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Реферат Early (Prenormative) Grammars. Prescriptive Grammars. Syntax. The Rise of Classical Scientific Grammar. Prescriptive Grammars in the Modern Period. Classical Scientific English Grammar in the Modern Period. Structural and Transformational Grammars.


Тип работы: Реферат. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 03.05.2008. Сдан: 2008. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.

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There does not appear to exist a generally accepted periodization of the history of English grammars, so we shall roughly divide it into two periods of unequal length, according to the general aims or objectives of the grammars appearing within these periods. The first is the age of prescientific grammar beginning with the end of the 16th century and lasting till about 1900. It includes two types of grammars which succeeded each other.
The first type of grammars in the history of English grammars are the early prenormative grammars of English, beginning with William Bullokar's Bref Grammar for English (1585).
By the middle of the 18th century, when many of the grammatical phenomena of English had been described, the early English grammars gave way (to a new kind of grammar, a prescriptive (normative) grammar, which stated strict rules of grammatical usage, condemning those constructions and forms which it considered to be wrong or "improper", and setting up a certain standard of correctness to be implicitly followed by learners of English. The grammars of the second type still constitute the only kind of grammar in use in the practical teaching of English.
By the end of the 19th century, when the prescriptive grammar had reached its highest level of development, when the system of grammar known in modern linguistics as traditional had been established, the appearance of new grammar, the scientific grammar, became possible.
In contrast with prescriptive grammars, classical scientific grammar (the third type of grammar), according to the explicitly stated views of its founders, was both descriptive and explanatory. As Sweet's grammar appeared in the last decade of the 19th century, we may take 1900 as the dividing line between the two periods and the beginning of the second period, the age of the scientific grammars of English (including three new types of grammars). During the first half of the present century an intensive development of this grammar has taken place. Classical scientific grammar has accepted the traditional grammatical system of prescriptive grammar, but, as has been mentioned, now we witness the final stage of its existence, for since the 1950's no new grammars of the scholarly traditional type seem to have appeared. The new types of English grammars, which appeared since the fifties are the fourth type of grammar - structural or descriptive, which, in its turn, is becoming obsolete and is being supplanted by the fifth type of grammar - the transformational generative grammar. The linguistic theory represented by the last mentioned type of grammar is considered by many modern linguists to be the most fruitful approach to the description and explanation of the grammatical system of English, especially in the field of syntax.
Early (Prenormative) Grammars. Until the 17th century the term "grammar" in English was applied only to the study of Latin. This usage was a result of the fact that Latin grammar was the only grammar learned in schools ("grammar" schools) and that until the end of the 16th century there were no grammars of English. One of the earliest and most popular Latin grammars written in English, by William Lily, was published in the first half of the 16th century and went through many editions. This work was very important for English grammar as it set a standard for the arrangement of material and thus Latin paradigms with their English equivalents easily suggested the possibility of presenting English forms in a similar way, using the same terminology as in Latin grammar. A striking example of the two approaches to the description of English is the divergence of views on the problem of English case system. Though Bullokar mentioned 5 cases and in a grammar published in 1749 and reprinted as late as 1819 (Th. Dilworth, A New Guide to the English Tongue) the number of cases both of nouns and adjectives is said to be 6 (as it is in Lily's grammar), in two grammars which appeared during the first half of the 17th century, Ben Jonson's and Ch. Butler's English grammars, the number of cases is two, while in J. Wallis's Grammatica Linguae Anglicanae (1653), which was written in Latin, in spite of the author's intention to break entirely with Latin tradition, the category of case is said to be non-existent and the 's form is defined as a possessive adjective. This view was supported by an early 18th century grammar, attributed to John Brightland. The authors of the second half of the 18th century seemed to prefer the two-case system, which was revived at the end of the 19th century in scientific grammar. In 19th century school grammars a three-case system prevailed.
