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Курсовик Grammar is the art of writing and speaking correctly. Grammar bears to language. The composition of language. The term grammar. language is an attribute of reason, and differs essentially not only from all brute voices, but even from all the chattering.


Тип работы: Курсовик. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 14.02.2010. Сдан: 2010. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.

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Министерство образования Республики Беларусь
Учреждение образования
«Гомельский государственный университет
им. Ф. Скорины»
Филологический факультет

Курсовая работа

Студентка группы К-42
Лапицкая Т.Е.
Гомель 2006

    1. Grammar bears to language
    2. Grammar is the art of writing and speaking correctly
    3. The term grammar
    4. The composition of language

    "Haec de Grammatica quam brevissime potui: non ut omnia dicerem sectatus, (quod infinitum erat,) sed ut maxima necessaria."--QUINTILIAN. _De Inst. Orat._, Lib. i, Cap. x.
    Language, in the proper sense of the term, is peculiar to man; so that, without a miraculous assumption of human powers, none but human beings can make words the vehicle of thought. An imitation of some of the articulate sounds employed in speech, may be exhibited by parrots, and sometimes by domesticated ravens, and we know that almost all brute animals have their peculiar natural voices, by which they indicate their feelings, whether pleasing or painful. But language is an attribute of reason, and differs essentially not only from all brute voices, but even from all the chattering, jabbering, and babbling of our own species, in which there is not an intelligible meaning, with division of thought, and distinction of words.

1. Grammar bears to language

Speech results from the joint exercise of the best and noblest faculties of human nature, from our rational understanding and our social affection; and is, in the proper use of it, the peculiar ornament and distinction of man, whether we compare him with other orders in the creation, or view him as an individual preeminent among his fellows. Hence that science which makes known the nature and structure of speech, and immediately concerns the correct and elegant use of language, while it surpasses all the conceptions of the stupid or unlearned, and presents nothing that can seem desirable to the sensual and grovelling, has an intrinsic dignity which highly commends it to all persons of sense and taste, and makes it most a favourite with the most gifted minds. That science is Grammar. And though there be some geniuses who affect to despise the trammels of grammar rules, to whom it must be conceded that many things which have been unskillfully taught as such, deserve to be despised; yet it is true, as Dr. Adam remarks, that, "The study of Grammar has been considered an object of great importance by the wisest men in all ages."--_Preface to Latin and English Gram._, p. iii.
Grammar bears to language several different relations, and acquires from each a nature leading to a different definition. First, It is to language, as knowledge is to the thing known; and as doctrine, to the truths it inculcates. In these relations, grammar is a science. It is the first of what have been called the seven sciences, or liberal branches of knowledge; namely, grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. Secondly, It is as skill, to the thing to be done; and as power, to the instruments it employs. In these relations, grammar is an art; and as such, has long been defined, "_ars recte scribendi, recteque loquendi_" the art of writing and speaking correctly. Thirdly, It is as navigation, to the ocean, which nautic skill alone enables men to traverse. In this relation, theory and practice combine, and grammar becomes, like navigation, a practical science. Fourthly, It is as a chart, to a coast which we would visit. In this relation, our grammar is a text-book, which we take as a guide, or use as a help to our own observation. Fifthly, It is as a single voyage, to the open sea, the highway of nations. Such is our meaning, when we speak of the grammar of a particular text or passage.
Again: Grammar is to language a sort of self-examination. It turns the faculty of speech or writing upon itself for its own elucidation; and makes the tongue or the pen explain the uses and abuses to which both are liable, as well as the nature and excellency of that power, of which, these are the two grand instruments. From this account, some may begin to think that in treating of grammar we are dealing with something too various and changeable for the understanding to grasp; a dodging Proteus of the imagination, who is ever ready to assume some new shape, and elude the vigilance of the inquirer. But let the reader or student do his part; and, if he please, follow us with attention. We will endeavour, with welded links, to bind this Proteus, in such a manner that he shall neither escape from our hold, nor fail to give to the consulter an intelligible and satisfactory response. Be not discouraged, generous youth. Hark to that sweet far-reaching note:
"Sed, quanto ille magis formas se vertet in omnes, Tanto, nate, magis contende tenacia vincla." VIRGIL.
Geor. IV, 411.
"But thou, the more he varies forms, beware To strain his fetters with a stricter care." DRYDEN'S VIRGIL.
If for a moment we consider the good and the evil that are done in the world through the medium of speech, we shall with one voice acknowledge, that not only the faculty itself, but also the manner in which it is used, is of incalculable importance to the welfare of man. But this reflection does not directly enhance our respect for grammar, because it is not to language as the vehicle of moral or of immoral sentiment, of good or of evil to mankind, that the attention of the grammarian is particularly directed. A consideration of the subject in these relations, pertains rather to the moral philosopher. Nor are the arts of logic and rhetoric now considered to be properly within the grammarian's province. Modern science assigns to these their separate places, and restricts grammar, which at one period embraced all learning, to the knowledge of language, as respects its fitness to be the vehicle of any particular thought or sentiment which the speaker or writer may wish to convey by it. Accordingly grammar is commonly defined, by writers upon the subject, in the special sense of an art--"the art of speaking or writing a language with propriety or correctness."--_Webster's Dict._

