What Is Traditional Grammar, what does it do In Linguistics

The concept of Traditional Grammar is the main discipline for  study of any language. By using this grammar every word of a particular language are categorized in verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions or determinants.It formulates a number of rules and seeks to have students apply these rules.It has the operational eight parts of speech: verbs, nouns,pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.Traditional grammar is based primarily upon function or meaning.

Origin of Traditional Grammar:

The Greeks were the first grammarians. Aristotle and others studied the Greek language. During this time divisions of words were classified into parts of speech.
The Romans copied the Greeks. By the time this had taken place, the main outlines of Greek grammar had been formulated.

The two languages are similar in many ways. And thus it proved possible to interchange or transfer this preexisting system of grammar to Latin with only minor changes. Greek terminology was translated rather literally, eventually to be adapted from Latin to English and other languages of Europe.Before the advent of the linguists, the traditional grammarians superimposed the system of Latin grammar upon English. Latin grammars were copied because Latin
was considered such a “perfect language.

“Because of the work of linguists, educators have not come to know that this system is not compatible with English today nor was it ever compatible with English. Each language has its own characteristics.

During the middle Ages most writers wrote about Greek and Latin. Writing was the objective because of relatively few changes. A writer could be prescriptive because no changes were involved. There were some brief attempts to write grammars of contemporary European languages. Greek and Latin grammars were used as models. These attempts continued into the Renaissance. John Dryden was interested in grammar. Dryden said never to split an infinitive. He based his decision on the Latin infinitive being a single unit.

Facts You Must Know About Traditional Grammar

He also conceived the idea of not ending a sentence with a preposition. His argument was that English should follow the rules of Latin.Thus, English was being forced into a mold and English does not fit readily into a Latin mold. Jonahathan Swift was interested in diction. He objected to words entering into the English language. Bishop Laut, a hunter of errors, examined the classics of Chaucer and others. His objection was to the double comparison and double negative.

Nineteenth century grammarians did widen the horizons considerably by taking a
broader view. During this time there was an increasing interest as to how languages were derived.The twentieth century has brought about vast changes, but most textbooks date back to the Latin tradition and traditional terminology of English has had to be reinterpreted in modern times to apply more accurately to English. Such interpretation continues to be based on terminology that originally applied to Latin and as previously stated; English does not fit readily into a Latin mold.

What Are Some of the Major Objections to Traditional Grammar?

Traditional grammar still is basically a Latinate grammar rather than an English grammar. It is not descriptive of a Teutonic based language. English relies on word order. ft is not as highly inflectional. Take the popular Latin sentence for”I love you.” It can be “Amo te” or “Tc amo.” Word order makes no difference in the Latin grammar. The parts of the Latin sentence are so highly inflected with endings chat one determines the function by these endings.

The English language has lost almost its inflectional endings: therefore, the English sentence relies upon word order. One may say “I love von, but never “You love,” except in poetry. In traditional grammar the definitions are not particularly satisfactory.

There is a lack of parallelism: definitions are confusing; for example, the pronoun is defined as a word that takes the place of a noun, but so does a gerund, a gerund phrase, or a noun clause. For example, the word light may be I will light the match; the light is on, or the light green car was wrecked. Traditional grammar tends to be prescriptive and usually is based on whim. This has led to the idea that there is a “right or wrong” in English. The historical development of the language has not been taken into account. Not enough attention has been given to the spoken language as being primary to the written

by Abdullah Sam
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