The treatment of the problem of case shows that even in the early period of the development of English grammars the views of grammarians were widely divergent, a fact which may be explained by two different approaches toward the description of English grammatical structure. The grammarians who desired to break with Latin grammatical tradition were not always consistent and still followed the Latin pattern in some of the chapters of their grammars.
By the middle of the 18th century the main results of the description of the English grammatical system, as it was presented in the prenormative grammars, were as follows:
Morphology. The Latin classification of the parts of speech, which included eight word-classes, differed from the system adopted by modern grammars in that the substantives and adjectives were grouped together as two kinds of nouns, while the participle was presented as a separate part of speech. In the earliest English grammars, where this system was reproduced, the parts of speech were also divided dichotomically into declinable and indeclinable parts of speech, just as in Lily's grammar (W. Bullokar), or words with number and words without number (Ben Jonson), or words with number and case and words without number and case (Ch. Butler). The first of these groups, declinable words, with number and case, included nouns, pronouns, verbs and participles, the second -- indeclinables -- adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. Ben Jonson increased the number of parts of speech in his classification, introducing the article as the ninth part of speech.
Later, at the beginning of the 18th century, another scheme of classification appeared in J. Brightland's grammar. This author reduced the number of parts of speech to four, rejecting the traditional terminology as well. The four parts of speech were: names (i. e. nouns), qualities (i. e. adjectives), affirmations (i. e. verbs) and particles, which included the four so-called indeclinable parts of speech. In this scheme the adjective was classed as a separate part of speech, owing to the influence of the philosophical or universal (logical) grammars of the age, which in their attempts to discover the universal laws of the structure of languages pointed out the difference between the syntactic functions of the two varieties of "nouns".
Syntax. In Brightland's grammar we likewise find an important innovation in the study of English syntax -- the introduction of the notion "sentence" into syntax. Latin grammar was not concerned with the structure of the sentence, the principal object of the syntax of modern grammar. Though definitions of the sentence, mostly logical (pointing to its function as an expression of a complete thought, a judgment or proposition), already existed in the ancient period, grammarians understood syntax etymologically as a study of the arrangement, i. e. the connection of words. Thus, Lily briefly stated the three concords of Latin: of the nominative and the verb, of the substantive and the adjective and of the relative pronoun and its antecedent.
Ben Jonson applied this analysis to English syntax and devoted a large part of his grammar to the description of the "syntax" of a noun with a noun, of a noun with an adjective, with an article, with a verb, etc. As the rules of concord and government were few in English, the author paid much attention to a specifically English means of connection of words -- word order. The sentence was mentioned only in the chapter on punctuation, which was based on the theory of rhetoric (i. e. stylistics) created by ancient authors. The principal unit of rhetoric was the period, which, like the sentence, was defined as an expression of a complete thought. The expression of a complete thought in rhetoric was not confined to the bounds of a single sentence. It could be expressed by a group of closely connected sentences, but early English grammarians identified the period with the sentence, so that the marks of punctuation (named after the parts of the period which they divided, such as the comma, the least part of the period, the colon, a member of the period, and the period itself, which denoted the mark of punctuation pointing to its completion) were at the same time intended to divide sentences and their parts, which as yet had no special names. As some colons were rather long, another mark of punctuation was added, the semicolon (a half-member), which was so named by analogy with the already existing terms.
It was only in Brightland's grammar that the concept of the sentence was included in syntax proper. In Brightland's grammar sentences are divided dichotomically into simple and compound. The simple sentence is defined as containing one affirmation (verb) and one name, signifying the subject of the affirmation expressed or understood. The compound sentence consists of two or more simple sentences.
Alongside the logical terms introduced into syntax, the term "object" (deriving from medieval scholastic philosophy) was added to denote the third "principal" part of the sentence. But morphological terms (such as the nominative case or word, the noun, etc.) continued to be used in the description of the parts of the sentence.