2. Grammar is the art of writing and speaking correctly

Lily says, "Grammatica est recte scribendi atque loquendi ars;" that is, "Grammar is the art of writing and speaking correctly." Despauter, too, in his definition, which is quoted in a preceding paragraph, not improperly placed writing first, as being that with which grammar is primarily concerned. For it ought to be remembered, that over any fugitive colloquial dialect, which has never been fixed by visible signs, grammar has no control; and that the speaking which the art or science of grammar teaches, is exclusively that which has reference to a knowledge of letters. It is the certain tendency of writing, to improve speech. And in proportion as books are multiplied, and the knowledge of written language is diffused, local dialects, which are beneath the dignity of grammar, will always be found to grow fewer, and their differences less. There are, in the various parts of the world, many languages to which the art of grammar has never yet been applied; and to which, therefore, the definition or true idea of grammar, however general, does not properly extend. And even where it has been applied, and is now honoured as a popular branch of study, there is yet great room for improvement: barbarisms and solecisms have not been rebuked away as they deserve to be.
Melancthon says, "Grammatica est certa loquendi ac scribendi ratio, Latinis Latine." Vossius, "Ars bene loquendi eoque et scribendi, atque id Latinis Latine." Dr. Prat, "_Grammatica est recte loquendi atque scribendi ars._" Ruddiman also, in his Institutes of Latin Grammar, reversed the terms writing and speaking, and defined grammar, "_ars rece loquendi scribendique_;" and, either from mere imitation, or from the general observation that speech precedes writing, this arrangement of the words has been followed by most modern grammarians. Dr. Lowth embraces both terms in a more general one, and says, "Grammar is the art of rightly expressing our thoughts by words." It is, however, the province of grammar, to guide us not merely in the expression of our own thoughts, but also in our apprehension of the thoughts, and our interpretation of the words, of others. Hence, Perizonius, in commenting upon Sanctius's imperfect definition, "_Grammatica est ars recte loquendi_," not improperly asks, "_et quidni intelligendi et explicandi_?" "and why not also of understanding and explaining?" Hence, too, the art of reading is virtually a part of grammar; for it is but the art of understanding and speaking correctly that which we have before us on paper. And Nugent has accordingly given us the following definition: "Grammar is the art of reading, speaking, and writing a language by rules."--_Introduction to Dict._, p. xii.[1]
The word _recte_, rightly, truly, correctly, which occurs in most of the foregoing Latin definitions, is censured by the learned Richard Johnson, in his Grammatical Commentaries, on account of the vagueness of its meaning. He says, it is not only ambiguous by reason of its different uses in the Latin classics, but destitute of any signification proper to grammar. But even if this be true as regards its earlier application, it may well be questioned, whether by frequency of use it has not acquired a signification which makes it proper at the present time. The English word correctly seems to be less liable to such an objection; and either this brief term, or some other of like import, (as, "with correctness"--"with propriety,") is still usually employed to tell what grammar is. But can a boy learn by such means what it is, _to speak and write grammatically_? In one sense, he can; and in an other, he cannot. He may derive, from any of these terms, some idea of grammar as distinguished from other arts; but no simple definition of this, or of any other art, can communicate to him that learns it, the skill of an artist.
