Talk:Grammar

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Inconsistence[edit]

In the History section, first sentence. Pāṇini is said to have lived in the 4th century BC, yet when you click to see his page, he is said to ahve lived in the 6th century. I'm not sure which is right, but it is inconsistent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.109.55.222 (talk) 20:19, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism[edit]

This article appears to be the victim of vandalism. Seeing that I am very inexperienced with editing and do not feel qualified to revert/pinpoint the correct reversion to you I figured I would point the vandalism out to the wikipedia editors at large, and I hope this is the correct place to do that.

"The first systematic grammars originated in Iron Age India, with Jesus, Isaac Newton and his commentators Peter, Paul, and Patrick Ewing." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.143.221.194 (talk) 03:26, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I see you later did decide to fix it yourself. Thanks for helping to rid Wikipedia of vandalism! However, the best way to revert vandalism is not simply to remove the offending sentence, but rather to click "history" at the top of the page, find the most recent non-vandalized version, click on "prev", then click on "undo". That way, you make sure nothing gets lost. The way you did it, some good content got removed with the bad. (Which I've undone now.) +Angr 05:24, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the help and the tip. I'm not on here enough to edit consistently, but I'll keep that in mind for the future. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.143.221.194 (talk) 02:06, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
While I'm sure it's interesting when it comes to linguistics the "LOL" in the introduction is unnecessary and hurts the article. The issue is I cannot find it in the source, yet it is there. Could a more well versed Wikipedian get rid of this? 70.79.130.140 (talk) 02:45, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Looks like somebody already reverted it before you posted. You may have been looking at a cached page. — Gwalla | Talk 17:48, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Singular[edit]

How does the word "singular" function in "Each language has its own distinct grammar (singular)."? Unfree (talk) 22:17, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, "each language" (singular) has "its own distinct grammar" (singular). You could, of course, put it slightly differently: "all languages" (plural) have "their own grammars", stylistically not so good. Dieter Simon (talk) 23:45, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I think the intent of the question was, "What is the point of including the word '(singular)' at the end of this sentence?", and I say, it has no point. That the word grammar is singular is obvious from the lack of an -s at the end. I've removed it as superfluous. +Angr 05:39, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I see now where this came from. I first thought it was a general question on the part of Unfree. It is part of the introductory section of the article, and as such I think it is quite alright to leave it there. After all you got to introduce it somehow, but if you want to improve this section yourself, feel free. Dieter Simon (talk) 22:50, 29 June 2009 (UTC)


Grammer schools[edit]

"Prescriptive grammar is taught in primary school (elementary school). The term "grammar school" historically refers to schools teaching Latin grammar to future priests."

Specifically "The term "grammar school" historically refers to schools teaching Latin grammar to future priests." - does it? Good for it, but it's not really in the right article is it?

The Couple have/has[edit]

Which is correct/more appropriate:

  • The couple have two daughters; or
  • The couple has two daughters.

Please, no opinions, only answers from knowledgable persons. Regards. Redking7 (talk) 19:27, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately it is not as straightforward as you think. Couple is a collective noun or 'group noun', and should therefore take the singular. However, since the couple also consists of two individuals, nowadays it is becoming more and more common to use the plural. The couple has three children, or the couple have three children may equally often be heard. The same applies to pair, and quite a number of other collective nouns.
It becomes much more obvious if you have larger groups, such as the team: If you are talking about the team as a single functioning body, then it is much easier to use a phrase such as this team has improved a lot over the year, but the team have all contributed to the final result could most certainly be used. Another favourite for singular usage is the government, as in this government is reponsible for so many things, but the government have never denied that they were responsible for having to find the money.
The problem is whether you consider grammar prescriptive or descriptive. Are you describing what is the usage or are you prescribing, in other words, laying down the law how language ought to be used. Linguists nowadays tend to describe the usage in language rather than insist on it. Dieter Simon (talk) 01:26, 5 September 2009 (UTC) Dieter Simon (talk) 01:29, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I am a native-English speaker but had never heard any one say "The couple has" before now. I would always say "The couple have" and so would all whom I know but my experience is not a rule so it does not help so muc. The points arose in this sentence:

"Ma is married to Christine Chow, and the couple has two daughters. Lesley (Ma Wei-chung, 馬唯中) was born in 1981 in New York when Ma was attending Harvard; she completed her undergraduate work at Harvard University and is currently a graduate student at New York University[1][2]" It is taken from an article on President Ma (leader of the RoC / Taiwan authorities). I had changed the "has" to "have" but this was reverted. Regards. Redking7 (talk) 11:17, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

This is the Wikipedia article on President Ma, President of Taiwan. Dieter Simon (talk) 00:22, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
In american english when you you refer to "the couple" it refers to a singular entity consisting of two people much like "the corporation" refers to a singular entity of many people. Therefor we would state "The couple has a contract." and "The corporation has a contract."
Gentlemen, this is a matter of location. American English favors the singular, while British English favors the plural. 03:11, 28 April 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.117.158.21 (talkcontribs)
Yup. And British English has preferred the plural for a long time. That said, there may be some tendency for the singular to be used when the noun refers to something acting as one entity (compare "The government are debating the motion" and "The government has passed the bill"), though I don't know how consistently speakers make this distinction.
I should add, by the way, that this isn't a page for grammar queries! It's too late now, but in future, the correct response is just to delete such queries immediately unless they relate to improving the article. garik (talk) 07:45, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

==Ideas for new outline[edit]

The article currently confuses three topics 1. Grammar as the structure of (a) language 2. (a) grammar as a book describing the structure of a language 3. grammar as the sanctioned standards of usage in a given community (i.e. the conventions of the standard language). The article should keep those apart. Secondly it should describe the discussion of what grammar is in the first sense within theoretical linguistics: e.g. the Chomskyan view of grammar as a set of formal rules embedded in the brain, functionalist ideas of grammar as a set of tools and patterns, Hopper's emergent grammar, etc. Then it should also give an overview of central topics of grammar such as grammatical categories, morphosyntax, typology and the different theoretical approaches to describing them. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:51, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Circular referencing[edit]

History of linguistics states that further information is contained at History of grammar. History of grammar states that further information is contained at History of linguistics. The references should be hierarchical. As History of grammar is a sub-section of Grammar it would seem logical that the more detailed information (the "further informmation") should be at History of linguistics. The two need to be co-ordinated. LookingGlass (talk) 16:17, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Punctuation?[edit]

Punctuation has a big impact on grammar, it is also within the grammar categories, but the word punctuation doesn't even appear in this article once, I'm sure a description, long or short, should appear here, of how punctuation effects grammar, it's pretty important. I may try to work it in myself but language articles aren't normally my thing, someone else more experienced if you agree feel free to incorporate it somehow.  Carlwev  20:02, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

No, punctuation in fact has nothing to do with grammar as the concept of grammar is used among non-lay people. Punctuation and spelling are arbitrary conventions about how to represent language in writing. Grammar as undestood by linguists is the rules that govern how we build meaningful words and phrases. The common use of grammar to describe conventions of orthography and prescriptive statements about how people "ought to" speak is the most common miscnception about grammar. This of course means that the article should mention it, in order to debunk it. I have a draft of this article that I am working on that will include mention of the "grammar as spelling and style" misconception.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:07, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
OK fair enough, I need to read up on it more, I seem to have misunderstood, my dictionary also does not mention either term at the entry for the other. Should punctuation be in grammar categories then? Are they completely unlinked?  Carlwev  17:18, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Punctuation depends on grammar (for example: a period, which is punctuation, is used to mark the end of a sentence, which is determined by grammar) but it is not part of grammar. — Gwalla | Talk 20:46, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I would qualify that by saying that it depends partly on grammar, but that it also depends on conventions specific to orthography. I think a good analogy is to think about whether information about vests and shirts should be included in the Torso article. Garik (talk) 21:37, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference daughters1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference greencard was invoked but never defined (see the help page).