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A comparative analysis of three leading english grammars - Essay Example

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Most languages in Europe have some form of codification to the extent that such a record carries authority among native users on its conventions. The study of the rules governing the usage of the English language is called English grammar…
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A comparative analysis of three leading english grammars

Download file to see previous pages... Most languages in Europe have some form of codification to the extent that such a record carries authority among native users on its conventions. The study of the rules governing the usage of the English language is called English grammar.Gowers' Modern English Usage was once popularly ascribed to but not many, even leading linguists, have a copy of this text. It can be considered that English is not typical as far as European languages go. It is the world's language, used by around 300 million second language speakers. It dominates the world's communications and is taught in almost every school worldwide. It is also the only language whose second-language speakers or non-native users far outnumber the native speakers. It is also the only language which can make millionaires out of its experts by writing books. The study of these rules may either be prescriptive or descriptive. Prescriptive grammars set rules for language. In descriptive grammar, the manner by which the language is written or spoken is described.The English language is in some aspects quite simple. However, it can also be complex if not exasperating in its other characteristics. For example, English does not make use of grammatical gender. Its plurals and tenses are mostly regular. However, a unique feature of the language is that it employs the use of progressive tense (using -ing). This use of the progressive tense is unique although it is muted in its everyday use. This feature is a source of difficulty to some second-language speakers
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The differences among the various grammars of English is somewhat well-defined. The characteristics of Standard English are relatively clear. Standard English is spoken by around 10% of the population in the United Kingdom (Trudgill ). It is usually derived through formal school contexts. Standard English can also be combined with various accents including regional ones. The differences between Standard and Non-standard are minimal. These differences often involve a small proportion of the words in a passage, affecting only around twenty percent of specific areas of grammar. Non-standard English has many regional variations. An example is the difference between dialects which suppress subject-verb agreement favoring the -s form. An example of this is He like it in Wales in contrast to He likes it in Wales. There are also few gray areas in the definition of Standard, and the uncertainties that arise are specific and often affect the spoken form.

Differentiating Descriptive and Prescriptive English
There are now several English grammars and they are often classified as either descriptive or prescriptive, although others may have elements of both. The two types of grammars vary in the principles of how they are written. The descriptive and prescriptive approaches to Standard English grammar is the subject of much debate. New trends are also arising which has affected the way English is taught and used. Among these trends is the increasing codification of Standard English among non-native speakers. Ironically, the language is not codified for native speakers. However, this codification of English among native speakers may in the future become part of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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