R. Johnson speaks at large of the relation of words to each other in sentences, as constituting in his view the most essential part of grammar; and as being a point very much overlooked, or very badly explained, by grammarians in general. His censure is just. And it seems to be as applicable to nearly all the grammars now in use, as to those which he criticised a hundred and thirty years ago. But perhaps he gives to the relation of words, (which is merely their dependence on other words according to the sense,) an earlier introduction and a more prominent place, than it ought to have in a general system of grammar. To the right use of language, he makes four things to be necessary. In citing these, I vary the language, but not the substance or the order of his positions. First, That we should speak and write words according to the significations which belong to them: the teaching of which now pertains to lexicography, and not to grammar, except incidentally. " Secondly, That we should observe the relations that words have one to another in sentences, and represent those relations by such variations, and particles, as are usual with authors in that language." Thirdly, That we should acquire a knowledge of the proper sounds of the letters, and pay a due regard to accent in pronunciation. Fourthly, That we should learn to write words with their proper letters, spelling them as literary men generally do.
From these positions, (though he sets aside the first, as pertaining to lexicography, and not now togrammar, as it formerly did,) the learned critic deduces first his four parts of the subject, and then his definition of grammar. "Hence," says he, "there arise Four Parts of Grammar; Analogy, which treats of the
several parts of speech, their definitions, accidents, and formations; Syntax, which treats of the use of those things in construction, according to their relations; Orthography, which treats of spelling; and Prosody, which treats of accenting in pronunciation. So, then, the true definition of Grammar is this: Grammar is the art of expressing the relations of things in construction, with due accent in speaking, and orthography in writing,according to the custom of those whose language we learn." Again he adds: "The word relation has other senses, taken by itself; but yet the relation of words one to another in a sentence, has no other signification
than what I intend by it, namely, of cause, effect, means, end, manner, instrument, object, adjunct, and the like; which are names given by logicians to those relations under which the mind comprehends things, and therefore the most proper words to explain them to others. And if such things are too hard for children, then grammar is too hard; for there neither is, nor can be, any grammar without them. And a little experience will satisfy any man, that the young will as easily apprehend them, as _gender, number, declension_, and other grammar-terms." See _R. Johnson's Grammatical Commentaries_, p. 4.
It is true, that the _relation of words_--by which I mean that connexion between them, which the train of thought forms and suggests--or that dependence which one word has on an other according to the sense--lies at the foundation of all syntax. No rule or principle of construction can ever have any applicability beyond the limits, or contrary to the order, of this relation. To see what it is in any given case, is but to understand the meaning of the phrase or sentence. And it is plain, that no word ever necessarily agrees with an other, with which it is not thus connected in the mind of him who uses it. No word ever governs an other, to which the sense does not direct it. No word is ever required to stand immediately before or after an other, to which it has not some relation according to the meaning of the passage.
Here then are the relation, agreement, government, and arrangement, of words in sentences; and these make up the whole of syntax--but not the whole of grammar. To this one part of grammar, therefore, the relation of words is central and fundamental; and in the other parts also, there are some things to which the consideration of it is incidental; but there are many more, like spelling, pronunciation, derivation, and whatsoever belongs merely to letters, syllables, and the forms of words, with which it has, in fact, no connexion. The relation of words, therefore, should be clearly and fully explained in its proper place, under the head of syntax; but the general idea of grammar will not be brought nearer to truth, by making it to be "the art of expressing the relations of things in construction," &c., according to the foregoing definition.