The concept of the compound sentence, which, judging by Brightland's examples, denoted both complex and compound sentences, according to a classification introduced, much later, was also due to logic, where propositions or judgments were divided into simple and compound. The second part of his syntax deals with the "construction of words" (as it does in older grammars).
Prescriptive Grammars. The age of prescriptive grammar begins in the second half of the 18th century. The most influential grammar of the period was R.Lowth's Short Introduction to English Grammar, first published in 1762. The aim of prescriptive grammars was to reduce the English language to rules and to set up a standard of correct usage. The authors of prescriptive grammars believed that, their task was not only to prescribe, to provide rules for distinguishing what is right from what is wrong, but also to proscribe expressions which they considered to be wrong. In the second half of the 18th century it was the grammarians who took upon themselves the responsibility of dictating the laws of grammar and usage. These grammarians settled most disputed points of usage by appealing to reason, to the laws of thought or logic, which were considered to be universal and to be reflected in the Universal, that is, Logical or Philosophical Grammar. But as O. Jespersen correctly observes, "In many cases what gives itself out as logic, is not logic at all, but Latin grammar disguised." There is then nothing whatever in logic which obliges the predicative to stand in the same case as the subject, that is, in the nominative.
From the point of view of modern grammatical theory some changes which had taken place in the description of the morphological system did not contribute to its improvement. In spite of the authority of Lowth and Murray, who had retained the scheme of nine parts of speech, the succeeding grammarians reverted to the system of eight parts of speech. They chose to class the article with the adjective, as it had been done in earlier grammars (e. g. in Wallis's grammar), rather than increase the number of the parts of speech beyond eight. In this case it was the older tradition which prevailed. This classification remains the most popular one in prescriptive and classical scientific grammars of the modern period. Another morphological problem which in the earliest grammars had caused considerable disagreement among grammarians and admitted of various solutions came to be settled to the satisfaction of the authors of prescriptive grammars. This was a problem which continues to be subject of dispute to this day -- the number of cases in English. Lowth adopted a two-case system for nouns and a three-case system for pronouns, and the term "possessive case", which is extremely popular now. The paradigm of the declension of personal pronouns included the nominative case, the possessive pronoun as a form of the possessive case and the objective case, the latter term also having been most likely introduced by Lowth. After a great deal of vacillation, Murray, in the later editions of his grammar, decided to adopt the three-case system for nouns. The three-case system was adopted almost unanimously by all prescriptive grammars of the 19th century and later, until in the 1920's Nesfield substituted for it a five-case system.
The syntactic study of the simple sentence did not advance greatly till the middle of the century. By the time Lowth's grammar appeared the concept of the principal parts of the sentence had been already elaborated to the number of three. The terminology was rather unsettled. Lowth distinguished an agent, an attribute (i. e. the predicate) and an object. The definitions of the first and second parts of the sentence corresponded to the definitions of the logical subject and predicate. The object was defined as the thing affected by the action of the verb. There was no advance in the conception of the secondary parts of the sentence. Besides the principal parts, Lowth mentioned adjuncts without further differentiation on the syntactic level.
The theory of the compound sentence, dating from the beginning of the 18th century, was during this period at an absolute standstill. The definitions in the grammars of the first half of the century were practically the same as in J. Brightland's grammar, where they first occurred.
The principal feature of a compound sentence, as it was understood at that time, is that it comprises more than one subject or nominative word and verb, expressed or understood. Sentences were therefore classed as compound, when a punctuation unit contained two or more subject-predicate groups, connected by subordinating or coordinating conjunctions, or when there was a single subject-predicate group with coordinate members.
The classification of conjunctions corresponded to the classification of compound propositions or judgments in logic. All conjunctions were divided according to their meaning, but without regard to their syntactic nature, into copulatives and disjunctives. The notions of subordination and coordination were still unknown.
