Franz Bopp
, the starting point of modern
comparative linguistics Comparative linguistics, or comparative-historical linguistics (formerly comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change ...
, came out in 1833.


Theoretical frameworks

Frameworks of grammar which seek to give a precise scientific theory of the syntactic rules of grammar and their function have been developed in
theoretical linguistics Theoretical linguistics is a term in linguistics which, like the related term general linguistics, can be understood in different ways. Both can be taken as a reference to theory of language Theory of language is a topic from philosophy of languag ...
. *
Dependency grammar Dependency grammar (DG) is a class of modern grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling t ...
: dependency relation (
Lucien Tesnière Lucien Tesnière (; May 13, 1893 – December 6, 1954) was a prominent and influential French linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from ...

Lucien Tesnière
1959) **
Link grammar Link grammar (LG) is a theory of syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually i ...
*
Functional grammarFunctional grammar may refer to: * Functional linguistics, a range of functionally based approaches to linguistics * Functional discourse grammar, grammar models developed by Simon C. Dik that explain how utterances are shaped based on the goals of ...
(structural–functional analysis): ** Danish Functionalism **
Functional Discourse Grammar Functional grammar (FG) and functional discourse grammar (FDG) are grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composit ...
**
Role and reference grammar Role and reference grammar (RRG) is a model of grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clause (lingu ...
**
Systemic functional grammar Systemic functional grammar (SFG) is a form of grammatical description originated by Michael Halliday. It is part of a social semiotics, semiotic approach to language called ''systemic functional linguistics''. In these two terms, ''systemic'' r ...
*
Montague grammar__notoc__ Montague grammar is an approach to natural language semantics Semantics (from grc, wikt:σημαντικός, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of meaning, reference, or truth. The term can be used to ...
Other frameworks are based on an innate "
universal grammar Universal grammar (UG), in modern linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
", an idea developed by
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...

Noam Chomsky
. In such models, the object is placed into the verb phrase. The most prominent biologically-oriented theories are: *
Cognitive grammar Cognitive grammar is a cognitive approach to language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
/
Cognitive linguistics Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics, combining knowledge and research from cognitive science, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, social psychology, cognitive anthropology and linguistics. Models and theoretical ...
**
Construction grammar Construction grammar (often abbreviated CxG) is a family of theories within the field of cognitive linguistics Cognitive linguistics is an interdisciplinary branch of linguistics, combining knowledge and research from cognitive science, cogniti ...
*** Fluid Construction Grammar ** Word grammar *
Generative grammar Generative grammar, or generativism , is a linguistic theory that regards linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...
: **
Transformational grammarIn linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include pho ...

Transformational grammar
(1960s) ** Generative semantics (1970s) *** Semantic Syntax (1990s) ** Generalised phrase structure grammar (late 1970s) *** Head-driven phrase structure grammar (1985) *** Principles and parameters grammar (Government and binding theory) (1980s) ** Lexical functional grammar ** Categorial grammar (lambda calculus) ** Minimalist program-based grammar (1993) * Stochastic grammar: probabilistic ** Operator grammar Parse trees are commonly used by such frameworks to depict their rules. There are various alternative schemes for some grammars: * Affix grammar over a finite lattice * Backus–Naur form * Constraint grammar * Lambda calculus * Tree-adjoining grammar * X-bar theory


Development of grammars

Grammars evolve through Usage (language), usage. Historically, with the advent of Writing, written representations, formal rules about language usage tend to appear also, although such rules tend to describe writing conventions more accurately than conventions of speech. Formal grammars are codification (linguistics), codifications of usage which are developed by repeated documentation and observation over time. As rules are established and developed, the prescriptive concept of grammatical correctness can arise. This often produces a discrepancy between contemporary usage and that which has been accepted, over time, as being standard or "correct". Linguists tend to view prescriptive grammars as having little justification beyond their authors' aesthetic tastes, although style guides may give useful advice about ''standard language employment'', based on descriptions of usage in contemporary writings of the same language. Linguistic prescriptions also form part of the explanation for variation in speech, particularly variation in the speech of an individual speaker (for example, why some speakers say "I didn't do nothing", some say "I didn't do anything", and some say one or the other depending on social context). The formal study of grammar is an important part of children's schooling from a young age through advanced learning, though the rules taught in schools are not a "grammar" in the sense that most linguistics, linguists use, particularly as they are prescriptive in intent rather than descriptive. Constructed languages (also called ''planned languages'' or ''conlangs'') are more common in the modern-day, although still extremely uncommon compared to natural languages. Many have been designed to aid human communication (for example, naturalistic Interlingua, schematic Esperanto, and the highly logic-compatible artificial language Lojban). Each of these languages has its own grammar. Syntax refers to the linguistic structure above the word level (for example, how sentences are formed)though without taking into account Intonation (linguistics), intonation, which is the domain of phonology. Morphology, by contrast, refers to the structure at and below the word level (for example, how Compound (linguistics), compound words are formed), but above the level of individual sounds, which, like intonation, are in the domain of phonology. However, no clear line can be drawn between syntax and morphology. Analytic languages use syntax to convey information which is encoded by inflection in synthetic languages. In other words, word order is not significant and morphology is highly significant in a purely synthetic language, whereas morphology is not significant and syntax is highly significant in an analytic language. For example, Chinese and Afrikaans language, Afrikaans are highly analytic, thus meaning is very context-dependent. (Both have some inflections, and both have had more in the past; thus, they are becoming even less synthetic and more "purely" analytic over time.) Latin, which is highly synthetic language, synthetic, uses affixes and inflections to convey the same information that Chinese does with syntax. Because Latin words are quite (though not totally) self-contained, an intelligible Latin Sentence (linguistics), sentence can be made from elements that are arranged almost arbitrarily. Latin has a complex affixation and simple syntax, whereas Chinese has the opposite.


