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1. Introduction to Grammar and the English Language: Schools of Linguistics, English Varieties, Standard English, History of Grammar, Prescriptive and Descriptive Grammars...

By Mª Teresa Naves  & Maria Luz Celaya
DGI E-mail: DGI@fil.ub.es

Departament de Filologia Anglesa i Alemanya
Universitat de Barcelona 

CONTENTS           OBJECTIVES
READINGS      TASKS     ASSIGNMENTS






UNIT 1 CONTENTS

  1. What is grammar? Grammar definition: grammar, syntax, morphology...
  2. Types of grammar. What is Linguistics? Schools of Linguistics: Prescriptive, Descriptive, Functional, Comparative, Historical, Generative Grammar..
  3. The history of grammar: From the Greeks, the Romans, the Jews, the Arabs to  the XIX century and  present grammars.
  4. The English language: Varieties, Standard English, etc.
  5. "The grammars": pedagogical grammars, descriptive grammars, on-line grammars, grammar web sites, descriptive grammar-related web sites, etc.
  6. Descriptive Grammar Courses: DGI, DGII; DGIII, other descriptive courses.
  7. Descriptive Grammar I Bibliography: compulsory coursebooks, grammar dictionaries and grammar and language encyclopaedias.
  8. The Linguists and grammarians: Quirk, Greenbaum, Crystal, Pinker, Downing and Locke, Muñoz...
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UNIT 1 OBJECTIVES: To be able to
  1. Define grammar according to G&Q (1990) and to compare their definition with other grammarian's definitions (Eastman's, Crystal's, etc.)
  2. Present, describe and compare the different types of grammars.
  3. Be aware of and find out the similarities and differences between a descriptive and prescriptive grammar and grammar course
  4. Review a grammar book, grammar course and electronic grammar and discuss the extent to which it can be regarded as a prescriptive or descriptive grammar.
  5. Report and characterise the main periods of the history of grammars.
  6. Get familiar and be able to present a choice of  pedagogical grammars, descriptive grammars, on-line grammars, grammar web sites, descriptive grammar-related web sites, etc.
  7. To get to know the objectives and scopes of different Descriptive Grammar Courses.
  8. Consult, select and be able to present a choice of DGI bibliography: compulsory coursebooks, grammar dictionaries and grammar and language encyclopaedias.
  9. Get familiar with some grammarians: Quirk, Greenbaum, Crystal, Downing and Locke, Muñoz...
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UNIT 1 READINGS
  1.  Navés, Mª Teresa & Celaya, Mª Luz (1999) "Schools of Linguistics" in Gramàtica Descriptiva de l'Anglès I. Descriptive Grammar of English I. Col.lecció Textos Docents. Text-guia. Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona. Unit 1 pp 1-13
  2. Greenbaum, Sindney & Quirk, Randolph "The English Language" (1990) A Student's grammar of the English Language Essex: Longman pp 1-10.(READ AND STUDY). Check your knowledge on G&Q's (1990) "The English Language" in Exploring G&Q (1990) "The English Language". Mock Exam. 25 questions Multiple-Choice exercise  (external link)
  3. A definition of Grammar from Encyclopedia.com (requires registration)
  4. Chomsky's grammar from Britannica.com  (6p)
  5. The English Language from Britannica.com (5p)
  6. The Department of English, University of Victoria, (1995 ) "Forethoughts About Grammar"  from The UVic Writer's Guide (1 p)
  7. C. Eastman's (2000) "Grammar" from Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000 in Exploring C. Eastman's "Grammar" from Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000 by Naves with self-corrected exercises
  8. Crystal, David (1998) "The Prescriptive Tradition", "The equality of Languages and "The magic of language" in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (2nd ed) Cambridge University Press. UK (479 pp) pp 2-13
  9. Crystal, David (1995) "Standard English"  in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language  Cambridge University Press. UK (489 pp) pp 110 (ISBN: 0 521 59655 6) (1p)
  10. Pinker, S. “Grammar Puss” The New Republic, January 24, 1994. (Article taken in part from The Language Instinct. Morrow) (12p)
  11. Interview to Steven Pinker talking about How the Mind Works
  12. Pinker, Steven (1997) The Language InstinctLink to the UB library Link to S.Pinker's Homepage
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UNIT 1 TASKS:
  • Read and Study the compulsory readings: G&Q (1990), N&C (1999), Eastman (2000), etc. (see readings above)
  • Consult the DG1 Bibliography Web Site to find books relevant for DG1 course and to analyse the table of contents and reviews of some of the descriptive grammars selected.
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  • Assignment 1c on "Grammar Books at the UB library"
  • Search a grammar book suitable for DG1 at the UB library

  •  
  • Keep a record of how you conducted the search and why you chose this book
  • Send your answer to the DG1 Forum in the Electronic Dossier
  • Grammar book cited properly
  • How did you find this book?
  • Why have you chosen this grammar book?
    • Assignment 1d on "What is grammar?"
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