The second part of syntax, which treated the "construction of words", was more developed. In Lowth's grammar the word "phrase" came to be used as a grammatical term, defined as follows: "A Phrase is two or more words rightly put together to make a part of a Sentence and sometimes making a whole Sentence." The concept of the phrase occupies an important place in Murray's grammar and the grammars of his successors, who described the kinds of phrases and the relations between the words making up a phrase.
Though the grammatical system created by the grammarians by the middle of the 19th century (especially in syntax) still differed from that known in traditional grammar of the present period, a great number of prescriptions and rules formulated and fixed by the authority of the grammarians remain in grammars of the modern period. One important series of prescriptions that now forms part of all grammars had its origin in this period, namely the rules for the formation of the Future Tense. The rule was first stated by J. Wallis, and since that time it has been repeated by all grammarians, at first in its archaic form, as formulated by Wallis.
The rule that two negatives destroy one another or are equivalent to an affirmative, was first stated in J. Greenwood's Royal English Grammar in the first half of the 18th century, the influence of Lowth's grammar helped to fix it.
It was in the second half of the 19th century that the development of the grammatical scheme of the prescriptive grammar was completed. The grammarians arrived at a system now familiar, because it has since been adopted by a long succession of grammarians of the 19th and 20th centuries. The best prescriptive grammars of the period, like C. P. Mason's English Grammar (London, 1858) and A. Bain's Higher English Grammar (London, 1863), paved the way for the first scientific grammar of English.
The description of the morphological system in grammars of the second half of the 19th century changed very little as compared with that of grammars of the first half of the century, but the explanation of grammatical forms became more detailed, expressing of a deeper understanding of the nature of the phenomena discussed. Some important changes, however, took place in the description of the syntactic system, though the definition of the sentence remained logical, as a combination of words expressing a complete thought. But the concept of the parts of the sentence differs greatly from that of the grammars of the first half of the 19th century. The changes and innovations concerned both the principal and the secondary parts of the sentence. The number of the principal parts of the sentence was reduced to two - the subject and the predicate, which retained their logical definitions. In this period the grammarians make an attemps to differentiate logical and grammatical subjects and predicates. The former are represented by single words, the latter include word groups with subjects and predicates as head words. A little later subjects and predicates expressed by one word came to be distinguished simple or essential subjects and predicates, and those expressed by a word group as complete subjects and predicates.
The objects came to be viewed as a secondary or dependent (subordinate) part of the sentence in the light of the newly developed theory of subordination and coordination of sentence elements and the introduction into grammar of the content aspect of syntactic relations, such as predicative, attributive, objective and/or adverbial relations.
Thus the notion of the attribute came to be applied, instead of the predicate to a relation expressed by a secondary part of the sentence and adjuncts were subdivided into attributive (also attributival or adnominal) and adverbial adjuncts, which was the first differentiation of the secondary parts of the sentence on a syntactic level.
The objects were classified according to their meaning and form as direct, indirect and prepositional. This classification, though inconsistent logically, is accepted by many grammarians of the modern period. Objects and subjects as well were further classified as compound (i. e. coordinate), complex (expressed by infinitive groups or subordinate clauses), etc.
Besides the object and two kinds of adjuncts, some new notions and terms developed, either as synonyms for the already defined syntactic units or used in a slightly different meaning to describe some new syntactic units, which contributed to a more detailed sentence analysis.
Syntactic processes operate to derive a more complicated structure from a simpler one.
The notion of completion of the meaning of transitive or copulative verbs, defined as verbs of incomplete predication, may be understood as a designation of a syntactic process.
A very important innovation in the concept of the compound sentence was its subdivision into the compound sentence proper, with coordinated component parts, and the complex sentence, characterized by subordination of clauses. In this way the dichotomic classification of sentences into simple and compound was changed into a tricholomic division, according to which sentences are divided into simple, compound and complex. This theory has since been accepted with very few exceptions by prescriptive, classical scientific and some structural as well as transformational grammars. The recognition and differentiation of the two principal syntactic modes of joining и т.д.................

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