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Grammar - Essay Example

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Professor Name English 26 October 2011 Grammar 1. Answer the following five questions (about 1/2 page or less for each one), which are based on issues in chapters that we have previously covered. A) “It is important to distinguish two levels at which our grammatical categories need to be defined: the language-particular level and the general level.” (Huddleston, p.1) Explain, using examples of your own…
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, the language particular-level provides us with the information about the distinctive characteristics of different categories used in English. This gives an opportunity to state that a word refers to a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc. For example, a verb has six grammatical categories: person, number, tense, aspect, voice and mood. It is the only part of speech that may change according to tense. As for the general level, it gives an opportunity to analyze two or more languages and find their common features. This helps to simplify the process of learning by the usage of the same terms. There are nouns, adjectives, verbs in all the languages. They just sound in different ways. For example, when there are pronouns in English, the same part of speech is called Pronomen in German. B) Should pronouns be treated as a subclass of nouns, or as a separate word class? Why? Pronouns should be treated as a separate word class. The main reason is that both these parts of speech have different functions. A noun is applied in order to name substances and living beings. The same cannot be stated about pronouns. They do not name things, they only pointy out them. Moreover, English grammar would become more difficult if nouns and pronouns were the same part of speech. Thus, there are no special plural cases when we learn pronouns and the latter cannot be countable or uncountable. So, there is no need to change something in the traditional way to learn two separate parts of speech – nouns and pronouns. C) What are kernel clauses and what are the advantages of recognising the kernel vs non-kernel distinction? A kernel clause is a simple sentence that does not have any optional expression. It is indicative. This clause is unmarked in voice, mood, and polarity. It cannot be passive. For example: He threw a ball. Non-kernel clause is either negative or missing some element. Moreover, if there is an adjective, infinitive or gerund, it is also a non-kernel clause. For example: They saw him crossing the street. There is one major advantage of recognizing kernel and non-kernel clauses – this gives a significant simplification of grammar. D) Why is it important to systematically distinguish between grammatical class and grammatical function? Grammatical class is a grouping of words that are distinguished by common characteristics. For example, such words as dog, coat, man, and umbrella are nouns, because they name objects, have gender and number. They may have different grammatical function performed in a sentence. The latter helps to see the role of one and the same word in different contexts. That is why we should distinguish grammatical class and grammatical function. E) How does Huddleston's treatment of prepositions differ from that found in traditional grammars? What are the advantages (and disadvantages?) of Huddleston’s treatment? It is necessary to stress that Huddleston has another point of view upon prepositions. From his perspective, there are two types of propositions – they can refer either to coordinator or subordinator classes. That is why propositions are not secondary in English sentence; their function is very important. This part of speech often stands together with a verb – the principal member of a sentence. Moreover, proposition may function as one element in an utterance. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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