Grammar Synthesis Paper Dorothy Korn English 281 April 28, 2013 Grammar Synthesis Paper English grammar seems like a simple concept to grasp, at least in theory. However, there are actually two very distinct kinds of grammar, one of which describes language as it is used, and the other of which simply explains how language should be used…
Throughout grade school, the concept of proper English is drilled into the heads of every student, but after reading the first chapter of Understanding English Grammar by Marsha Kolln and Robert Funk, the concept now makes sense. Grammar is a fundamental part of the English language, which reaches far beyond placing a comma in its correct place. This essential portion of our language helps in understanding the reasons why sentences are formed in the way that they are. This technical aspect of English helps to create a systematic set of ground rules for each and every student to follow, no matter what region, in order to be successful in the world of formal English. Grammar is taught from early childhood across the nation. However, there are different meanings to this basis of the English language. The first is that everyone has a different set of grammar rules depending on where they come from. The second definition stems from the linguistic science branch which studies the formalities associated with grammar. The formalities of sentences, otherwise known as their syntax, are discussed in this meaning. The final definition of grammar refers to the actual usage of the term and what is deemed to be proper and improper grammar. These three definitions help highlight the varieties and difficulties that many have with standard grammar. The format for the presentation of grammar in school dates back to the Middle Ages and the eight parts of Latin speech. Originally, Latin was thought to be the superior language, therefore, when scholars created the rules of English grammar, they based it upon this superior language. John Locke, an English philosopher, stated that it was important “to teach Men not to speak, but to speak correctly” (Kolln & Funk, 2012, p. 5) and to utilize the grammar rules that had been set forth by prior intellectuals. This view of the language, called prescriptive grammar, is traditionally taught in schools in order to establish knowledge of the grammar skeleton. In more recent times descriptive grammar has become more popular amongst linguists, which is the acceptance of regionalisms as a type of standard in addition to formal written English. With the different definitions come the arguments and differences in what is considered correct grammar or if correct grammar even exists. Regionalisms have become a sort of accepted way of grammar due to the three broad definitions of this language function. Modern linguists discovered that the issue of disregarding descriptive grammar was that entire languages could be lost. Relying solely on the technical aspects of the language made it even more difficult to comprehend the different parts of speech of these languages, and so the structure of English grammar had to be revised completely. From the revisions came the idea split between structuralists and transformationalists. Instructional grammar, the English language couldn’t be contained in the eight parts of speech in Latin. Also structuralists focused on the systematics of English. Transformational grammar on the other hand focused on pure grammaticism of the language. This required transformationalists to decode the, “built in language system” ...
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