Descriptive vs Prescriptive
What is Grammar?
- The mental representation of a speaker's linguistic competence; what a speaker knows about a language, including its phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and lexicon (a speaker's mental dictionary).
- To understand the nature of language, we must understand the nature of grammar.
- The common parts of grammar makes it possible to communicate through language.
- The more we are aware of how it works, the more we can monitor the meaning and effectiveness of the way we and others use language.
Descriptive Grammar- A linguist's description or model of the mental grammar, including the units, structures, and rules.
- It does not tell you how you should speak; it describes your basic linguistic knowledge.
- It tells what you know about the sounds, words, phrases, and sentence of your language.
Prescriptive Grammar- Rules of grammar that attempts to legislate what speakers' grammatical rules should be, rather than what they are.
- Some language "purists" believe that some versions of a language are better than others. That there are certain "correct" forms that all people should use in speaking and writing.