3 The term grammar

The term grammar is derived from the Greek word [Greek: gramma], a letter. The art or science to which this term is applied, had its origin, not in cursory speech, but in the practice of writing; and speech, which is first in the order of nature, is last with reference to grammar. The matter or common subject of grammar, is language in general; which, being of two kinds, spoken and written, consists of certain combinations either of sounds or of visible signs, employed for the expression of thought. Letters and sounds, though often heedlessly confounded in the definitions given of vowels, consonants, &c., are, in their own nature, very different things. They address themselves to different senses; the former, to the sight; the latter, to the hearing. Yet, by a peculiar relation arbitrarily established between them, and in consequence of an almost endless variety in the combinations of either, they coincide in a most admirable manner, to effect the great object for which language was bestowed or invented; namely, to furnish a sure medium for the communication of thought, and the preservation of knowledge.
All languages, however different, have many things in common. There are points of a philosophical character, which result alike from the analysis of any language, and are founded on the very nature of human thought, and that of the sounds or other signs which are used to express it. When such principles alone are taken as the subject of inquiry, and are treated, as they sometimes have been, without regard to any of the idioms of particular languages, they constitute what is called General, Philosophical, or Universal Grammar. But to teach, with Lindley Murray and some others, that "Grammar may be considered as consisting of two species, Universal and Particular," and that the latter merely "applies those general principles to a particular language," is to adopt a twofold absurdity at the outset.[2] For every cultivated language has its particular grammar, in which whatsoever is universal, is necessarily included; but of which, universal or general principles form only a part, and that comparatively small. We find therefore in grammar no "two species" of the same genus; nor is the science or art, as commonly defined and understood, susceptible of division into any proper and distinct sorts, except with reference to different languages--as when we speak of Greek, Latin, French, or English grammar.
There is, however, as I have suggested, a certain science or philosophy of language, which has been denominated Universal Grammar; being made up of those points only, in which many or all of the different languages preserved in books, are found to coincide. All speculative minds are fond of generalization; and, in the vastness of the views which may thus be taken of grammar, such may find an entertainment which theynever felt in merely learning to speak and write grammatically. But the pleasure of such contemplations is not the earliest or the most important fruit of the study. The first thing is, to know and understand the grammatical construction of our own language. Many may profit by this acquisition, who extend not their inquiries to the analogies or the idioms of other tongues. It is true, that every item of grammatical doctrine is the more worthy to be known and regarded, in proportion as it approaches to universality. But the principles of all practical grammar, whether universal or particular, common or peculiar, must first be learned in their application to some one language, before they can be distinguished into such classes; and it is manifest, both from reason and from experience, that the youth of any nation not destitute of a good book for the purpose, may best acquire a knowledge of those principles, from the grammatical study of their native tongue.
Universal or Philosophical Grammar is a large field for speculation and inquiry, and embraces many things which, though true enough in themselves, are unfit to be incorporated with any system of practical grammar, however comprehensive its plan. Many authors have erred here. With what is merely theoretical, such a system should have little to do. Philosophy, dealing in generalities, resolves speech not only as a whole into its constituent parts and separable elements, as anatomy shows the use and adaptation of the parts and joints of the human body; but also as a composite into its matter and form, as one may contemplate that same body in its entireness, yet as consisting of materials, some solid and some fluid, and these curiously modelled to a particular figure. Grammar, properly so called, requires only the former of these analyses; and in conducting the same, it descends to the thousand minute particulars which are necessary to be known in practice. Nor are such things to be despised as trivial and low: ignorance of what is common and elementary, is but the more disgraceful for being ignorance of mere rudiments. "Wherefore," says Quintilian, "they are little to be respected, who represent this art as mean and barren; in which, unless you faithfully lay the foundation for the future orator, whatever superstructure you raise will tumble into ruins. It is an art, necessary to the young, pleasant to the old, the sweet companion of the retired, and one which in reference to every kind of study has in itself more of utility than of show. Let no one therefore despise as inconsiderable the elements of grammar. Not because it is a great thing, to dist и т.д.................

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