Education

Prescriptive grammar is taught in primary and secondary school. The term "grammar school" historically referred to a school (attached to a cathedral or monastery) that teaches Latin grammar to future priests and monks. It originally referred to a school that taught students how to read, scan, interpret, and declaim Greek and Latin poets (including Homer, Virgil, Euripides, and others). These should not be mistaken for the related, albeit distinct, modern British grammar schools. A standard language is the dialect which is promoted above other dialects in writing, education, and, broadly speaking, in the public sphere; it contrasts with nonstandard dialect, vernacular dialects, which may be the objects of study in academic, linguistic description, descriptive linguistics but which are rarely taught prescriptively. The standardized "first language" taught in primary education may be subject to language politics, political controversy, because it may sometimes establish a standard defining nationality or ethnicity. Recently, efforts have begun to update Linguistics in Education, grammar instruction in primary and secondary education. The main focus has been to prevent the use of outdated prescriptive rules in favor of setting norms based on earlier descriptive research and to change perceptions about the relative "correctness" of prescribed standard forms in comparison to non-standard dialects. The preeminence of Parisian French has reigned largely unchallenged throughout the history of modern French literature. Standard Italian is based on the speech of Florence rather than the capital because of its influence on early literature. Likewise, standard Spanish is not based on the speech of Madrid, but on that of educated speakers from more northern areas such as Castile and León (see ''''). In Argentina and Uruguay the Spanish standard is based on the local dialects of Buenos Aires and Montevideo (Rioplatense Spanish). Portuguese language, Portuguese has, for now, two official standard language, standards, respectively Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese. The Serbian language, Serbian variant of Serbo-Croatian is likewise divided; Serbia and the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina use their own distinct normative subvarieties, with differences in yat reflexes. The existence and codification of a distinct Montenegrin standard is a matter of controversy, some treat Montenegrin language, Montenegrin as a separate standard lect and some think that it should be considered another form of Serbian. Norwegian language, Norwegian has two standards, ''Bokmål'' and ''Nynorsk'', the choice between which is subject to Norwegian language struggle, controversy: Each Norwegian municipality can either declare one as its official language or it can remain "language neutral". Nynorsk is backed by 27 percent of municipalities. The main language used in primary schools, chosen by referendum within the local school district, normally follows the official language of its municipality. Standard German emerged from the standardized chancellery use of Early New High German language, High German in the 16th and 17th centuries. Until about 1800, it was almost exclusively a written language, but now it is so widely spoken that most of the former German dialects are nearly extinct. Standard Chinese has official status as the standard spoken form of the Chinese language in the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China (ROC) and the Singapore, Republic of Singapore. Pronunciation of Standard Chinese is based on the local accent of Mandarin Chinese from Luanping, Chengde in Hebei Province near Beijing, while grammar and syntax are based on modern vernacular written Chinese. Modern Standard Arabic is directly based on Classical Arabic, the language of the Qur'an. The Hindustani language has two standards, Hindi and Urdu. In the United States, the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar designated 4 March as National Grammar Day in 2008.


See also

* Ambiguous grammar * Constraint-based grammar * Grammeme * Harmonic Grammar * Higher order grammar (HOG) * Error (linguistics), Linguistic error * Linguistic typology * Paragrammatism * Speech error (slip of the tongue) * Usage (language) * Usus


Notes


References

* American Academic Press, The (ed.). William Strunk, Jr., et al. ''The Classics of Style: The Fundamentals of Language Style From Our American Craftsmen''. Cleveland: The American Academic Press, 2006. . * Rundle, Bede. ''Grammar in Philosophy''. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. .


External links


Grammar from the Oxford English Dictionary
* {{Authority control Grammar Writing Linguistics terminology